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"Come Up for Air" and Focus On Efficiency To Increase the Value of Your Transportation Company

June 27, 2023

Tim Almack

A recent article in Harvard Business Review by Bain & Company pointed out that the value of growth relative to operating margin varies depending on the cost of capital. The value of a 1% increase in sustained operating margin will increase value by 5% regardless of the cost of capital. The higher the cost of capital, the lower the value of additional growth.

When the cost of capital exceeds 9%, which it currently does, investments targeted at improving operating margins are worth more than investments in growth. That is one of the reasons that Google’s CEO announced their “Simplicity Sprint” initiative to employees and Mark Zuckerberg has announced that 2023 is the “Year of Efficiency” at Facebook. With the current cost of capital and inflation not going away any time soon, it is the perfect time to implement some of the suggestions from Nick Sonnenberg in his recent book, “Come Up for Air.”

“Come Up for Air” is a practical guidebook that offers valuable insights and recommendations for enhancing various aspects of communication, work management, goal setting, and knowledge base management within an organization. Through his experience as an entrepreneur and co-founder of a successful company, Sonnenberg shares strategies and tactics to improve efficiency and productivity, ultimately helping businesses thrive in the current environment.

Here are some areas in which he believes companies should focus:

Efficient Internal and External Communication

Sonnenberg emphasizes the significance of effective communication both within the organization and with external stakeholders. He emphasizes the use of modern communication tools, such as project management software, collaboration platforms, and chat applications, to streamline internal communication, centralize conversations, and reduce reliance on email to enhance productivity and ensure timely responses.

For external communication, he suggests crafting concise and straightforward messages while leveraging technology to automate routine communication processes. By doing so, organizations can save time and ensure effective communication with clients, customers, and partners.

Efficient Meetings

For meeting efficiency, Sonnenberg advocates for a clear agenda, concise meeting objectives, and ensuring only relevant stakeholders attend. Consider limiting meeting durations and encouraging active participation to maintain focus and encourage collaboration. Additionally, he advises leveraging technology for virtual meetings to eliminate unnecessary travel time and facilitate remote collaboration.

Efficient Work Management

Sonnenberg emphasizes the need to prioritize tasks and delegate responsibilities to the right team members. To do this, consider employing project management methodologies like Agile or Scrum to increase transparency, facilitate collaboration, improve overall efficiency, and create a culture of accountability.

Goals and Planning

Sonnenberg stresses the significance of setting clear goals and developing effective planning strategies by adopting the Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) framework to align individual and team goals with the organization’s overall objectives. Also, regularly review and adjust goals to ensure they remain relevant and aligned with changing circumstances.

Knowledge Base Management

Implement a centralized knowledge base, accessible to all employees, to facilitate the sharing and retrieval of information. By creating a repository of best practices, processes, and lessons learned, companies can reduce duplicated efforts and enable faster decision-making.

Process Documentation

The author emphasizes the significance of documenting processes and procedures to increase efficiency and maintain consistency. Sonnenberg encourages organizations to create standard operating procedures (SOPs) that outline step-by-step instructions for routine tasks. By documenting processes, companies can streamline training, reduce errors, and ensure continuity even in the face of employee turnover.

By implementing Sonnenberg’s guide to improving efficiency and productivity within your organization, companies can enhance their overall performance and better adapt to the fast-paced competitive business environment.

To further explore these suggestions and other ideas to increase profitability, contact Tim Almack, Certified Scaling Up Coach

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