As we go through life and gain experiences, we build character and develop some core beliefs, ideas, thoughts and practices which collectively shape who we are.  When translated into words, these become our “isms.”  Being aware of a person’s “isms” gives you a pretty good insight into who they are and what you can expect from them.  My “Wynisms” are as follows:

Wynism Number 1:  I try to maintain a pretty simple view of life and business issues. I have no choice. I am Welsh!

Wynism Number 2:  Always remember that the good Lord gave you a sense of humor. He gave you this for a reason. Please use it and do not take yourself too seriously.

Wynism Number 3:  We bring Clarity and Focus to your business metrics…Clarity first!

Wynism Number 4:  Too many financial managers travel through their business journeys by spending too much time looking back at where they came from and not enough time looking ahead to where they are going.  Always remember that the past is interesting, but the future is relevant.

Wynism Number 5:  Management’s job is simple. Just do what you said you were going to do. What you said you were going to do should be contained in your budget, forecast, plan or whatever other terms you might use to describe and quantify the future.

Wynism Number 6:  Too many managers consider planning and execution as two distinct activities. However, they are very much connected.  Planning is a necessary first step to execution.

Wynism Number 7:  If you can explain it; if I can understand it; then I can model it for you.

Wynism Number 8:  Planning in the absence of execution is at best an interesting academic exercise. Execution in the absence of planning is at best…luck.

Wynism Number 9:  You usually stop planning when you run out of time and the plan is due, or the month is over.  Use your time wisely!

Wynism Number 10:  Typically, investors look for three things when evaluating a business plan: Markets, Products and People…and the greatest of these is People.

Wynism Number 11:  Debits are always on the left and credits are always on the right. I used to tell my students at the University of Dallas that they should remember that they learned this basic accounting concept in Davies’s Class. (D/C…Left/Right).

Wynism Number 12:  Should you seek a career with a start-up company, be prepared to wear many hats.  Recognize however, that many will not fit.

Wynism Number 13:  If Cash is King, then who is the Queen?

Wynism Number 14:  Behind every number is a story; it is up to you to understand and communicate the story.

Wynism Number 15:  NO hard coding PLEASE!

Wynism Number 16:  Many small companies start with a kitchen table mindset and culture. To grow and succeed, they often have to gradually modify and re-shape their culture and table, to that which more closely resembles a management table.

Wynism Number 17:  Simple” is not synonymous with stupid. “Simple” is a virtue, as in KISS.

Wynism Number 18:  When you use the expression “make it happen” please have a clear understanding of the word “it.” When others use the same expression, make sure that they also have a clear understanding of “it.”  Ask them

Wynism Number 19:  Most people want to help you, but many don’t know how to. Make it easy for them. Simply tell them how (they can help you).  They will appreciate you.

Wynism Number 20:  I have never understood why it is called a Profit and Loss Statement …AND? But there again, because of their fixation with consistency, it appears that many accountants would rather be consistently wrong than inconsistently right.

Wynism Number 21:  A good financial model should always have a high WIF factor. A pretty good WOW factor doesn’t hurt either.

Wynism Number 22:  I want ALL of US to become a lil’ bit wiser and a lil’ bit smarter.

Wynism Number 23:  Please don’t confuse earnings and cash.  Earnings are the result of accounting rules; cash is real.  Earnings are recorded OVER a period of time whereas cash is a measure AT a specific time. 

Wynism Number 24:  You should always have a Plan B; Plan A seldom works!  However, carefully develop Plan A; focus on execution and give it enough time before abandonment.

       Keep Calm


Wynism Number 25:  The biggest challenge that many small companies face is in closing the third and subsequent sale. I used to think that it was a lack of financial controls, which shows that I have progressed a long way since those early years.

Wynism Number 26:  When probing for information, recognize the difference between FACTS and FLUFF, then focus on the FACTS.

Wynism Number 27:  The “bottom line” is that better financial results come from understanding the “top” and the “middle” lines.

Wynism Number 28: The best way to predict the future is to make it happen.

Wynism Number 29:  It never hurts to talk, but it is much better to listen.

Wynism Number 30:  First determine the facts, then develop your plan.  Only then, should you execute!

Wynism Number 31:  Please don’t confuse cash and cash flow.  They are two different metrics.

Wynism Number 32:  Please, no bloviating!

Wynism Number 33:  Manage cash and do not let cash manage you.

Wynism Number 34:  Do it ONCE and do it RIGHT.

Wynism Number 35:  The skill of asking probing questions should be subordinated only to the skill of listening for answers.  Make sure that when you ask appropriate questions, you listen very carefully to the answers.

Wynism Number 36:  A good finance guy connects the dots. He sees the leaves, the branches and the trees (numbers, data) and describes the forest (communicates the story).

Wynism Number 37:  Numbers!  Accountants generate them, analysts analyze them, and managers manage from them.  Do you know what your numbers are telling you?

Wynism Number 38:  If you find that the smartest person in the room is always the same person, then politely suggest that they need to find a different room.

Wynism Number 39:  Having a plan is your best first step to improving performance.

Wynism Number 40:  Having the facts is your best first step to having a plan.

Wynism Number 41:  Asking drill-down questions and listening to the answers is your best first step to having the facts.

Wynism Number 42:  To improve something (company performance), it is first necessary to understand it (company performance), so please understand your numbers.

Wynism Number 43:  When it comes to designing dashboards, content trumps aesthetics.

Wynism Number 44:  Poorly conceived decisions (based on murky numbers) have consequences. Get rid of the murk and focus on the facts!

Wynism Number 45:  A dashboard is an opportunity to communicate your story.  It will not tell you what to do, but it will tell you if what you are doing is working or not working.

Wynism Number 46:  There are basically two types of spreadsheets...those that are cool and trendy and those that actually contribute to solving the user’s problem.  My bias leans heavily towards the latter.

Wynism Number 47:  You may have noticed that I don’t walk very well…relax, I am not here to offer you walking advice.

Wynism Number 48:  My passion is to do, train and explain so that you can do.

Wynism Number 49:  For the SEGC, earnings are interesting, but cash is relevant.

Wynism Number 50:  The most critical elements of a financial model are the assumptions (drivers).  Make sure that yours are realistic and credible!

Wynism Number 51:  Too many people think that a spreadsheet is merely a typewriter for numbers.

Wynism Number 52:  It's all about converting data into intelligence and then understanding and applying the intelligence so as to improve company performance.

Wynism Number n:  Under construction.

Wynism Number n+1: Watch this space!