#370: The Growing Elevation of FP&A in Business with Bryan Lapidus

#370: The Growing Elevation of FP&A in Business with Bryan Lapidus

“When the rate of change on the outside is greater than the rate of change on the inside, then the end is near, right? You’re in trouble.”
According to today’s guest mentor Bryan Lapidus, who also helps us deconstruct on the #sitn podcast:

• The three things that FP&A practitioners are talking about
• We discuss the role of the CFO and the sea change that is happening with it so that it has grown
• How incentives and risk profiles play a bit role in how finance professionals should think about supporting business decisions
• Why data is the foundation of all the things we want to do
• Why accounting & finance professionals’ inherent scepticism is both terrible and wonderful

 

“When the rate of change on the outside is greater than the rate of change on the inside, then the end is near, right? You’re in trouble.”
According to today’s guest mentor Bryan Lapidus, who also helps us deconstruct on the #sitn podcast:

• The three things that FP&A practitioners are talking about
• We discuss the role of the CFO and the sea change that is happening with it so that it has grown
• How incentives and risk profiles play a bit role in how finance professionals should think about supporting business decisions
• Why data is the foundation of all the things we want to do
• Why accounting & finance professionals’ inherent scepticism is both terrible and wonderful

Our Guest Mentor

BRYAN LAPIDUS FPAC, Director, FP&A Practice at the Association for Financial Professionals has more than 20 years of experience in the corporate FP&A and treasury space working at organizations like American Express, Fannie Mae and private equity-owned companies. At AFP he is the staff subject matter expert on FP&A, which includes designing content to meet the needs of the profession and helping keep members current on developing topics. Bryan also manages the FP&A Advisory Council that acts as a voice to align AFP with the needs of the profession.

Bryan holds an FPAC designation, an MBA from NY Stern School of Business and is based out of Washington DC, USA.

ABOUT AFP. As the certifying body in treasury and finance, the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) established and administers the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) and Certified Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis Professional (FPAC) credentials, setting the standard of excellence in the profession globally. AFP’s mission is to drive the future of finance and treasury and develop the leaders of tomorrow through certification, training, and the premier event for corporate treasury and finance.

Key Quotes from the Episode:

[On finance’s response to business needs] “as we look at the VUCA world, right, the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, as we look into this world, what we’re seeing is. Finances response to this uncertainty is not to have single-point projections that you hold out there for a year, but to hold multiple points of view simultaneously.” [07:43]

[On the business wanting one outcome to hit] “because they look and they say, what’s the number like, and nobody wants to be the one to say, well, on one, right? It’s the old economist joke, right? On one hand, it could be this on the other hand, it could be that. And then of course you get, you know, Harry Truman saying, well, give me a one-handed economist so that I get a single answer.” [08:43]

[On the role of the CFO] “the CFO is the steward of capital. And what does that mean? Right? It is responsibility for reporting where the capital. And where the capital is and circulating that money, circulating the capital around the business so that it can be deployed in the right place at the right time.” [12:20]

[On a definition of FP&A’s responsibilities] “working for the CFO and helping the business make better decisions” [18:12]

[On parting thoughts] “when the rate of change on the outside is greater than the rate of change on the inside, then the end is near, right? You’re in trouble. If the world is moving faster than you are, if you know, you can think about it in evolutionary terms, right?

If, if the world outside of your environment is moving faster than you are, then you’re going to be in trouble. And I think that that’s important. Not to scare people, but to say, you need to have a process for having your antenna up. You need to have a process for listening to what’s around you” [27:34]

Key Points from the Episode:

  • The three things that FP&A practitioners are talking about
  • We discuss the role of the CFO and the sea change that is happening with it so that it has grown
  • How incentives and risk profiles play a bit role in how finance professionals should think about supporting business decisions
  • Why data is the foundation of all the things we want to do
  • Why accounting & finance professionals inherent scepticism is both terrible and wonderful

Time Stamped Show Notes

[02:39] Bryan shares with us his role at AFP and work he leads there.

