IT Best Practices

Why a Writing Center Can Save Your Organization

Writing is no longer the exclusive job of writers. If you think writing means creating a poem or drafting a novel, you’re a bit short-sighted—writing is a part of every job nowadays. Businessmen write emails to different departments, bankers write detailed reports to bank executives and boards of directors, etc. However, not everyone can effectively and correctly transfer what’s in their mind into writing, and it can be costly for organizations when miscommunication or incidents occur. This is when you need a proper English major to step into the picture and save the team. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Josh Bernoff explains the value of a writing center.

Let Experts Do Their Jobs

If you’re asking what these English people have to do with business and banking, the answer is that they can turn mediocre things into masterpieces. These writing tutors are able to improve your documents and make your proposals more convincing to executives. It is the same principle as seen in college, when students take their paper to get checked out by a writing center before submitting it for grading. If you want your concerns to be understood and your ideas to get approved, every well or poorly written word counts. In the English language, even a comma can make a difference.

The Philadelphia Fed hired an English major graduate to examine the bankers’ writing, making it more efficient and succinct. The program was voluntary, the feedback was given by phone or in person, and visitors were encouraged to return. As a result, the Philadelphia Fed saw a 36 percent improvement in overall quality, and estimated that about 63 percent of those who came for writing coaching returned for another session. Their “writing center” has expanded to include a second writing consultant and completed over 400 writing consultations so far. Your organization can do the same thing to improve the writing culture.  Bernoff suggests some tips to make this work for your company:

  • A belief at the top that improving writing is worth it
  • A collection of similar writers
  • A voluntary program that management encourages
  • A focus on learning through editing
  • A commitment to measure results

He concludes, “If it works with bank examiners, it will work for you. A writing center is an effective way to lift an organization’s writing culture by its bootstraps. That means everybody can spend less time puzzling out incomprehensible messages and more time actually getting things done.” You can view the original article here:

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