I stumbled upon John Seddon’s website, The Vanguard Method, a few years ago. At the time, I read every page, post, and short tutorial in one sitting. I followed that binge-reading with his book, Beyond Command and Control, which is the topic for this episode. John teaches us about failure demand, break-fix systems, the destructive nature of arbitrary targets, and budget management. We also gain greater insights into outside-in thinking through a systems mindset.[Read more…] about Beyond Command and Control
If you are looking for the PayPal version of Brad Stone’s, The Everything Store, that book has arrived. Jimmy Soni is the author behind The Founders where he takes us on a deep, yet informative and eye-opening journey from PayPal’s pre-startup days to just after its IPO. The book is rich with insights we’ve never heard before, and the bookends are incredible–the three-hour conversation with Elon Musk and the moving and inspiring epilogue.[Read more…] about Don’t Call Us the PayPal Mafia
Gaining media attention may not be an ongoing goal for many growing businesses. However, a former TV host and Emmy-award winner in consumer reporting explains that if we can pitch the media effectively, we can sell anything to anyone. Katrina Cravy is the author of On Air: Insider Secrets to Attract the Media and Get Free Publicity. This easy-to-read book also has far-reaching applications for presentations, pitches of any type, and YouTube videos.[Read more…] about Gaining Media Attention With Katrina Cravy
One of the best management books I’ve read in years is easily Play Bigger by four marketing experts. Al Ramadan and his co-authors did not invent the term category design, a concept that has been around for years. Instead, their research into some five thousand businesses driven by their curiosity resulted in giving category design a name along with some key disciplines to becoming a category champion. We also call it a mini-MBA that could replace strategic planning.[Read more…] about On Becoming a Category Champ
Output, Outcomes, Impact. Those are three strong words that seemingly go well together in any context. But is there a clear difference between each term? Josh Seiden is the author of Outcomes Over Output, and he provides one of the best definitions of outcomes I have ever heard–a change in customer behavior that leads to better business results. While the message is simple, moving from output thinking to an outcomes-based mindset requires a change in habits.[Read more…] about Outcomes Over Output
I’ve always assumed that great financial modelers have deep backgrounds in either corporate finance or accounting. That’s not the case for Lyndsey Weber who is the Senior Solutions Consultant at Quantrix. After graduating with a degree in engineering management, Lyndsey spent the next three years of her new career at ExxonMobil. And then the itch that didn’t go away to pivot to a position in PreSales surfaced. The rest of the story is fascinating and illuminating.[Read more…] about An Expert Financial Modeler Explains Her Pivot to PreSales
I’ve read my fair share of accounting books over the years. My favorites include Relevance Lost, The End of Accounting, and anything by Jean Cunningham who has been a guest on the podcast. What happens when accounting gets paired with marketing and operations in the same book? Then there’s the potential for a book that even the CEO of a fast-growing business might pick up and read. That book is In the Black which is the topic of this episode.[Read more…] about Does Accounting Have to be Boring?
I became enamored with the retail industry early in my financial career. While serving in a controllership position, I first heard T. Scott Gross speak on his views and methods of delivering positively outrageous customer service. I was hooked forever on his message. Move over Scott, I now have a favorite book that goes far beyond service–Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Guidara. Will’s message is not just for restauranteurs, it’s for all of us.[Read more…] about Unreasonable Hospitality
The one topic in business that I could talk for hours about is financial transparency for any organization of any size. And that’s because there are so many layers and potential outcomes when such transparency is valued by the owners or directors in the organization. I’ve been teaching the principles of financial transparency for years, and one CEO has become my favorite for the embodiment of everything this concept represents. But what is it?[Read more…] about What is Financial Transparency?
I’ve read numerous books on financial fraud and business failure over the years. Oddly, such books can serve as great primers on the recipe for ‘legitimate’ business success. However, I’m not sure I’ve ever read a story where the owners were as brazen in their financial improprieties as the family members and managers of the consumer electronics store chain, Crazy Eddie. No, Retail Gangster by Gary Weiss is not dark comedy or satire, but it seemed like it.[Read more…] about The Rise and Fall of a Retail Fraudster