The CFO Bookshelf monthly podcast is geared toward global financial leaders who are serious about lifelong learning.The show's 200-plus podcast catalog features well-known authors who are experts in finance, pricing, marketing, sales, operations, organizational health, and leadership.Episodes are released on or about the 15th of every month, and the producer and host responds to every message he gets about the shows on LinkedIn.
Built to Beat Chaos
Gary Harpst co-founded the ERP solution Solomon Software, which was ultimately sold to Great Plains. The CFO Bookshelf enjoys Gary's work and past books, including Six Disciplines for Excellence and Six Disciplines Revolution.
Gary's newest book has been 40 years in the making. The title is Built to Beat Chaos: Biblical Wisdom for Leading Yourself and Others. A few of the themes we cover in this conversation include:
addressing the elephant in the room, the integration of faith in the workplacethe Great Plains storyA leader's first and second responsibilitythe reason Monet destroyed some paintingsthe reason a specific management system doesn't matter based on 1200 businesses studiedhow to get the 85% involved and the impact on one-to-one timethe 100-point exercisethe Harold Morgan storywisdom and tips for learning to mentor othersthe purpose and mission of LeadFirst.ai
What is a Beautiful Constraint?
A Beautiful Constraint by Morgan and Barden: is it a marketing, branding, psychology, or management book? Or is it all four?
In this episode, Willy Donaldson (Simple_Complexity and Estimated Time of Departure) and I discuss five of the biggest ideas in the thought-provoking book A Beautiful Constraint. The authors state the goal is not to eliminate a constraint but to leverage it. Their book explains how.
Below are some of the topics we addressed:
the definition of a constraintGoldratt's definitionreasons you may not need to read the bookthe relationship between ambition and constraintsthe three-part continuum of thought: victim, neutralizer, transformerpath dependence and an impactful poemcan-if thinkingthe problem with too many resourcesthumbs up or thumbs downDuring the conversation, we mentioned this book would be a great master class where a one-hour conversation could provide all of the ideas and tools created by the authors. If you are not ready to read the book yet, this YouTube video by one of the authors is a great starting point.
Our Favorite Books in 2023
Since starting the CFO Bookshelf podcast, I have released a ‘favorite books’ show each January. I’ve always been reluctant to do so because my reading tastes may differ from yours. However, these episodes are some of the most downloaded in our podcast catalog.
In this discussion, I list my Top 10 books, honorable mentions, fiction, and even books that I did not like. Other insights include what and how much to read and if fiction matters.
Access the List
Pricing Strategy vs. Pricing Tactics
Many pricing books are heavy in ideas, abstractions, and behavioral science mind-shifting. Others are focused merely on simple tactics.
Jean-Manual Izaret's (JMI) book, Game Changer, fills a void by showing readers and pricing practitioners how to approach pricing strategically through cleverly designed frameworks and thought-provoking questions.
This conversation starts with who should read this book and why a cover-to-cover reading is unnecessary. Other topics include:
Ford's greatest insightThe cupcake pricing dilemmaThe three pricing tools: elasticity, differentiation, game theoryThe reason why pricing methods and pricing strategy are not the same thingJMI's framework gridJMI's seven gamesBuyers, sellers, and offersA definition of pricing governanceA deeper dive into the uniform gameMicrosoft vs. IntuitNext steps for owners and pricing teamsJMI's favorite booksImportant Links
JMI's bio page at The Boston Consulting GroupTED Talk - A New Netflix-style Pricing Model
What is the Wisdom of Finance?
CFO Bookshelf considers The Wisdom of Finance one of its favorite 25 business books.
Mihir Desai combines abstract and obtuse finance concepts with literature, history, movies, and poems in his book, which was released in 2017.
In this bookclub-style episode, we cover several of the themes Mihir highlighted in his educational and entertaining book:
Bankruptcy (the history of Robert Morris)Options and Diversification (Pride and Prejudice)Value Creation (The Parable of the Talents)Corporate Governance (The Producers)Mergers (marriages)The Demonization of Finance (O Pioneers!)
The CEO Empire Builder
One of the best books we've read on private equity is by Adam Coffey. The title is The Private Equity Playbook.
Adam's newest book is based on a two-day presentation he gave on how to roll up an industry purposely and effectively. He turned his 300-plus page slide deck into the book Empire Builder: The Road to a Billion.
Some of the topics we cover include:
investing in what you knowa simple example using a mowing company and its unit economicsthe industry traits for empire buildingthe 30:1 rule for managersthe rule of 130price escalation clausesSandy OggFinancial diligence and proctology examsthe best way to read this five-hour bookImportant Links:
Adam's websiteLinkedIn profileAdam's Forbes articlesShow Notes page at CFO Bookshelf
You Just Know
I've been promoting my book "The Intrepid Brotherhood" on podcasts for about a year now and the differences in program hosts are amazing. As a program guest, when you encounter someone who is deeply knowledgeable in the subject matter and thoroughly prepared to discuss it in depth, you can feel it from the outset. It gives you the greatest sense of relief when you realize that this person has taken your story and your purpose seriously and, at least to some degree, supports what you are trying to convey to your audience. Mark Gandy is that person. Of course, anyone who reads in excess of 90 books a year could be expected to be knowledgeable and ready to discuss almost anything in this field! I can agree with other reviewers that Mark puts extraordinary effort into preparation for every episode, and that he is personable, supportive and insightful. I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the CFO Bookshelf Podcast.
Very educational podcaster
Mark is an excellent interviewer. He brings his knowledge of finance and leadership and business to his interviews and has a knack of pulling out exceptional nuggets from his guests. In todays fast paced, ever changing financial world this is a podcast you want to listen to. I highly recommend.
So. Much. Value. 🔥
It’s obvious Mark puts extraordinary effort into every single episode of CFO Bookshelf! What makes this show a true standout is the quality of the guests, stories, and tactics presented in every single episode. Mark finds speakers that truly care about being a positive force in the finance space, and shares insights that only a true practitioner can unearth. Don't miss it!