06: Write it down

Writing helps you clarify your thoughts and ideas before you share them. Writing makes your thoughts and ideas digestible for others. Writing doesn’t require everyone showing up at the same time. Writing is accessible. Writing is searchable. If it “could have been an email”, by all means. Default to writing.

The theory

When it comes to knowledge work, nothing beats writing in terms of efficiency, flexibility, and clarity of message. Compared to formats like video, it’s cheap and easy to store, searchable by default, and accessible by default. Writing-first cultures makes it far easier to build and maintain a “company brain” of context and information; a powerful tool for empowering people to self-help and make decisions autonomously.

Writing is defacto asynchronous, which makes it a natural choice maximizing flexibility in remote and hybrid contexts. It doesn’t matter where people are working from, what time they’re working, or even what device they’re using. Write, post, and share; people will read and respond when they’re on.

Writing is the ultimate idea clarifier, refining ideas into their sharpest form before they get shared. It ensures that messages aren’t just heard, but understood. A culture of writing leads to stronger alignment for less effort, and fewer half-baked ideas.

The Effect of Writing on Ideas

Writing levels the playing field, shifting the focus from the people who talk loudest to those with the best ideas. Writing promotes a culture where substance beats dominance.

Start with asynchronous writing and use other tools — like meetings — only when need be.

Further reading