[04:00] How to run the best ever conference in Finance.

[04:35] The three things that FP&A practitioners are talking about.

[05:57] Bryan distils the key themes coming to him from AFP’s membership.

[07:28] Why we’re moving away from single outcome predictions to having to hold multiple points of view simultaneously and what this looks like.

[09:35] How incentives and risk profiles play a bit role in how finance professionals should think about supporting business decisions.

[12:13] We discuss the role of the CFO and the sea change that is happening with it so that it has grown.

[14:54] What a Google N-gram of the role of the CFO can tell us about the elevation of the CFO and FP&A with organizations.

[18:39] What FP&A brings to the table.

[20:05] Why data is the foundation of all the things we want to do and Bryan summarizes some of his research around the tools and islands of automation out there meaning the data is out there but is not accessible without the band aids to get their data right as a lauching point for everything else (ML, AI and being competitive)

[22:21] Why accounting & finance professionals inherent scepticism is both terrible and wonderful particularly where it pertains to having the right control infrastructure around data making us natural of it.

[23:25] Bryan shares with us his best bit of advice/philosophy “we all do better when we all do better”.

[25:45] Bryan recounts a great story on why not to hold on too tightly to people & analysts in your team.

[26:25] The best place to connect with Bryan.

[27:21] Some parting thoughts from Bryan.

Resources Mentioned:

Website: AFP 2022 dates, October 23-26, 2022 in Philadelphia, PA https://www.afponline.org/

Website: AFP FP&A Series: Get your Data Right, June 9, 2022 starting at 11 am ET https://dynamic.afponline.org/fpaseries/p/1

Website: 2022 AFP Conference https://conference.afponline.org/

Connect with today’s guest:

LinkedIn:              https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryan-lapidus-fpac-56b48b/

mplete transcript:

Full Transcript:

[00:00:00]

[00:00:30] Andrew: Hi everyone. And welcome to this week. Strength in the numbers show, our guest today. Some of you might know him already. His name is Brian Lapidus

[00:00:37] and he might’ve come across some of the work he’s done with AFP. The association of finance professionals.

[00:00:42] And the great thing I haven’t Brian I’m with you. So I’ve always really enjoyed my conversations with them. And it was just great finally, to, to be able to share him with you as some of the things we get to discuss.

[00:00:53] What the FP and a practitioners in the membership are talking about at the moment, some of the key themes that are emerging out there in corporate finance.

[00:01:01] We discussed the role of the CFO and particularly the sea change that we’ve seen around it from an evolutionary perspective and how that’s elevated within organizations, but off the back of that, how FPNS elevated. At one of my favorite topics and around finances, what’s one around incentives. So how do incentives and risk profiles play a part in the decision-making and how we can support that and why data is the foundation of all the things we want to do.

[00:01:29] And we also sort of note some links to an event in June that I’ll be speaking at. Brian and myself recently partnered together on an article about this, around getting our data, right.

[00:01:40] So an awful lot there to unpack and digest and give you loads of food for thought.

[00:01:45] I’d always, if you want to go and find out ways to connect with Brian to continue the conversation, timestamp show notes, key quotes, links to resources mentioned the more you can do that. S I T N show dot com. And we really appreciate it. When you share our show with your friends and colleagues, we’re on all the major platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify, and Amazon music.

[00:02:06] So thanks for tuning in and that’s enough for me for now. So without further ado, over to Brian and the show. So Brian, welcome to the show.

[00:02:17] Bryan: Andrew, thank you so much for the.

[00:02:18] opportunity to be here.

[00:02:20] Andrew: I just really appreciate your opportunity for us to get, to have another chat and jive together for a bit. So look, I think we know a bit about each other for the last number of years, but some of our audience, they might know you as well from your role at AFP, but others might be more new to you.

[00:02:34] So would you mind maybe taking a few moments to share with us your journey and your history in finance.

