This is not new, I’ve been hearing it for several years, everybody wants to limit meetings. One of the latest examples is Shopify, which is considering eliminating all recurring meetings with more than two people.
Yes, meetings can be unproductive and a waste of time for attendees. In reality, the cause is very often a lack of preparation. But there is something very important in meetings: meetings aim to communicate and collaborate.
When working on a team, I think it’s important and essential to have sometime some synchronous communication, where everyone can discuss, exchange, hear the same thing at the same time. This is what builds teams, contributes to cohesion and allow them to share a common vision. It’s not about working in isolation.
Indeed, this is not easy and one of the major problems is that there is always the same people who speak, sometimes they crush other people (even involuntarily). This is a bias that is not easy to avoid but we should be careful about it!
They are many techniques and tools to avoid traps. For me, I’m using a lot of agile tools, rituals and ceremonies.