My Pi-spective on Business Writing
(A pi-spective is where you write about something using only 314 words)
Business writing is critical to the modern business professional. In the age of social business expressing yourself is the primary business activity. We talk about the digital divide in society and business in terms of the haves and have nots. Perhaps its more about the wills and will nots.
Much of what passes for business writing, isn’t. Formalised boiler-plate jargon predominates. It’s as if to write for business one must first swallow several dictionaries (or at least the financial, economic and “comms” sections). Or one must give over the pen to a legion of specialists for their input.
Writing in the digital age means taking a visible stand on something and publishing your views in the public domain. This is why the digital divide is also about the wills and will nots. Some business people just don’t want to recognise that in the social business age we all write for a living.
Why is writing so important? Because it is evidence of thinking. Writing follows speaking which follows thinking. Granted, there is plenty of writing and speaking which occurs without thinking. Much of what we pass back and forth demonstrates that.
Much of what we write is also automatic. In the sense that we do it without thinking. Which often means playing the same record over and over again until someone listens. What this indicates is a shortage of learning, of updating beliefs in the light of new information.
The digital world is overwhelming. There are two habits we need to cultivate to survive: taking in new information from different sources and using writing to help encode that information.
Writing is the means by which we make both a clear statement about what we stand for in the world and how we make sure we update our beliefs rather than just chuck around the latest buzzwords.
Writing shapes speaking and changes thinking. Please write.