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Trainer Bio

David D. Knapp, PhD

David D. Knapp, PhD, is the president of a consulting firm which specializes in leadership and organizational development. With almost 30 years of experience in the corporate boardroom and the university classroom, Dr. Knapp's passion is helping clients improve their communication and leadership skills through the practical application of the most current research findings in those areas.

Dr. Knapp’s diverse professional career – which includes stints as the Manager of North American Learning & Development for an international IT consulting firm, a college professor, a certified personal trainer & running coach, and a professional actor – gives him a broad range of experiences from which to draw. His educational background also is varied and includes a M.A. in Performing Arts from Emerson College in Boston and a Ph.D. in Human Communication Studies from the University of Denver.

Dr. Knapp has worked with local, national, and international organizations in nearly all areas of organizational development, including:

  • Designing, Implementing, Facilitating, and Measuring the Success of Employee Training Sessions.
  • Facilitating Organizational Strategy Sessions for C-level Executives and Board Members.
  • Coaching C-level Executives and High-Potential Employees on Leadership Effectiveness.
  • Implementing Succession Plans.
  • Creating Employee and Leadership Development Programs.
  • Guiding Corporate Restructuring Efforts.
  • Starting Mentoring Programs.
  • Developing and Overseeing Performance Management Systems.
  • Serving as an External Mediator for Employee Relations Situations.

The following is a representative list of former and current Fortune 500 clients:

  • American Express
  • Apple
  • Bank of America
  • Cisco Systems
  • Deutsche Bank
  • General Electric
  • Home Depot
  • IBM
  • Medtronic Navigation
  • Motorola
  • Novartis
  • Oracle
  • Quest Diagnostics
  • Sanofi
  • Sony
  • Starbucks
  • Valero Energy
  • Wells Fargo

Dr. Knapp also has worked with a number of smaller, but well-known, organizations:

  • Aéropostale
  • Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi
  • Bell & Howell
  • Duke Human Vaccine Institute
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Getinge Group (Maquet)
  • Gogo
  • H & R Block
  • Johns Manville
  • MIT Media Lab
  • Molson Coors
  • NetApp
  • Nisum
  • Novo Nordisk
  • Sybase
  • Telenav
  • Umicore
  • Union Bank of California

The following is a representative list of government and government agency clients:

  • Adams County, Colorado
  • CDC
  • City of Aspen, Colorado
  • City of Durham, North Carolina
  • City of Ft. Collins, Colorado
  • Colorado Geological Survey
  • Denver Regional Council
  • DOE
  • Downtown Denver Partnership
  • EPA
  • Health District of Larimer County
  • NIST
  • Town of Castle Rock, Colorado
  • USC&BP

As a nationally recognized keynote speaker and author, Dr. Knapp has published a number of scholarly journal and popular magazine articles. He also co-authored a chapter in the book:

  • Earthtalk: Communication Empowerment for Environmental Action (part of the Praeger Series in Political Communication)

And look for Dr. Knapp’s forthcoming book:

  • Marathon Leadership®: 26.2 Lessons Every Leader Must Learn and Live (2022)

Finally, Dr. Knapp remains a competitive athlete. He has completed over 100 full marathons and countless other running events and triathlons up to the half-Ironman distance.

Sample Projects

Strategic Planning: Dr. Knapp worked with a large regional communications company to help guide a group of over 40 mid- to upper-level managers through the decision-making process on a number of critical business decisions, including the test implementation of a new service for its customers. For the implementation, the group had to consider two diametrically opposed courses of action: a more conservative but technologically inferior approach that would cost far less but provide fewer services to their customers, and a more risky but technologically superior approach that would cost the corporation over $300 million to implement. Because of the high risk involved in the decision, the managers were reluctant to make any decision, delaying a critical strategic initiative that was crucial to the company's competitive future.
Results: Based on the decision-making process David helped facilitate, the managers chose the more risky and more expensive option. While the implementation did indeed cost the corporation well over $300 million, it is still considered one of the company's greatest success stories, with articles touting the success of the implementation appearing in regional and national publications.

Employee Development: An international IT consulting firm asked Dr. Knapp to revamp their North American employee mentoring program. The original program, which had been mandatory for all employees, was highly bureaucratic, structured, and too closely tied into the company's performance management plan. David redesigned the program, changing nearly every aspect of it in the process, including making it voluntary, with a new focus on development and away from performance management.
Results: In its first year, the program attracted nearly 25% of the North American staff who reported greater satisfaction and rewards from their mentoring relationship now that they, not the company, were in charge of how the mentoring relationship developed.

Communication Skills: A regional accounting organization asked Dr. Knapp to work with 55 business and government professionals from different organizations on improving their communication skills by better understanding their own communication styles, as well as those of their co-workers.
Results: In post-session evaluations, 40 of the 55 participants responded that the work with David had been "highly valuable" to their careers, and the other 15 reported that it had been "valuable." Furthermore, all but one of the participants indicated that they would like to work with Dr. Knapp in the future, while all 55 participants said they would recommend David's work to others.