[00:02:39] Bryan: Sure. So I’ll start with, with where I am at AFP. So AFP, we are a not-for-profit. We are committed to the growth development and Improved work life of the corporate finance practitioner. We have specialties in corporate finance, which is really FP and a financial planning and analysis and treasury. We have certifications in both of those areas. We put on the best the best conference in the business bar, none. And I am totally not biased when I say that.

[00:03:07] Andrew: I got to say, you’re not biased at all.

[00:03:08] Bryan: biased at all. And then and then we. Webinars research papers, guide, things like that. And with all of those ways of getting content out for the membership, my role is really on the content side is to create and curate content for the members. And so we are currently. In conversation, you know, we have call for proposals from the membership and say, what, what are You.

[00:03:33] working on? What is it that all of your peers need to know? We have advisory councils to make sure that the, that the writing that we put out there is legit, that it makes sense for, for the community that we’re serving.

[00:03:46] Andrew: there’s this great thing. So unpack in there, Brian. I’d actually one. I need to talk to you about your conference as a very bull claim, the greatest conference out there. Right? So how do you, how’d you run the greatest conference ever, right. And finance incorporate.

[00:03:59] Bryan: So part of it is, the team that we have, we’ve been doing this for 25 years or so. And so. We listening to the membership. We make sure that we know what it is the membership wants. And, you know, coming up this year, it’ll be in Philadelphia the third week in October. And we’ll have more than a hundred different educational sessions.

[00:04:21] Right. And that’ll be, you know, some will be vendors, some will be practitioners, and they’re going to be talking about. Well on the FP and a side, right? Everything falls into three buckets. One is finance and business, right? What’s new in finance and business. And how do you think about that? Part of what we do a second track is going to be technology and data, the tools and the data that we use, kind of those raw materials. And then the third track for, for the FPA side is personal and team effectiveness. How do you be good as a leader? Had you be good as an individual? How do you improve. The quality of your team.

[00:04:57] Andrew: Yeah. Cause cause I know like how you included team there because in my mind, that’s okay. We have, we have people and it’s great to be personally effective, but you know, where at the great stuff happens, it happens in teams. It doesn’t happen to individuals locked away in a cell or an office somewhere, you know, our to home now, remote working.

[00:05:17] We’re not like a lot of. It happens in teams to, you know, a team set the culture, the pace and so on. So I’m really delighted. You, you, you knocked in the idle and see that very often the teams included in these things, but what are the main questions that I suppose your members are asking to hear about within those areas, what’s, what’s sort of most burning items on their mind.

[00:05:38] Bryan: Yeah. You know, it’s funny how in this role that I have, right? So I view, I’m looking at hundreds of conference submissions per year, over a number of years. I’ve been in this position for about four years now. And so there really are different themes every year. In the past, it had been all about these kind of the wizbang and kind of the magic of some of these ideas within the technology space.

[00:06:03] It really has moved from the theoretical and things on the horizon to just practices being the distance are now a little bit closer. So what I mean by that is, you know, AI is this umbrella term that covers so many different things. Well, we’re going to have, you know, we’re going to have Microsoft coming to talk about how they use it, not in big scale, but in little scale, right.

[00:06:23] Here’s how we have it on a, here’s how we’re using it for very, very specific things. And then from there, they’ll explain how they’re building up capabilities. So on the technology space, It’s the trend of what we’re seeing is very tactical. used to be daunting, but now are becoming more and more commonplace

[00:06:44] Andrew: That’s great because I think a lot of this has been theoretical and sort of like, you could do this, or these are the ROI you should be expecting. And I found what a lot of this digitalization agenda and the technology teams, weren’t seeing the returns on it, you know?

[00:06:59] So it’d be great to understand how do we identify what works well and what we could do more of better if that makes sense.

[00:07:06] Bryan: Yeah. Yeah. Well, we’ll get back. We can get back to the

[00:07:10] Andrew: Oh, yeah. Sorry. Yeah, I know. Yeah, go ahead. Yeah.

