7 reasons to prioritise writing in your company culture:
- Deeper work
- Fewer meetings
- Fewer interruptions
- Increased productivity
- Self-sufficient employees
- High quality decision-making
These are achieved through:
- Clear, written communications.
Is your time valuable? So is everyone else's.
💡 Writing-centric organisations cultivate a consciousness that everyone's time is valuable.
By prioritising writing, you prioritise thinking.
Clarity — Requires you to think and organise your thoughts.
Consistency — Writing tells everyone *exactly* the same thing.
Thoroughness — Helps communicate while raising fewer questions.
Being a "writing-first" organisation does not mean writing-only.
But it does mean investing in the written word, wherever possible.
And I don't mean monosyllabic one-liners in Slack!
Writing-first organisations tend to look like this:
📆 Fewer meetings
- Meetings are focused and productive.
- Meetings have written agendas and clear goals.
- No meetings just for “status updates” that should be emails or group posts instead.
💥 Fewer interruptions
- Read messages and documents at *your* convenience.
- Give people documents instead of private lessons.
- You don’t have to answer questions continually.
- You don't have to wait constantly for answers.
- Get all the pertinent information in one shot.
👩⚖️ Quality decisions
- Decisions are based on thoughtful analyses and written arguments, rather than heat-of-the-moment emotions, or shoot-from-the-hip ideas.
- Decisions are written down, along with the rationale behind them. This makes them easier to communicate clearly. (Some might not view that as a good thing, but this also enables decisions to be revisited later. Many times I have wracked my brains why a decision sounded good at the time.)
🤔 Deep Work
- Fewer meetings + fewer interruptions → Deep Work
- Deep work in a state of flow is where breakthroughs happen. Every interruption or switch of context requires another 20+ minutes of concentration just to get back in "the zone".
📄 Documented procedures
- Procedures are documented, and don't just exist in some people's heads.
- Everything is searchable and discoverable.
🕺 Independent, self-sufficient employees
- Well written and comprehensive documentation allows present and future employees to become more self-sufficient, quicker.
- Knowledge is democratised across the organisation. This is a double-win, because anyone can contribute too.
Q: Why is this graph exponential and not linear?
A: Because of Aha! moments and breakthroughs that become more common as more people think more deeply, more often.
Things you can do today:
👉 When writing an email or document, consider:
- How will this piece of writing be used?
- What questions might people ask?
- What are the main takeaways?
- Who is the target audience?
- What is the main goal?
👉 If appropriate, share an online document in preference to writing everything in an email.
- Shared documents are easier to comment on.
- Additional participants can be added without having to forward them long email chains.
- New employees will automatically gain access.
👉 When scheduling a meeting, share its purpose and agenda.
👉 Reject meeting invitations that don't make these clear.
If you have influence over the systems you use:
👉 Use a shared knowledge management system, e.g. Notion, Nuclino, Confluence, ...
If you have influence over the hiring process:
👉 Test candidates' written communication skills during the recruiting process.
Thanks for reading this far! I will appreciate your comments, questions, suggestions, clarifications and especially corrections via this LinkedIn post.