How to have hard conversations with your CFO

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What do you do when you and your CFO don't see eye to eye? When you need to ask for (more) money? Or when the board "doesn't get it"? Bob Howland faced all 3 situations in the first few weeks on the job when he signed on to transform Dawn Foods into an eCommerce enterprise. In this episode, he shares how to approach difficult conversations with executives; why you should "be the bringer of bad news" - and how to do it; and how he's learned to get board members to back his requests - before he even formally asks.
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
How to have hard conversations with your CFO
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