[00:07:12] Bryan: because

[00:07:13] it’s, I’ve had some really interesting conversations on that. But to answer your previous question on the finance and business side, the finance trend, I think the trend there that we’re seeing is a movement away from this belief that you can actually predict. A single, but a single outcome is right. The idea of ongoing to have a single budget and we’re going to hit it for the year and that’s it. Right. We’re going to have one NPV and that’s it. And as we look at the world, right, the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, as we look into this world, what we’re seeing is. Finances response to this uncertainty is not to have single-point projections that you hold out there for a year, but to hold multiple points of view simultaneously. So what does that look like? Scenario planning, it’s rapid re forecasting and getting your message out it’s range, bound, forecasting, and probability adjusted forecast.

[00:08:13] Andrew: yeah, I I’m, I’m delighted to see that. Cause like w w w what? I came up through college by background with statistics before I, you know, I really went in with accounting and it’s great to see. So the calm again, the simulation, some of the Monte-Carlo people looking at real options, you know, not having that one outcome God it’s taken like nearly 20 years, but better, late than never, I suppose.

[00:08:33] Bryan: Right. And, and some of, some of this is our fault. Right. We like certainty. Right. We like would be like one number.

[00:08:39] Andrew: That’s a good point.

[00:08:40] Bryan: Some of it. Some of it is the

[00:08:41] business’s responsibility because they look and they say, what’s the number like, and

[00:08:46] nobody wants to be the one to say, well, on one, right? It’s the old economist joke, right?

[00:08:50] On one hand, it could be this on the other hand, it could be that. And then of course you get, you know, Harry Truman saying, well, give me a one-handed economist so that I get a single answer.

[00:08:57] Andrew: Yeah, well, but you know, I found that work in best like that. The area that got it, the earliest was, I thought it was in like private equity where yes, they were looking for an outcome, but you could actually show them a range of outcomes. They were more to shareholders, but I found when you get into a business and you’re dealing with leaders and management data stock, one, one that one headline that one number at one point, they’re not really interested in all these things that could happen.

[00:09:22] They just want to know. You know, what should they be thinking of? And, and it’s our role maybe to distill that for them. So maybe that’s, what’s caught us up a bit, but I found this more shareholders, appreciate the optionality a bit more. And the probabilistic nature of it.

[00:09:35] Bryan: So. If you believe that incentives are destiny, right? People will do what they’re incented to do. the way private equity firm is incentive is tremendously different than a corporate right? Private equity venture capital. Their assumption is they’re going for every 10 for every well I’ll focus more on venture capital because they’re really more on the risk end of the spectrum. They’re going to have 10 investments. One will be a home run. Two will be fair, and the other seven will lose and they’re okay. Right because That’s the risk appetite. That’s the expectation. Once you get into corporations and corporate finance, the risk profile is different. The board of directors is looking to have a different risk. And so when you were the CEO or the CFO, right? You’re not incented on wild fluctuations that might lead to something positive over time because those fluctuated. That volatility is going to be perceived by shareholders, as you don’t know how to manage your business. When, When, I was in business school, I had this, this quote from a professor year Mac and I, one of these things that always stuck with me, he said, as an investor, you might want a company that has a beta of two, right?

[00:10:46] So it’s twice as volatile as the, as the overall market, right? A high beta. With good growth rates seems exciting as an investor, but if you’re running a company you’re not incented on that volatility and growth, you’re incented on consistency and growth. So why is it that companies lean towards broad diversification and investing in things that are outside of their core business?

[00:11:08] Well, if it’s outside their core business, then you’ve got offsetting amplitudes and your volatility has minimized. Okay. But is that going to give you the right growth? It’s all about the incentives and you have to, you have to know those incentives. You have to verbalize it, and then you have to build it into your, your finance, your your investment allocations.

[00:11:25] Andrew: and it’s really interesting, right? That I, I found that anyway, when I did that traditional route of trading up to pick on an accountant CPA, w that, that, that route, they was all very much. How do you say to. We didn’t really focus much on the, the human side or our, the the gut feeling side are making decisions and so on and incentives.

