I know we mostly hire people for their technical ability, management skills, professional knowledge and networking capabilities, but good business writing skills are worth their weight in gold for any management role.
In the week before a Board meeting with a crammed agenda, there’s nothing more infuriating than receiving a critical report or discussion paper from a senior staff member with grammatical or spelling errors, badly-presented arguments or no real conclusion or recommendation. Sadly, it happens far more than it should.
This month I gave a colleague special dispension to get a project report in just hours before the deadline, because an important meeting was happening the day before that could have completely changed the project status.
With just a couple of hours to spare I opened the document with a little trepidation. It was almost perfect: well thought through, perfect spelling and grammar, plenty of white space and sub-headings for easy reading, compelling arguments and clear, concise update points.
Whilst that person was not hired for their business writing skills, they sure made her invaluable on a stressful Friday afternoon.