Statistical Questions from the Classroom

Statistical Questions from the Classroom

by J. Michael Shaughnessy and Beth Chance

I was talking with a mathematically-astute friend of mine and told him I lacked confidence in my grasp of statistics. (Insert clever joke about confidence intervals here.) So he recommended this 88-page book published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics as a good refresher on some basic concepts. The book consists of 11 chapters, each one addressing a question frequently asked by statistics students. Continue reading “Statistical Questions from the Classroom”

Marketing and the Bottom Line

Marketing and the Bottom Line

by Tim Ambler

Tim Ambler (now retired) was a professor at the London Business School. He was unique in that he was a marketing professor who was also a Chartered Accountant. Ambler contends that boards of directors should devote more attention to marketing. He puts a particular emphasis on brand equity and innovation.

“The point is simple: if you want to know what your future cash flow will look like, investigate where it comes from—the market… Survival depends on basic wealth creation. And wealth creation depends on how healthy the marketing is… Securing customer preference opens up the main cash flow for every business.” Continue reading “Marketing and the Bottom Line”

The Art of Being Indispensable at Work

The Art of Being Indispensable at Work

by Bruce Tulgan

Becoming a go-to person is the key to real influence at work. But it presents challenges like the risk of overcommitment, endless meetings, and trying to get things done across ambiguous lines of authority. When do you say yes? How do you say no? Bruce Tulgan breaks it down.  Continue reading “The Art of Being Indispensable at Work”

An interview with Alastair Thomson author of Cash Flow Surge

After posting more than 250 book reviews, I decided to try something new: an author interview on YouTube. I am grateful to Alastair Thomson for graciously sharing his wisdom on managing small and medium-sized businesses. Alastair has an accounting background, but this conversation is not about debits and credits. It’s about improving your business from the perspective of an experienced CEO and CFO. We cover cash flow, profit, customer experience, metrics, business ethics, marketing, quality, continuous improvement, front-line employees, growth, margins, inventory, and receivables. Continue reading “An interview with Alastair Thomson author of Cash Flow Surge”

Cash Flow Surge: 101 No-Cost and Low-Cost Fast-Action Strategies to Boost Your Cash Flow

Cash Flow Surge: 101 No-Cost and Low-Cost Fast-Action Strategies to Boost Your Cash Flow

by Alastair Thomson

In college I took a course called Small Business Finance. The main thing I remember from this course is the emphasis on “cash flow, cash flow, cash flow.” Alastair Thomson is an accountant who has been a CFO and CEO of several businesses in the U.K., across variety of industries. He wrote this book for owners of small and medium-size businesses. While cash flow and profit are not the same thing, many of the ideas in the book can improve both.

The 101 chapters cover suppliers and expenses, customers and revenue, staffing and procedures, communication, insurance, logistics, contracts, and technology. Here are some snippets: Continue reading “Cash Flow Surge: 101 No-Cost and Low-Cost Fast-Action Strategies to Boost Your Cash Flow”

The Shareholder Value Myth

The Shareholder Value Myth: How putting shareholders first harms investors, corporations, and the public

by Lynn Stout

Business schools and law schools teach that the purpose of a corporation is to maximize shareholder wealth. “Shareholder wealth, in turn, is typically measured by share price—meaning share price today, not share price next year or next decade.” Lynn Stout (1957-2018), who was a business law professor at Cornell, makes the case that this is both untrue and harmful.

“United States corporate law does not, and never has, required directors of public corporations to maximize either share price or shareholder wealth… State statutes similarly refuse to mandate shareholder primacy… As long as boards do not use their power to enrich themselves, the [business judgment rule] gives them a wide range of discretion to run public corporations with other goals in mind, including growing the firm, creating quality products, protecting employees, and serving the public interest. Chasing shareholder value is a managerial choice, not a legal requirement.”

Continue reading “The Shareholder Value Myth”

Life Is Tremendous

Life Is Tremendous

by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

The Corona virus shutdown has been mentally taxing. Daily news reports chronicle the number of new cases and deaths. Many sectors of the economy have come to a screeching halt. 30 million people have applied for unemployment benefits. In that context I wanted to read something light and positive. This 100-page booklet was published in 1968 and has sold more than a million copies. Continue reading “Life Is Tremendous”

Schtick to Business

Schtick to Business: What the masters of comedy can teach you about breaking rules, being fearless, and building a serious career

by Peter McGraw

This book is about applying the wisdom of successful comedians to business management. Topics include targeting your audience and differentiating your brand, the creative process, innovation, diversity, teamwork, and writing skills. Peter McGraw is a behavioral economist, professor, and director of the Humor Research Lab (HuRL). Continue reading “Schtick to Business”

Crushing YouTube: How to Make Money on YouTube and Grow a Channel Fast

Crushing YouTube: How to Make Money on YouTube and Grow a Channel Fast

by Joseph Hogue

This book is full of insights and advice from an experienced YouTube creator, whose channel reached 75,000 subscribers in 18 months, and now has 181,000 subscribers. Joseph Hogue is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) who produces videos on personal finance topics. “These ideas work and they’re the reason 3% of my viewers turn into subscribers versus a ratio of closer to 1.4% or less for most channels.”  Continue reading “Crushing YouTube: How to Make Money on YouTube and Grow a Channel Fast”

How Not to Plan: 66 Ways to Screw it Up

How Not to Plan: 66 Ways to Screw it Up

by Les Binet and Sarah Carter

Packed with insights, this book is a compendium of 66 articles originally published in Admap, “all loosely based on a myth-busting theme.” The word “not” in the book title and each article title is in strikethrough type. The articles are grouped into 9 chapters: Setting Objectives; Product, Price, and Place; Brand and Communication; Research and Analysis; Talking and Thinking Strategy; Who Are You Talking To?; Media and Budgets; Creative Work; and Effectiveness and Evaluation.  Continue reading “How Not to Plan: 66 Ways to Screw it Up”