[00:11:46] So but I found out a bit odd because one of my favorite topics was something called praxeology, or, the study of human action or incentives. And, and it’s interesting now you’re calling it out, but how important that is blending. Is finance, FP, and a, and, and I suppose our profession turning a bit, well, it’s probably always been more of an actor in the science, but we’re appreciating that it’s more of an art form now that we, you know, you don’t get a lot of this stuff from textbooks.

[00:12:11] You have to experience it.

[00:12:13] Bryan: So I’m going to get a little, maybe a little philosophical, a little historical as I answer that. So the role of the CFO is the steward of capital. And what does that mean? Right? It is responsibility for reporting where the capital. And where the capital is and circulating that money, circulating the capital around the business so that it can be deployed in the right place at the right time.

[00:12:36] So we’ll start with that. sea change that’s happened is it’s become so much easier to do those two jobs. It’s right. More automation in, in, in all the forms. And so now you still have the, you have these people who are trained as accountants and auditors and tax specialists, right. In this new, this newish thing called FP&A right.

[00:12:57] You have all these people who are trained in finance, and they’re saying, well, we’ve got this skill. And we used to be worried about getting everything in the right place so that we could report it. We used to be worried about moving it.

[00:13:09] around. We still are, but. If we’re the steward of capital, we have the opportunity.

[00:13:14] The new business model that is available to us is to have a forward-looking view on how the capital is deployed. So that’s the way that the CFO role has grown. How, where do I put my next dollar or Euro or pound of capital to its highest return?

[00:13:31] Andrew: I think we’re complete bit of agreement on that. Although I I’m interested you say FNA is new-ish right. I actually would agree with you for my sort of I’d say what I’ve seen develop in microbes. When, when I was training, I, I have been, he didn’t exist, but I was, I was trying to find out when was the term was first used and Ken Fick.

[00:13:50] I, I think he’s also based out of DC. I don’t know if you’ve come across Ken, but he reckons it was around 19 63, 19 64. It restorative first mentioned, and we found that in a financial journal. And so it’s been around a while, but it only seems to be gaining traction in my mind. I definitely, since I started my career, because it didn’t really exist when we were talking to folks.

[00:14:11] So is it because of that more forward looking and people trying to look a bit round the corner nowadays, what do you think, Bryan

[00:14:18] Bryan: well first, I think I’m going to have to get together with Ken and see what his notes have and compare with my notes can actually sits on our advisory. One of our advisory councils,

[00:14:26] Making sure that what we do and what we talk about. Is relevant to the profession. So I’ve actually done created an end Graham, do you know what a Google Ngram is?

[00:14:36] You could see the

[00:14:36] prevalence of the term, so it’s really fun, but I think it might even be Google dot N graham.com, but you can go and look up a term and see how often a term has been used in literature.

[00:14:48] Over the past 500 years, literally counting the number of times in a book that it’s appeared. And

[00:14:53] there’s this graph about the CFO, right?

[00:14:57] So the CFO as a term, really was barely used in the 1950 sixties in the seventies. Came into being because of various accounting changes and tat really it was a tax changes. And so the question in the seventies became how do we maximize our business, given this new tax accounting? And who’s the right person. And then in the eighties is when you had the, kind of the next wave of CFOs. And that’s because you had all of these leveraged buyouts though,

[00:15:26] the Michael Milken, right? The barbarians at the gate.

[00:15:30] Andrew: Yeah.

