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How to have hard conversations with your CFO

September 11, 2022 / 17:44 / E2

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Bob Howland ushered in a massive transformation as CDO at Dawn Foods. And it all started with him asking the board for a lot more money than they expected, and telling the CFO "we're never going to agree". Find out how he went from that, to this - a(another) highly successful, on-time, on-budget transformation under his belt. There is so much to learn from this short conversation - from how to create advocates, to how to handle bad news, to how to have the courage for tough conversations. 

Please accept our excuses for the somewhat rough audio quality which suffered due to unforeseen circumstances - we promise future episodes of People Changing Enterprises will be much better!  


  • 00:11 Intro - Bob's Story
  • 02:03 Bob's first challenging conversation with his CFO
  • 05:27 How Bob created a powerful advocate in the finance team to earn the trust of the CFO and the board
  • 7:08 How Bob earned credibility in the company by working with the finance team
  • 9:10 Why Bob advises being the bringer of bad news and how he does it 
  • 10:50 The importance of paying attention to data to spot potential difficult situations early 
  • 12:38 What to do when "the board doesn't get it" - how Bob works with board members to de-risk board approval meetings
  • 15:18 Why having patience is the biggest virtue in dealing with potential blockers

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