26th Edition — August 4, 2019
… interested in everything and nothing else. Umberto Eco
1. What is the T Algorithm?
Apple and Amazon became the first companies to be valued at $1 trillion this year, about 2 years before Scott Galloway published The Four.
Galloway writes about the characteristics that he calls The Four Horsemen–Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. The business you work for will probably never reach a trillion in sales or value, but the traits describing the four still apply even in small business:
- Product Differentiation
- Visionary Capital
- Global Reach
- Vertical Integration (not total, but partial control)
- Accelerant (as in accelerating a person’s career)
- Geography (as in close proximity near a prestigious university)
My head is stuck on vertical integration as three of my clients have already done this. Spend some time this week thinking how your company could control parts of the supply and distribution portions of the business.
2. Imagine Publishing Your First Book
Not only is it cool to think about writing your first book, but imagine Verne Harnish and Jack Daly endorsing it. Remarkable.
This week, I pre-ordered a copy of Keeping Score with Gritt: Straight Talk Strategies for Success by Shawn Burcham. Confession–I’ve already read the draft at least 5 times. Big thumbs up. I know it’s just one book, but I’m smelling a trilogy, right?
3. The Polymath CFO
When I think of a polymath, people like Leonardo da Vinci, Theodore Roosevelt, Benjamin Franklin, and Richard Feynman quickly spring to mind.
Is there a such person as a CFO polymath? How would you describe that person? Knows all aspects of the business? Possesses many technical skills? Can adapt to any season of life within a business?
I bring this up because every month, I try to read a book about an industry in which I know absolutely nothing. After my quarterly dental checkup with Dr. Doom and his ugly, blunt instruments, I was curious if any books existed for dental practitioners from a business perspective. Paydirt!
I’m betting the authors of Dentistry with a Vision were inspired by Goldratt’s, The Goal. Dentistry with a Vision is written like a novel with key themes on finance, metrics, process workflow, systems thinking, and lean concepts. I continue to be amazed at what we can learn when we branch out from our reading comfort zones.
By the way, the name of my dentist is Dr. Rischer. But he does pull out the scary, blunt instruments each time I visit before becoming one big muscle spasm in his dental chair.
4. What’s in name, as in the title of a book?
I’ve given away Never Run Out of Cash by Philip Campbell when having to deliver speeches to small groups.
Consider this title instead: Never Come Close to Running Out of Cash.
The original title is better because it’s shorter and sticky in the mind. But which action is harder to apply, the directive in the first title or the second? That’s one of the many jobs of a financial leader, ensuring we never allow the companies we serve to come close to running on fumes.
5. The Answer to Shiny Foreheads in Front of Cameras
Chris is a great COO, and I call her MacGyver behind her back. She can fix any business problem with two hands tied behind her back. Unfortunately, she didn’t read On Air: Insider Secrets to Attract Media and Get Publicity by Katrina Cravy. Yep, she should have powdered the forehead before an otherwise excellent, in-studio TV show interview.
If your company has a marketing team or a PR firm, I recommend this quick read. The audio version is lower in cost and narrated by the author, and she’s a compelling and engaging communicator.
My favorite part is Cravy’s H-A-V-E formula before being interviewed. However, this framework also applies to writing and delivering speeches:
- H is for providing a great hook
- A is for audience benefit
- V is for visuals
- E is for engagement
Thank You Very Much
Thank you for reading. If you like the content above and the posts at CFO Bookshelf, may I ask a favor? Feel free to share this with other readers along with commenting on your favorite blog posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
Take care and have a great week. Always be learning.