[00:15:31] Bryan: And so what happened was you had all these people outside, the corporate Raiders who are saying, who are asking, how can I come in and break apart a company to release this trapped capital and value. So then the CEOs and the board said, oh my goodness, we’re going to be rated. Who do we have inside? Who can ask those same questions to release it? And that was the elevation of the CFO. Okay, we’ve got this finance specialist here. So I think that there were, I’m sure that there were planning people in the, you know, there’s always been planning people, but I think what’s happened is the CFO, the CFO position came into maturity and then it became, it just grew, it has continued to grow. And then, you know, there’s, there’s other things that, you know, milestone events about risk and, and, and that my first job. NFP and a was not called FP and right. it was, it was, they hadn’t really the term. Wasn’t really a news. So I think that the role was there, but what happened

[00:16:31] was in about the late, the late aughts, I use my, my British shingles there, the late off, and then somewhere around 2010 or so you started hearing more about. I wasn’t with AFP at the time, but that’s the point where AFP actually said there is this growing group of people who work for the CFO and they’re not, they’re not accountants, they’re not treasury, they’re not audit, but they work for the CFO. So what, what did they do? And AFP developed its certification around, I think it was the first year that it was in place was 2015. And so that it was part of the thinking of the org of AFP was to. Help define what are the skills, the foundational skills it takes to do this job and in doing so it’s what is that job? And it’s interesting. The the guy that we have coming out at the end of the end of April, one of the things that we, that we’re talking about is people who work at an FP and a, but don’t know it in Europe, in Europe, the term

[00:17:27] business controller is very

[00:17:28] Andrew: controller. I, and I that’s what resonated me was controllership and not that’s the big term is controller and they were doing that, you know, part of the FPA. Yeah.

[00:17:37] Bryan: So there’s the business controller, separate from the finance controller. And I was talking to somebody she’s an SVP at a major bank and she says, you know, everybody thinks that FP and a is just the people who pulled together the forecast, you know, but there’s line of business finance, their FP and FPA, but they don’t know it

[00:17:52] right there is. SNOP sorry. Operations finance sales and operations, but they don’t know

[00:17:57] it. So I think that FP and a is both a set of responsibilities that you do as well as a position on an org chart. And those set of responsibilities that you define, that we define as FP and a is working for the CFO and helping the business make better decisions.

[00:18:16] That’s it. However you allocate capital, make decisions and you work for the CFO. And that CFO part is very important because when FP and a and marketing sit down or FP and a, and supply chain sit down or HR, they each come to the table with something different and they should come to the table with something different. What finance brings to the table is quantitative methods. Models and an approach to capital. And you need that in order to balance out the other points of view, which are also valid but different. And so in order to get the complete view, That’s.

[00:18:56] what finance brings.

[00:18:58] Andrew: I couldn’t agree. Brian it’s it’s, it’s really interesting that that journey, that evolution, because when you sort of said this about helping the business. Those graduate decisions that that’s where for me business partnering was. And that’s how I found my way towards FP and a was okay.

[00:19:13] I was pulling the threads at this and actually both sort of met in the middle and then I would expand what you just said to several finance, not only has that ability to. The whole picture helped the whole picture develop out and also the independence as well. You know, we’re there to represent the business as a whole, not, not on any special interests.

[00:19:32] I, I, and I think with the, the evolution of AFP and well, the places are better understanding and knowledge. We’re developing better techniques all the time. We’ve got this technology, that’s driving an actual fact. That’s a, you and me got together and we were looking at. Actually and developing a paper around getting your data.

[00:19:50] Right. And that’s part of that series, a contribution towards that. I love these conversations. So how, how did that one come about getting your data?

[00:19:57] Bryan: You know, you could use the cliche of data is the new oil and it’s the lubricant of, of everything else.

[00:20:03] Right. What, what I see is. Data is the foundation for all the other things that we want to do. In in some of our research we had a survey in 2020. What really emerged was how people are using all their tools is they have these islands of automation that are. Right. We have, we’ve invested, you know, I don’t know how many hundreds of billions of dollars into ERP and EPMS, and here’s a transaction. Right? And so what’s happening is you’ve got automation in all these different pockets. And then when it comes time to connect them, right, you export to Excel and you get in a rowboat and you, you know, you have these islands connected by robots of, of Excel spreadsheets, right? So the point that we have now is the data exists, but it’s just not as accessible. And because of that, people are now coming up with these, you know, these little bandaid solutions and getting what we’re finding from our members is that those that get their data. Right. Right. This is, we have a whole, you know, you wrote the paper on it and we have, you’ll be actually speaking at our June 9th. Interestingly titled get your data, right. But we’re going to present all these different views of companies who have said, it’s not just these aren’t band-aid solutions. This is how we’re building out our company. And we’re building our data platform from the bottom up and what they’re telling us. That is the launching point for everything else.

