[SSB#3] Dig deep into how to become a great CFO & hard-hitting pricing advice.
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Welcome to the 3rd edition of my newsletter "Supersonic Business", a fortnightly publication by me, Laura Landmark, with a focus on business growth, value and performance management, in other words, all things that make a business better.
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Sandnes, Norway, Saturday morning, 17th August 2019
"Supersonic Business" is sent from me, a Management Accountant, to other Accountants, Finance Partners, CFO's, CEO's & those that have a leading position in business. The vision for the newsletter to share information, tips and tricks to build healthy, thriving businesses from the 'inside out', it is written from the finance and administration perspective.
I hope you enjoy [SSB#3], write to me on email@example.com if you have any feedback or questions.
On a recent trip to our cabin, it was fascinating to see how my 6 year old daughter took to fishing. When we were preparing the fish she really got involved. I don't mean she just helped with gutting the fish, but took a lot of time examining each part in great depth.
I swear this girl is going to be a vet or a surgeon, as she has always loved looking at blood and innards, you know, on those kids programs about operating on animals, not in real life (usually!). This is something I try to show great enthusiasm and appreciation for, but at the same time, cant help squinting when I am looking, as anything that goes on under the skin is really not my thing.
Anyway, she really impressed me with her thoughtful fish work, as it wasn't just a minute and then moving on, it was a proper delve into the mouth, eyes, gills, and more, (I won't go any further as I don't want to spoil breakfast).
This got me to thinking about the beauty of going beneath the surface. Of digging deep and examining things inside out. There is so much value to be found if we just take a moment to look a little bit more, or think a little bit more, or ask a little bit more.
Anyone that knows me will probably realize I am not a big fan of small talk, it is such a fantastic gift to get the chance to have "real" conversations. And with regards to our businesses, I think it is important to do them the same justice. Not to accept the first answers, or manage them purely by the gut, but to really pick them apart and check what is going on beneath the surface.
We could (I wont say should, as I don't want to sound preachy) regularly ask ourselves questions like
Where should I focus my time?
Who should I work with / are my team really thriving?
Am I pricing my jobs right?
How do I increase my productivity?
Answers to these sorts of questions don't bubble around at the surface, they require a bit of excavation work.
Mantle, the name of our company came about for exactly that reason. On 17th May 2017 (Norwegian National day) I was watching the parade go by, it was so exciting, and so colorful and happy. My thoughts were around our new company, and how we wanted to really help business owners dig out and share the value in their businesses.
My perspective on all of this has always been that value comes from within. It comes from within our businesses, from within ourselves, within our families, teams, churches, communities etc. You cannot "buy" in value, you need to go deep and extract it. So thinking hard around this idea, I thought about where precious diamonds come from, I googled it, and found out they come from deep down in the earth, they cannot be dug out, they need to be exploded out in a volano, they come from the Mantle (.. and by the end of the 17th May parade our new brand was born!).
So the theme of this newsletter is digging deep, or at least going beneath the surface, not accepting the first answer, thinking properly around our businesses. I hope you find it an exciting theme.
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How do you become a great CFO?
This is an article that really gets under the skin about what it takes to become a great CFO, there is also a downloadable workbook, I highly encourage you to get hold of.
I spoke to Andy this week, and he said this has been one of his most successful articles ever, and I can see why. There are 12 great tips, including my favorite which is to develop an intellectual curiosity This stems around being interested in what other people do, and asking great questions to develop your own competence.
He also makes the point that being a top class CFO means really understanding the business; and to do that it is important to ask "questions, read, research, learn and reflect". Its all about going deep, and "picking apart your fish", as it were!
Enjoy Andy's article, it comes highly recommended from me.
Read the full article here
Hard hitting price advice for Accountants (or any service provider actually)
I highly encourage you to listen to this podcast featuring Rhondalynn Korolak, she is an expert on neuroscience and uses her insights to explain how we as people relate to cash, pricing and value adding.
The show notes alone are a gold mine of information on how to use the power of the mind to influence clients into positive action.
Price is not just a number, its a movement.
Rhondalynn says that being a successful accountant today is all about high touch, not high tech, she has written several books, I have two of them on order order now, I cant wait for them to arrive in the post next week.
Listen to the podcast on Rob Brown's show BD Academy here
People analytics is the next "big thing"
We have been using big data analytics for some time now to track customers behavior and preferences. But the next big thing is turning the focus inwards on what is called "people analytics". This means tracking your employees and teams, and how they are performing, how they are interacting etc.
This will have a profound impact because it is a capability that applies to all industries including knowledge workers as well as task workers.
You may have heard of people analytics described as talent analytics or HR analytics, it will apparently help managers and executives make decisions about their employees or workforce.
In an attempt to make it easier for us to understand Jonathan Ferrar and David Green have made a model after hearing the same question many times over
1) How do I create impact?
2) How do I add value?
3) Where do I start?
They describe their process in an interesting way in this video
I also want to include this Mckinsey video where they describe in a really concrete way how people analytics can tie action and results in a detailed and quantifiable way. Watch it here
8 Maths tricks that will make your life easier even if you dont like numbers.
I love articles like this, as I am a sucker for tricks and mind games. Have a read on all the fantastic things we can do with some simple maths tricks without a calculator or computer in sight, just pure cauliflower power!
Read for example about the "rule of 72" for a quick and dirty way of calculating how long it will take to double your investment. So easy, so neat.
Do you know where earthquakes come from? Thomas our very own data scientist discovered this very thing.
Apologies Thomas if I dont quite get this right in layman's terms!
So talk about digging deep, Thomas, who has a background in and passion for geology was pootling around with his geology mates in Northern Norway and happened across a couple of rocks. He and his collaborators chucked them into their magic machine and were astounded in what they found out (thats the short story!).
They found links between seismiciity (the frequency & intensity of earthquakes) in the lower crust, and emissions of CO2 in the Mantle (the earths interior between the crust and the core, and the birthplace of #MantleAnalytics - see my diagram below!).
After joining a lot of dots they figured out that CO2 can cause mineral reactions that shrink grains which in turn causes a massive strain on the crust which can then cause earthquakes in continental rift zones.
The implications of this discovery are MASSIVE, it means potentially being able to identify areas that are at risk of earthquakes well before the tremors begin.
Not bad for a days work! (well, maybe a bit longer than that!), well done Thomas & Co.
So if you want to hook up with a data scientist that REALLY knows how to extract meaning from your data you know where to come! Thomas is your man, contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org
The paper is open access, so you can read it here
Did you know?
40% of engaged LinkedIn users access the platform daily. However users apparently only spend approximately 17 minutes on linked in per month, so you don't have long to make a good impression if you are posting!
Words of wisdom
Books on the bedside table this week.
“ Chatty and friendly and packed with helpful resources, this is an intriguing approach to business and personal negotiations. (Publishers Weekly) "
― Chris Voss: Never split the difference
Top Tip - see what cannot be seen!
Digging deep means seeing things as they really are, rather than how they appear. I would go further to say that to think as entrepreneurs we need to see things as they could or should be.
So many layers of reality, and so many levels to look at, but going beneath the surface certainly brings new perspectives.
Always end with a thanks!
🙏Thanks to "The Lazy Bookkeeper" Frederik Sandgrav for the fantastic interview he did with me this week, it was full of laughs and great insights into what is happening in our profession. Watch a recap here:-
Thanks for reading & see you next time
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