Meetings are a point of escalation, not the starting point of a conversation

Ben Balter has a solid post on remote and async work, in which he makes the point that meetings are a point of escalation, not the starting point of a conversation:

A few minutes of reading or a few comments on an issue or Google Doc can often replace waiting days for mutual availability and a dedicated 30-minute block of time. In this sense, you can think of meetings as a point of escalation based on complexity, not as the default starting point for a workstream, initiative, or conversation.

Also see his excellent list of benefits of working asynchronously. Also also see Sisi Wei’s excellent guide on asynchronous participation in brainstorming, including this really great idea:

After the meeting, redesign that shared doc to become a worksheet for people participating on their own time. […]

The document should now read like it was designed for asynchronous participation to begin with. Instructions you may have given verbally – even helpful tips you realized and delivered impromptu – should now be captured as written instructions in the document.