[00:21:26] If you want to get to predictive analytics. And I don’t mean simple regressions, right? Not, not regressions on trend lines, but like real predictive analytics. You have to have good data. And if you want to get to machine learning, you have to get good data and all the things that are going to make you competitive in those years that are just now on the horizon, rely on a base data layer.

[00:21:48] And this is what you have to get.

[00:21:50] Andrew: Yep. And this is where I see the power FP and a, and some other finance professionals is actually helping determine what those states need to look like, what looks like good data by testing it, pushing us around, validating it. Basic basic accounting skills like reconciliations come in very handy when it comes to validating data.

[00:22:07] Bryan: Right. Those kinds of skills, but also that, that finance has this, especially accountants have this inherent skepticism,

[00:22:16] right?

[00:22:16] Andrew: yes, it’s terrible.

[00:22:20] Bryan: it’s terrible. and it’s wonderful. Right? We

[00:22:22] need to use it. We need to be good at it.

[00:22:23] But we also understand controls, finance understands. I control infrastructure and it’s, you know, it’s data controls, it’s ethical controls and it’s access points and granting access. That’s, that’s why we’re kind of a natural for it.

[00:22:38] Andrew: Yeah, no, I completely completely agree. Now look, we, we could I think we’ll say some of those topics for the June events or some of our audience could go attended. We’ll put some links and, and that into the show notes as well. But I suppose again, I want to be respect for your time as well. Brian, you’ve been giving us great advice, but some days around you perhaps, maybe what’s been the best bit of advice you’ve ever received.

[00:23:04] Bryan: I should come on your podcast.

[00:23:08] Andrew: Yeah. Okay. Maybe we will be what’s the second best midway advice you’ve ever received.

[00:23:13] Bryan: You know, there’s. Th there’s probably, there’s lots of little things.

[00:23:18] Andrew: Yeah. Lot. Love it. Yeah.

[00:23:19] Bryan: Yeah.

[00:23:19] lots of little bits along the way. You know, I have, I have two teenage daughters and I think that the, the, I don’t know if it’s a piece of advice or more of a of a philosophy that I tried to give to them. And I didn’t invent this.

[00:23:31] I’m just passing the, passing this along. The idea that we all do better when we all do better. And as I watched them go through various things, right. Sports or dance, right. You know, how do you, your, your success is dependent on some, the person to your left or right on their success. Friendships, right.

[00:23:52] High school, high school friendships and coming in and out. Right. I mean, you know, there’s that whatever’s happening in the moment, but there’s also, you gotta think about the longterm, what are they going through? Right. We all do better. Right. And you could even go beyond that to, to us as a society. And I think that w you know, what we’ve seen, you know, kind of the turmoil that we’ve seen kind of around us. I don’t know. I try, I try to live up

[00:24:15] to that as my guiding flaw.

[00:24:17] Andrew: I guess that’s why we, you know, our conversations. I think we sort of fairly aligned and we get on very well. So I think our philosophy is, although we never really discussed it like this before, like I think they resonate very much when we started strengthened the numbers. We were sorta looking with the initial timelines and I think it was the same in one of the books.

[00:24:34] And what we settled on was a rising tide lifts, all ships. And I think that’s what you’re saying. You know, it was when, when we can encourage better around us, it all makes us, you know, I suppose can give us the potential to be better. I’m like, that’s a great legacy to leave. Isn’t it?

