#168 The CFO Putting Strategy into Action with Multi-Award Winning Author Thomas D. Zweifel

The CFO Putting Strategy into Action with Thomas Zwiefel and Kevin Appleby on the GrowCFO Show

Kevin Appleby interviews Thomas Zweifel about his career as an author and consultant. Thomas explains that he writes books based on mistakes he has made working with clients in different cultures and industries so that others can learn from his experiences. Thomas is an award-winning author. Some of the books he mentioned writing include Culture Clash, about mistakes made working in different cultures, and Strategy into Action. His most recent book, Gorilla in the Cockpit, discusses how biases at the start of projects can lead them to fail.

Their discussion touches on the importance of culture when executing strategy. Thomas talks about discovering the “bottle” of underlying assumptions that guide an organization’s thinking. He also emphasizes that the CFO has a key role to play in determining what activities are still relevant to the strategy and saying no to things that are obsolete.

When discussing strategy in an uncertain world, Thomas advocates for his “Strategy and Action” approach of focusing on catalytic 100-day projects rather than multi-year plans. This allows organizations to test ideas quickly and adjust course if needed.

Other topics covered include biases that can derail projects from the start, focusing each day on meaningful accomplishments, and using displays and routines to keep teams oriented towards strategic goals. Throughout, Thomas emphasizes examining assumptions and standing in the future as keys to strategic execution.



Introducing Thomas Zweifel (0:11)

Strategy execution and leadership challenges. (0:20)

Project failures and biases in decision-making. (4:02)

Unconscious biases in decision-making in business. (8:18)

Strategy execution and cultural analysis. (12:09)

Strategy and decision-making in a rapidly changing world. (17:02)

Productivity tips for putting strategy into action. (24:14)

Time management and productivity strategies for leaders. (28:28)

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