Podcast # 37: What makes a great CFO

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From Business Rhythm with Frank & Jamie – “A CFO is a member of the senior management team. Contrary to popular conception, his job is not confined to the traditional financial services functions such as accounting or treasury. His role is broad. He is expected to be strategic and to carry out a number of similar functions of a CEO. A CFO understands business operations and knows the drivers of company value. He can translate the financial impact of business decisions and guide the rest of the company towards profitability.”

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Podcast # 36: Organizing and Leading for Innovation

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From Business Rhythm with Frank & Jamie – “Innovation serves as a powerful means to drive business growth in today’s challenging economic environment and information driven marketplace. Companies must not only figure out what their current sources of competitive edge and examine their business strategies, but they must also find new ways to innovate and revamp their business models to sustain competitive advantage. In today’s podcast, we will discuss how business executives can organize and lead for innovation. “

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Podcast # 35: CEO in Battlefield from Business Rhythm with Frank & Jamie

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From Business Rhythm with Frank & Jamie – “The conventional image of a CEO is someone in a formal suit, sharp, eloquent, and decisive. He is either feared or respected. Everything looks calm and in control within the CEO’s immediate vicinity. Little do people realize that a CEO is often engaged in battles – such as business disruption and survival, leading people towards change or a new vision, dealing with internal conflicts, and struggle with government and regulation.”

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Podcast # 34: What is Good Management?

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From Business Rhythm with Frank & Jamie – “Let’s talk about operational management. A critical aspect of operational management is matching supply with market demand. If you have too much capacity, you have very expensive idle resources that will weigh in to the profits you generate from a few clients. It is often tempting to build so much capacity in a false hope that the company can generate demand very quickly. In reality, it is more difficult to grow a business in a short period of time than it is to add capacity. Needless to say, the traditional aspects of operational management such as ensuring quality of products and services and keeping the motivations and productivity of people are equally important in managing a business.”

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Fresh Pick of the Day, October 26, 2016: “The Best-Performing CEOs in the World”

From Harvard Business Review Online – “There are so many reasons for leaders to focus on the short term: slow growth, shareholder activism, political turmoil—to name just a few. Yet some CEOs still manage to train their sights on the long term and deliver strong performance over many years. Our 2016 list of top performers reveals who they are.”

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Fresh Pick of the Day, October 3, 2016: “Lean Startup and Design Thinking: Getting the Best Out of Both” from Stanford Business

From Stanford Business – “In the world of entrepreneurial incubation, design thinking, a user-centered way to conceive and create a successful product, is often compared and contrasted with the lean startup approach, which is more engineering-based and quantitative. The two methods are far from mutually exclusive, however, as both seek to effectively serve customers’ needs through a systematic, low-risk path to innovating in the face of uncertainty.”

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Fresh Pick of the Day, September 29, 2016: “The Right Way to Take Risks — in Business and Life”

From Knowledge@Wharton – “What I tried to do in my book is describe these tenets of risk-taking that apply across business and investing in life. There are four tenets: right-sizing the risk; right-timing; relying on knowledge and experience; and remaining skeptical of promises and projections. Those apply to investing tremendously. I think all the time about the right size of the positions that we take in companies; whether it’s the right time, because timing of when you buy or sell is critically important. How much we know about the investment, and then being skeptical about what we hear from Wall Street or what we might hear from the companies. But if you think about how we apply those in our life, take just some simple examples.

Right-sizing: If you’re going to buy a house, you want to make sure that you’ve got a house that’s the right size, not too big, not too small. Otherwise, it will be a mistake. It’s getting a mortgage that’s of a size you can handle; the size of your investment in that property is really important. So that’s something that everybody deals with involving size, whether you’re buying a house or you’re renting a place. There are four tenets: right-sizing the risk; right-timing; relying on knowledge and experience; and remaining skeptical of promises and projections.

Right-timing: You definitely don’t want to open an ice cream shop in November, if you have a choice. If you’re living in the Northeast, or you’re living in Philadelphia, you would rather open it in April or May. Timing affects many decisions, no matter what they are. When you’re getting married, when you’re getting engaged, when you’re having children, timing is just a factor. Sometimes it’s more important or less, but it’s definitely a risk factor.

Relying on knowledge and experience: You don’t want to, for example, take on an intern at your show if that person has only worked in an art gallery, and they say, ‘Oh, but I’m really, really interested in broadcasting and radio’ but they’ve shown no interest before. Is that something you should know about or not? I would say yes, because it’s a risk that you hire somebody who isn’t capable and doesn’t show any aptitude. So you’re relying on knowledge and experience.

Remaining skeptical: If you’ve got a buddy and you’re out to dinner with him, and he says, ‘I’ve got a great new idea for a restaurant and bar that I would like to open downtown, and I would like you to invest this many thousands of dollars.’ If you don’t ask a few questions about that, it would be pretty illogical. You better not be too credulous and say, ‘Hey, Jason’s a great guy, I really think that he’ll be a great bar owner.’ That would be silly — and it would be a lot of risk. That’s exposure to danger and uncertainty; that’s what risk is. You do need to be exposed to uncertainty to make any money or to make the right decision, but if you don’t think through why it might go wrong, you would be pretty gullible.”

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Business Rhythm Podcast # 33: “Impact investing in developing countries”

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From Business Rhythm with Frank & Jamie – “According to the World Economic Forum, impact investing is not an asset class but a specific approach to investing. To be more precise, impact investing has two elements. First, it aims to target both impact, whether it is development, social or environment, and financial returns; and second, it involves the active the measurement of both impact and financial returns.”

 

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