A few days ago, I took part in the launch event of Axios HQ, the B2B solution developed by the Axios newsroom to help corporates improve their internal communications with the “smart brevity” method and tools developed by the publisher. I already wrote about that when it was still in pre-launch. Now it is officially on:
Then, I stumbled upon this article from Increment.com, a business magazine powered by Stripe. A plaidoyer for the value of written communication as an essential tool for distributed organizations, as much important as video-meetings and audio messages. Something worth to invest more corporate resources, it says, to provide education and tools to make the most of the writings.
The key ideas, summarized for you (but you should read the article, it is definitely worth your time!):
- Before the Internet, it was the ability to send written messages across physical space that enabled the expansion of collaboration across the world. Once we added the internet and email, the correspondence had the potential to be instant, increasing the efficiency of our communication and the speed of our decision making.
- Now that we are all stuck in remote working, it seems we miss so much our meetings that use video and phone calls to just replicate those sessions. But, most times, the more people take part in calls, the less efficient they are, and the less effective to drive decisions.
- Here is the opportunity to come back to more and better writing. The truth is: you do not need to take all decisions instantly. Many can be made both responsibly and asynchronously. Collaborative documents, for instance, can become self-documenting meetings that give a chance to sharpen the thoughts and ask only the right questions.
- There is more benefit in writing over talking: when we write, we get to freeze ideas. They stop evolving and become accessible to others to establish a consensus or working frame, which later can be collaboratively reshaped.
A personal note on this. We all know writing is hard. Doing it well takes time. That explains why so many joined recently the bandwagon of corporate podcasts, not to mention the recent hype around Clubhouse. I have been lucky to work in media and publishing, so I met lots of people that love writing. But I have also met lots of people that hate it.
To all of them, and all decision-makers, the author of the article – a Software Engineer at Stripe – says: “The word is your oyster”. We will not come back to our old habits after the pandemic. The future IS distributed AND asynchronous work. For this future, embracing writing will be crucial, as much as learning how to handle better video-calls.
So, investing in methods, tools and education to write better is the smartest thing corporates can undertake.
That resonates with me. That might be the reason I am so passionate about what Axios delivers to readers and now to corporates.