At Hurley Write, one of the core beliefs driving our work is the idea that everyone, regardless of their background or education, can master effective writing. We've successfully worked with a diverse range of professionals, and we’ve yet to meet anyone whose writing skill cannot be improved—usually by a large margin. By providing widely accessible writing strategies, we're democratizing the art of writing, ensuring it's a skillset available to all, irrespective of their role or field.
As Dr. Thomas Newkirk, a Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire and an authority on language and literacy, said in an interview: "So, as opposed to writing being this skill that only a narrow subset of people have, writing is something that everybody has, or can have."
Writing Can Be Both an Innate Talent and a Developed Skill
First, the foundational point here is that some people may have an innate talent for written and other forms of communication, but writing skill can also be nurtured and enhanced by anyone through dedicated practice and skills development. From engineers in tech firms to finance experts in global corporations, writing has become an essential tool for communication and expression, irrespective of the person, role, or field.
Democratizing Writing Boosts Competitive Advantage
Without developing the writing skills of everyone in the workplace—including those who aren’t naturally gifted writers—an employer can inadvertently create disparities that diminish the organization’s competitive edge. By contrast, developing writing skills for all employees allows everyone to contribute effectively. This inclusive approach enhances individual performance and strengthens the organization as a whole.
In fact, an organization with a uniformly strong communication skillset is better positioned to innovate, collaborate, and compete in the marketplace. More to the point, they can outcompete other organizations where writing and communication skills are more uneven. After all, we already know that good writing reliably produces improved personal and business outcomes. We've provided many, many, many examples of the ways in which good, skilled writing produces tangible ROI, builds a stronger business, and helps individuals in their own career and role. An organization that can increase the productivity and effectiveness of its entire workforce, versus those that target only a select few, will be at a competitive advantage.
Plus, Democratizing Writing Can Close Skill Gaps
Moreover, the initiative to enhance writing skills carries significant secondary benefits. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), problem-solving and critical-thinking skills are projected to be among the top 10 needed skills by 2025. Writing training inherently fosters these abilities, as the process of crafting coherent, compelling text requires rigorous thought, organization of ideas, and analytical skills. As the WEF writes, “It is our time to stop and think about how we can help upskill the global workforce to close the inequality gap. It is the time of skills democracy.”
As a result, democratizing writing skills is another way of upskilling or reskilling existing employees, which can help offset skills shortages and talent gaps. This approach equips a larger segment of the workforce with essential communication skills and reduces overreliance on a limited pool of skilled individuals. Importantly, there’s a lot of room for competitive maneuvering here: according to advisory and analytics firm PwC, only 40% of organizations are actively upskilling their workforce.
The Process of Democratizing Writing
Democratizing writing in the workplace involves a strategic and inclusive approach to training. Recognizing that not everyone starts at the same level is key, but the emphasis should be on progress rather than innate proficiency. The goal is to make every individual a stronger writer than they were before, embracing the adage "a rising tide lifts all boats."
This process begins with accessible and engaging writing programs tailored to various skill levels and learning styles. Workshops, mentorship, peer reviews, and continuous feedback form the backbone of this training. The focus should be on practical application rather than abstract or academic theory, making the learning process relevant and applicable to each professional's role and daily tasks.
In addition, creating a culture that values and encourages effective communication is crucial. Sometimes the reason writing isn’t democratized at some organizations is not because they’re only focusing on the writing and communication skills of a select few; it’s because they’re not focusing on these skills at all.
The democratization of writing isn’t just a noble goal, it’s a necessary one.
The democratization of writing across professions and backgrounds isn’t just a noble goal, it’s a necessary one, as it reflects a broader understanding that writing is a vital skill in all roles. By investing in the development of writing skills, organizations empower their employees while gaining a competitive edge. This inclusive approach to writing fosters a diverse, communicative, and effective workforce ready to meet the challenges of the modern business world.
For a proven partner in training entire workforces to write more effectively and successfully, Contact Hurley Write for a consultation to assess, diagnose, and resolve your writing challenges.