CFO Bookshelf is focused on lifelong learning for financial and all other business leaders.
In following its mission, guests include best-selling authors in the fields of finance, management, operations, organizational health, and leadership.
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54:41Confessions of a Pricing Man is easily the best book ever written on this topic.The author is Hermann Simon, the Chairman of Simon-Kucher. He's also one of this generation's most prolific business thinkers, whose writing parallels Peter Drucker's.In this conversation, our topic is Hermann's 2021 book, True Profit. Topics include profit maximization, the reason why pricing as a profit lever trumps volume increases or cost reductions, and the differences between profit and free cash flow.
The Stories Beyond FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried
54:34I predict that Number Go Up will be considered the most fascinating and entertaining book in narrative non-fiction for 2023.Our guest is Zeke Faux, an investigative reporter. Several years ago, he was asked to check out Tether and the money supporting that cryptocurrency. Zeke had no idea that story would take him across the globe, logging many air miles along the way.If you are challenged or intimidated by the vocabulary surrounding cryptocurrencies, we attack about ten terms to lay the groundwork for the stories Zeke tells us later in the interview.
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The BI Cantos
53:03Dan Murray is the author of Tableau Your Data, and he recently published a blog series called The BI Cantos. The 21-post series is about how to successfully deploy a business intelligence system.Dan is the Director of Strategic Innovations at Interworks, where he has spoken across the country with audiences, including many in the Fortune 500.What exactly is business intelligence? What are the best tools to use? How do we separate fact from fiction in these implementations? And what is the best way to find a consultant?Dan answers these questions and more as this episode is geared toward those embarking on a new BI journey.The BI Cantos Blog Series - LINK
Farming, Food, and Finances With Joel Salatin
1:00:00Joel Salatin is more than a gifted farm entrepreneur in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Joel is the author of twelve books and speaks around the globe on not just farming but simultaneously protecting and replenishing the land.The book we focused on was Folks, This Ain't Normal, which includes plenty of satire and humor. Our topics included open-book farming, the difference between buying natural vs. processed food, and several fascinating concepts revolving around money.If you want to learn more about Joel after listening to the interview, I'd start with this site as a launching pad: TheLunaticFarmer.com.You can read the full show notes on this episode on our website.
What is The Halo Effect?
49:18One of my favorite 25 business books is The Halo Effect by Phil Rosenzweig.During this conversation, Phil explains the halo effect, along with several other delusions business leaders are bombarded with daily from the press, business authors, and consulting gurus.Other highlights include:remedies for overcoming the halo effect heuristicresearch flaws in Good to Greatbackward causalitiesbusiness culture and financial performance"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."greed and hubrisPhil's favorite business books
Rasputin for Hire
23:43As I search for books to highlight on the show, I'm looking for unique and interesting content and an author who has probably slipped under other podcasters' radars. Take, for instance, the title Rasputin for Hire by Michael Goodman.Michael is a marketing expert who has been consulting since 1979. In this conversation, we hear about the story behind this fascinating title and:the difference between his book and Dan Pink's first title, Free Agent Nationwhy new consultants have to love sellingthe problem with cold leadson working alonehow to use peer networkshaving confidence in one's own abilitiespersonal mission statementsconsulting between jobsa fascinating Seth Godin storyA special thanks to my friends at JustPaddles.com.
Good to Great Boards
48:23I never knew there was a consulting niche for advising directors for public company boards of directors until I met Denise Kuprionis. She founded The Governance Solutions Group (GSG) based in Cincinnati, where she helps boards apply effective governance practices and achieve their most pressing objectives.In this conversation, some of our topics include:The way Denise finds clients to work withThe biggest difference between her board work today and ten years ago - there are not manyBoard assessmentsCorporate vs. board governanceCEO succession planning and when to startTone at the topThe role of a board of advisors in private companiesSandra Kurtzig's first advisory groupThis conversation also applies to private companies as Denise shares valuable nuggets for private company CEOs who could use the support of advisory board members to fill gaps where specialized knowledge is lacking.
The Accidental Business Nomad
47:53After reading a book by a successful commercial developer who moved his family to France for two years, I wanted to learn more about setting up shop in a foreign country.That's because the real estate developer faced obstacle after obstacle because he wasn't used to the vast cultural divide between his home country and France.Accordingly, I felt I struck oil when I found the book, The Business Accidental Nomad by Kyle Hegarty. Kyle shares his experiences in building a marketing and sales presence in Asia based on data and humorous and engaging stories. I'll go so far as to say this book has a Liar's Poker feel to it; it's that good.Some of the big ideas we hit in this conversation include:the 70% failure rate in starting an international operationstereotyping vs. data-driven generalizationscalibrated storytelling - evidence and anecdotes"Treat people the way they want to be treated"TOR - trust, openness, and respectThe communications contractThe role of DISC for hiring new staff
Own Your Work Journey With Ed Hess
50:12One of my favorite business authors has just released his 15th book. The title is Own Your Work Journey by Ed Hess.Fans of Ed Hess will be treated to a mini-memoir in the introduction of the book, and we spend the first ten minutes of this conversation talking about some of the mentors in Ed's life during his upbringing as a youth.Other key points we hit are:the quiet ego and the wild stallion that's brought under controlemergent thinkinginner peace while having an open mindthe keys to reflecting, listeningthe skill of developing skills at a fast pacethe ongoing concept of learning, unlearning, and relearningthe primary reason our brains are not wired to be hyper-learners
The Myth of Wall Street Growth
34:50The best book I've ever read on the topic of growth is by Ed Hess, and it's aptly named Smart Growth.It's not an anti-growth book, but through research, it dismantles the mental model of what I call Wall Street Growth which is:1. Businesses have to continually grow or die2. All growth is good3. Growth has to be continuous and smooth4. Quarterly growth is the primary measure of successIn this conversation with Ed Hess, we discuss some of his favorite case studies in the book, the opposite of the 'grow or die' mindset, and the ideal work environment where people can continually be learning, unlearning, and relearning.