CFO Bookshelf

CFO Bookshelf

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.


September 22, 2023 54 mins

Confessions 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 tr...

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I 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 ...

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September 8, 2023 53 mins

Dan 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? ...

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Joel 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 foo...

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August 25, 2023 49 mins

One 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 heuristic
  • research flaws in Good to Great
  • backward causalities
  • business culture and f...
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August 18, 2023 23 mins

As 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...
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August 11, 2023 48 mins

I 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 with
  • The biggest difference b...
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August 4, 2023 47 mins

After 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 No...

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August 1, 2023 50 mins

One 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&apos...
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July 29, 2023 34 mins

The 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 die
2. All growth is good
3. Growth has to be continuous and smooth
4. Quarterly growth is the primary measure of succ...

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July 21, 2023 51 mins

According to cognitive psychologist Gary Klien, people with a seemingly high sixth sense become experts at pattern recognition through years of experience in their respective fields. But where does that experience come from? How does that person achieve such experience?

Soren Kaplan is the author of the 2023 book Experiential Intelligence. Soren explains the differences between experiential intelligence (XQ) and IQ and EQ ...

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July 14, 2023 56 mins

One of the most intriguing and thought-provoking management books I've ever read is the 1993 book, Maverick by Ricardo Semler.

Ricardo took over his father's business Semco not too long after he graduated from college. He knew he didn't want to run the business as his father had, so he started in small steps by getting his staff involved in all decisions of the business, not just small ones.

The res...

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Gareth Pronovost is my go-to expert on his YouTube channel, GAP Consulting, where he teaches his subscribers about Airtable, SmartSuite, automation techniques, and other great insights on no-code solutions.

In this conversation, Gareth discusses how to break spreadsheet addiction. Other topics include:

  • Gareth's interesting entry point to no-code apps
  • the best definition for no-code applications
  • what no-code...
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Technology with the advancement of generative AI is seemingly moving at a pace we've never seen with other innovations.

How does any organization step back and figure out how to adopt digital and AI technologies to support its strategic objectives?

That's where Rewired comes in. The subtitle for this new book is The McKinsey Guide to Outcompeting in the Age of Digital and AI.

Our guest is Eric L...

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June 24, 2023 40 mins

More Than a Numbers Game is rich in business and accounting history. We learn about the Merchants of Venice and why they had a strategic advantage. We also learn about the many flaws and imperfections of financial reporting, where completeness and consistencies are impossible.

This conversation is geared toward non-accounting students and professionals where additional topics include the one-page report by the early railro...

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When I finished reading Next Generation Retail by Deborah Weinswig and Renee Hartmann, my first thought was that the great ideas in this book apply to direct-to-consumer manufacturers and professional services firms.

In this conversation, co-author Renee Hartmann helps us to understand better the following technologies that are not just for big companies:

  • metaverse
  • blockchain
  • live streaming
  • social commerce
  • data an...
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June 10, 2023 56 mins

Derek Lidow is a former business founder of a major global semiconductor company that he ultimately sold. Today, he's a professor at Princeton, where he teaches entrepreneurship, the topic of his newest book, The Entrepreneurs.

This book is rich with historical stories of entrepreneurs doing the same things in the past as they are doing today.

In this deeply insightful conversation with Derek Lidow, we learn ...

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June 2, 2023 55 mins

When Walter Chrysler built his New York skyscraper in the early 1930s, his critics stated the building was a monument created for himself. The same comment could have been applied to John Jakob Raskob's justification for building The Empire State Building.

In this book club-style conversation, John Coe and I dissect the book, The Birth of a Building. The author's book addresses how a book is conceived, financed, ...

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May 26, 2023 54 mins

Curiosity drives much of the content on this podcast, and when Erik Hanberg's book, The Little Book of Boards, showed up in my email, I felt compelled to buy it for several reasons.

Of the six or seven boards I've served on, some have been boring experiences, others have been exceptional. I was curious if this book would have been valuable to me during my first board experience, which wasn't great--it defini...

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Not only is Neil Dahlstrom the author of the business historical narrative Tractor Wars, but he's also the Branded Properties and Heritage Manager at John Deere. Before that, he was Deere's Corporate History and Archives Manager.

Neil admits he wanted to be Indiana Jones when he grew up and even worked in a museum in high school.

During this conversation, we learn what a corporate archivist does, how to ...

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