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Is email helpful?

How am I complicit in creating the company conditions I say I don’t want?

Beyond Meat’s stock price has gone for a wild ride since its IPO in May. Much of the rationale behind the original drastic rise in market capitalization is explained by a simple sentence – people invest in ideas that align with their beliefs.

Ethan Brown, the CEO of this meatless meat company, summarized this phenomenon well when he said “It takes a lot of money to buy a Tesla — It takes $4.29 to buy [our product]. And you can basically be making the same statement about who you are, what you care about, where your values are.”

Instead of just tweeting their worldview, consumers and corporations have the ability to vote for the future with their dollars. Companies who invest their capital in tools like Atlassian, Asana, Slack, and Superhuman are behaving in a similar fashion. These investments are sending an important message to their employees – “At X company, we value productivity, we prize communication, and we attach importance to organizational skills”.

These tools you give to your employees directly explain what you ask of them. For example, farmhands use tractors instead of sickles because the machine improves productivity. Homebuilders are handed circular saws instead of toothed saws because the level of detail is more precise. This logic hasn’t simply expired because the world is moving towards a service-based economy. Our digital age just requires different tools.

If you haven’t invested in the right tools for your employees, how can you expect them to build the right results? The general environment and conditions of your company are impacted equally by what you do and what you don’t do.

Aside from computers, what are the right tools for technology-intensive companies? The answer revolves around software. More specifically, the answer involves the tools that push for productivity improvements, increase attention to details, and streamline communication.

Both JIRA Integration+ and Morgan are centered around these benefits. We create tangible, useful products for people with these desires. To aid your organization’s organizational skills, Morgan acts as a medium to store notes, status updates, and personalized meeting templates in one place.

Morgan analyzes the best industry practices and has the ability to personalize this information for your company. Your team can use these tailored templates to improve communication and productivity in your daily, weekly, or monthly meetings. Our tool helps you maximize meeting output.

If you need your support team to focus on the customers more, but you don’t take any action to help them move away from internal company work, then those desires are just empty words. If you say you want employees to spend more time doing deep work but need them to respond to 195 emails a day, don’t pretend efficiency will actually improve.

JIRA Integration+ minimizes the constant need to check one’s email. We’ve created a tool that replaces JIRA emails with actionable Slack notifications. Instead of jumping from tab to tab, we offer the ability to create Jira issues without leaving the context of your current conversation. Our intention is to help reduce distractions so your team can focus on what matters – work.

If you need more productive meetings but don’t offer your team the right instruments to shape a more firm agenda, then you’re complicit.

If you aren’t intentional about the information you wish to collect in a meeting, then you’re guilty of creating the conditions you claim to dislike.

If you don’t take legitimate action to improve productivity, then you are a de facto supporter of the status quo. Think of Nextup as a toolkit. We address the problems above directly and succinctly.

Aside from signing up for our free trial, what can you do today?

First, recognize that people who plan meetings always have positive intentions. Second, recognize that the road to failure is paved with good intentions. When it comes to our goals, we’re often optimistic – this is a good thing, but such optimism fades quickly when applied to meetings.

When we predict our future behavior, we fail to anticipate the costs of situational factors that will impact our productivity. We assume that our current intentions alone will be enough to elicit a positive reward. When a new project starts, it’s tempting to suggest a reoccurring meeting as a means for your team to stay on the same page. We suggest you don’t do this unless absolutely necessary.

As a manager, are you asking others to attend meetings that you choose to avoid (because it isn’t a good use of your time)? Put skin in the game. Attend these meetings. See for yourself if it wastes time, then suggest alternatives to boost internal productivity.

A company is shaped through the collective behavior of its employees. If you’re struggling to create ideal conditions for productivity, we believe in the bias of action. Action always results in a better work environment than words alone – which is exactly why you don’t like meetings in the first place.

It’s your responsibility to make things better.

Logan Vantrease

Customer Success Manager at Nextup.ai