And I'm not just reciprocating when I say that Daphne's excellent blog is one of the handful I especially recommend. For others, scroll about halfway down the left column.
In this knowledge economy, writing is the chief value-producing activity. But you may not be writing as well as you could. That may be because you think writing requires a special talent.
In fact, writing is a process that can be managed, like any other business process. If you can manage people, money, or time—then you can manage your writing.
And you can profit from the result.
—Kenneth W. Davis
Dr. Ken Davis is former professor and chair of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and president of Komei, Inc., a global training and consulting firm. His clients have included the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, the Republic of Botswana, IBM, the International Monetary Fund, and the U.S. Social Security Administration.
With more than 30 years experience as a business writer, editor, and trainer, Ken has served as director at large of the Association for Business Communication and is immediate past president of the Association of Professional Communication Consultants. He lives in New Mexico with his wife and business partner, Bette Davis.
Through speaking, training, and executive coaching, Ken helps people and organizations improve their chief value-producing activity: writing. Thousands of knowledge workers have profited from Ken's unique Manage Your Writing® method. This method is the basis for Ken's latest book, The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course in Business Writing and Communication, which has been translated into Mandarin.
Manage Your Writing, 1800 Western Hills Road, S.E., Rio Rancho, NM 87124, USA
Manage Your Writing® is a program of Komei, Inc.
Copyright © 2010 by Komei, Inc.
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Manage Your Writing® training and coaching have been delivered on three continents, and to thousands of people in hundreds of organizations large and small.
To explore how Manage Your Writing® speaking, training, or coaching can help you, contact Kenneth W. Davis, ken@ManageYourWriting.com
We subscribe to the Code of Ethics of the Association of Professional Communication Consultants.
Kenneth W. Davis: The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course in Business Writing and Communication, Second Edition
Winner of the 2005 Excellence in Writing Award of the Association of Professional Communication Consultants. Also published in Mandarin Chinese.
The e-book Manage Your Writing can help you become a more efficient and effective business writer.
PalmPower Magazine Enterprise Edition named it an Enterprise Book of the Month.
Please help yourself to a free copy, for your computer or PDA:
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning
Several recent popular books stress the growing importance of communication in business. Among the best are these. In this book, the psychologist who gave us the "flow" model, discussed in Chapter 5 of the McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course, applies that model broadly to the leadership of organizations.
Richard Saul Wurman: Information Anxiety 2
The father of "information architecture" beautifully displays specific strategies for fighting the war against info-glut.
Terry Pearce: Leading Out Loud: Inspiring Change Through Authentic Communications
A leading executive coach presents a remarkably deep and broad discussion of leading through communicating with integrity.
Mark H. McCormack: On Communicating
The famed sports marketer shares his street-smarts on effective business communication.
Tom Peters: The Brand You 50
This small book, one of a trilogy called Reinventing Work, offers fifty tools for becoming a "brand," whether as an entrepreneur or as an employee.
Levine, Locke, Searls, and Weinberger: The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual
Born on a Web site, this book signals what I predict will eventually be seen as the biggest change in the history of business communication—the change discussed, in connection with this book, in Appendix A of the McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course.
Sam Deep and Lyle Sussman: What to Say to Get What You Want
Almost all business communication guides give us the "how" of speaking and writing. This book gives us the "what," by portraying 44 types of bosses, employees, coworkers, and customers, and advising us on what to say to each.
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
Be careful when you choose a dictionary: small paperbacks generally aren’t complete enough for business writers, and many hardback dictionaries are out of date or badly edited—even many that carry the name Webster’s, which isn’t a trademark. Fortunately, several reliable hardback “desk” dictionaries are available. I recommend these two. This first is the most attractive and readable of the major dictionaries, with particular strengths in word histories and usage.
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition with CD-ROM and Online Subscription
The most widely used desk dictionary.
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage
Usage guides cover the etiquette of language, from when you can split infinitives to whether you can say "prioritize." Of the many usage guides available, I recommend this one.
Alred, Brusaw, and Oliu: Business Writer's Handbook
This A-Z reference book can answer lots of specific questions at each step in the writing process.
Blake and Bly: Elements of Business Writing
This book lists 67 principles of good writing, with about two pages each of details and examples.
Richard Lanham: Revising Business Prose
Taking the same basic approach to revision as I do, this book has gained wide recognition for its "paramedic method" of revising.
Joseph M. Williams: Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace
Although it doesn’t focus on business writing, Williams’s book is another excellent resource for revision.
William Sabin: The Gregg Reference Manual
Although I don't have detailed knowledge of Gregg, it is widely used as a business writing style manual and has been enthusiastically recommended to me.
Lee Clark Johns: The Writing Coach
This large-format book, by a leading writing consultant, is dedicated "to everyone who 'writes for a living'—which means almost all working adults."
David Allen: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Two other books, though not directly focused on writing, present two of the most useful sets of tools I use as a business writer. As I discuss in the Introduction to the McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Guide, this first book has been invaluable in helping me learn to manage my writing—and much of the rest of my life.
Tony Buzan: The Mind Map Book
Written by the great popularizer of mind-mapping, this beautifully illustrated book is still the best introduction to the subject.