Write It Down: How a Written Memo Can Help You Gain Support For Your Ideas

Write a Memo to Help Refine Your Idea

Our time in the White House — Nick for four years, Marina for a year — helped build our memo writing skills. Sometimes you would have months or weeks to write a memo — and sometimes you only had a few hours. Our experience quickly taught us the power of persuasive, brief memos to pitch an idea.

Write a Memo to Establish A Common Understanding

Of course, the White House isn’t the only culture that prizes memo writing. Amazon, under Jeff Bezos, eschews PowerPoint presentations in favor of a six-page memo. It forces Amazon employees to explain the problem, discuss alternatives, and argue for a course of action, all in prose.

Write a Memo to Persuade Others

Most of the time, however, your memo will be read asynchronously and your readers won’t have the luxury of time set aside in a meeting to fully absorb its content. More often, they will glance at it right before the meeting or discussion of the topic. A concise and persuasive memo will help you take advantage of every opportunity to get your ideas in front of the right people.

Learn More About the Power of the Written Memo

How do you get your ideas heard at work?



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Nick Sinai

Nick Sinai

Senior Advisor at Insight Partners; Adjunct Faculty at Harvard; former US Deputy CTO at White House; Author of Hack Your Bureaucracy