Fast Company

The Value of Writing

What do you think is the most overlooked skill in business?

According to entrepreneur Sidney Harman, it's writing. I have to agree. It's not merely about communication. More importantly, it's about thinking in a more disciplined way. When you put words on a sheet of paper, or a computer screen for that matter, you immediately impose your own analysis on what you've written. It's concrete. It matters.

As Harman puts it in his new book, Mind Your Own Business, "It helps clarify one's thinking. It improves all other means of communication by enhancing vocabulary and promoting the ability to formulate thoughts in coherent and creative ways. It is a first cousin to public speaking because it helps frame the material in a fashion that makes it explicable and communicable. That is essential in public speaking."