stb logo large
Episode 151

My Take on Come Up for Air

Sharpen Your Business Systems for Success

This week on She Talks Business, I’ll be recording the second “My Take” series where I will give you my opinion and what I took away from my most recent read. We’ll be talking about Nick Sonnenberg’s Come Up for Air: How Teams Can Leverage Systems and Tools to Stop Drowning in Work

The short version: This is excellent. It’s a fantastic, super smart book. I highly recommend you read it and apply its principles to your team. 

If you’d like to hear more, I go into more detail about how Nick focuses on systemizing communication, projects, and resources in episode 151.

Essentially, this whole book is about doing more efficient work so you can literally come up for air. This includes taking your communication and separating it between internal and external, taking your planning for projects and ensuring that you have the right work management tools, and then taking your resources and making sure you have an efficient knowledge base and the right process management tools. 

Your Business is Only as Effective as Your Systems 

I open the episode with Dr. W. Edward Deming’s 94% Rule, which basically says 94% of the results you experience in your business all stem from your processes and systems, not the individuals making up your team. 

When operating in your business and setting up systems for your team, there is a tendency to outgrow your system or identify how a system isn’t working the way you’d hoped. Instead of reassessing and starting from scratch with a new system, we tend to put bandaids and make exceptions so we can continue using this already established but not very effective system. 

What really needs to happen, and Nick really sheds light on this, is we need to assess all of our systems in their entirety to ensure that they are serving their purpose and making your life and your team’s life easier.

CPR: Communication, Planning, Resources

Nick Sonnenberg’s CPR framework lays the foundation for categorizing and optimizing business processes. Breaking down internal and external communication, streamlining planning tools, and effectively managing resources can prevent your team from “drowning in work.” This method strategically simplifies processes, enabling teams to focus on what they do best: driving the business forward.

Effective Systems Improve Your Culture 

I even argue that good systems not only increase efficiency and your team’s bandwidth but they can also enhance your company’s culture. Clear guidelines can reduce frustration and allow employees to focus on their work without unnecessary interruptions or too much time trying to find what they need to do their work. Effective systems show your team that you value their time and well-being and that you want to make it as easy as possible for them to succeed. 

Nick’s book, Come Up For Air, helps you figure out your communication processes,  your project management system, and how to manage your resources. It even goes into how to better your onboarding and how to buy back time with more efficient systems. It’s an excellent book that will have you setting your team and your business up for success. 

I hope this take was useful for you and that you grab your own copy. Be sure to tag me and Nick on social media so we know you were inspired by this episode.

What’s in This Episode

  • The 94% Rule by W. Edwards Deming states most workplace results are due to systems and processes, not individual efforts.
  • Defaulting to temporary solutions rather than evaluating the system as a whole cuts down on efficiency.
  • CPR stands for Communication, Planning, and Resources.
  • “Stop the scavenger hunt” for information by implementing effective systems that cut down on time and increase productivity. 

What To Do Next

  1. Subscribe to receive this podcast and regular weekly strategies to grow and shape your business. You’ll also be the first to know about upcoming courses, programs, and exclusive LIVE training.
  2. Join the conversation on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn and share your insights from the show.

Books Mentioned in This Episode

Up Next

Next week, we we’ll be chatting with Annie Wright. 

My Take on Come Up for Air Lisa in a brown jacket and black shirt smiling.

Share the Episode

Subscribe to never miss an episode

Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

Recent Episodes