[00:24:49] Bryan: Right. And listening to your

[00:24:50] podcast. Right? You bring people on, you know, and you know, it’s, it’s what you’re doing. And it’s what, and the guests that you’re bringing on. Right. It’s the same thing. It’s let me tell you what I’ve learned and hopefully this is good for you, right. It’s why, it’s why it’s so great to listen to your podcast.

[00:25:04] Andrew: And that was where it all came from, which was not frustration. I felt like we have all these people doing great things. If we just shared what we’re doing well, what’s working. It might help figure out Pete or what people can do to be better in their own areas and just lifts everyone up. And then maybe they share their stories and you just get this compounding effect where role doing more of the right things more often.

[00:25:23] I mean, how cool is that?

[00:25:25] Bryan: We had this one speaker at, at conference and he was talking about, he was in Silicon valley and he was talking about just the rapid churn of the analyst. And and I said to him, I said, you know, how do you manage it? You know, you’ve got people coming in, coming out, you know, how do you manage this?

[00:25:38] And he said, yeah, I’m only going to have them for a little bit of time. And he talked about. Getting helping them get up to speed, understanding that they’re going to move on, not holding on too tightly to the people on your team and how that in turn, he didn’t plan on it. But how in turn as people move around, you never know when you’re going to see them again. And you’ve developed that relationship and that trust of look, we’re all kind of in this together and, and it just creates a better, a better, practice for us.

[00:26:08] Andrew: And I I’d encourage our listeners. Just think to those scenarios yourself, you know that to be true. I mean, that’s a disinherit truth. I think that’s a great way. A great way, Brian, I suppose, look, I’m thinking ahead. If our audience wish to continue the conversation with you, where’s the best place to connect with you at

[00:26:24] Bryan: I am on LinkedIn. I’m very easy to find Brian Lapidus on LinkedIn. I’m Bryan with a Y B R Y a N. There is another Brian Lapidus. I’ve met him before. He’s a great guy. But he’s, he’s in a different field. Obviously AFP, AFP online.org, and between, you know, between our newsletters, between my postings on LinkedIn and what we have on the website, everyone can find out about our June 9th event, get your data right.

[00:26:48] And they could find out all about conference, which I really do believe is the best the best conference for corporate finance.

[00:26:56] Andrew: Well, you know, maybe if you were to invite me now I could get, I could give an independent assessment. They have Bryan but we’ll see,

[00:27:03] Bryan: Let’s work on that.

[00:27:05] Andrew: so far in the future. But rollback traveling. So don’t look at okay. It was an absolute blast catching up together, and I was just delighted to share with you finally with our audience.

[00:27:13] So, but before we let you, let you get back to your day job. If you were to leave our audience with some parting thoughts what would you like them to be?

[00:27:21] Bryan: You know, I think that, I think that. What’s important for us. I’ll put it this way. My, our, our CEO, Jim Cates says that when the, when the rate of change on the outside is greater than the rate of change on the inside, then the end is near, right? You’re in trouble. If the world is moving faster than you are, if you know, you can think about it in evolutionary terms, right?

[00:27:46] If, if the world outside of your environment is moving faster than you are, then you’re going to be in trouble. And I think that that’s important. Not to scare people, but to say, you need to have a process for having your antenna up. You need to have a process

[00:28:00] for listening to what’s around you. What, what has changed or you don’t have to be, you can’t be an expert on all the change, but just to know enough to see at a constantly be scanning the environment for what’s happening is such an important habit for your personal life

[00:28:14] for your for your relationships that you’re having an understanding other people around you are going through and for your professional life.

[00:28:23] Andrew: What, what grade or advice? Yeah, I’ve got it here for a road is that’s. That’s great advice. And I love that expression. Never heard it put like that before, but what a great way to have that intent up. So, Hey look, I, and actually it’s not just for our careers, it’s just outside of our careers as well, so much I can talk.

[00:28:40] So, Brian, what a great way to end the show with thanks for coming on and being such an awesome guest.

[00:28:45] Bryan: Andrew, always a pleasure catching up and looking forward to when when we get to hang out with.

[00:28:50]

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