What readers are saying about Rewrite

Take a look at what people have been telling us about Rewrite.

How much is poor writing costing your organization? That is the question Lynda Harris addresses in her book Rewrite. She states, “Words come with a price tag.” And poor writing, whether it’s in a client report or a single email to a colleague, could be hurting your organization.

I enjoyed this book. Author Lynda Harris’s reader-focused approach to written communication aligns with the change recipient-centric approach to change. The value of any communication (written or verbal) is not in what we say. It is in what the other person or group hears and understands.

In this book Lynda outlines the principles, strategies, and a model to enable organizations to adopt a reader-focused approach for all their written communication. It is a helpful resource for any leader looking to get a higher return on their communication efforts.

Dr Dawn-Marie Turner
Turner Change Management Inc, thinktransition.com

I highly recommend Rewrite to anyone in business who cares about improving their brand and maximising their potential.

Being able to communicate effectively is a core requirement for any leader or business. Success in communications takes many forms and an ability to write succinctly, with empathy and impact is one of them. Like anything, making the complex simple is hard. But, as Rewrite author Lynda Harris point outs, it’s a prerequisite to getting your message across. This is all the more important in today’s world of over-information, where our attention span is dramatically reduced.

At Concentra, we often have to communicate complex ideas to a fairly broad audience. Not getting it right is going to hurt growth and adoption, and lead to a lot of wasted effort.

In Rewrite, Harris offers a convincing argument about the importance of effective and clear writing in any organisation. She also does an excellent job of guiding organisations through the process of changing their writing culture.

Rupert Morrison
Chief Executive Officer, Concentra

This book has a clear message for CEOs and senior leaders — words cost money.

Big changes happen in organizations when senior leaders direct the change. They make sure the resources needed to achieve success are available.
Rewrite: How to overcome daily sabotage of your brand and profit, expert communicator Lynda Harris speaks to CEOs and senior leaders about the high cost of bad writing in business and how to overcome it.

Ms. Harris says, “Like it or not, the way your people write affects your organization’s reputation, effectiveness, and profit or costs at almost every moment. Smart organizations recognize that words make their world go round.”

Rewrite is a handbook for improving bottom-line results by changing the way writers think. In it CEOs and senior leaders will find a model their organizations can follow and many practical tools. The book has lots of good examples of how to transform writing style to meet business needs.

Companies who communicate clearly appeal to consumers and so, without a doubt, have a competitive advantage over those who don’t or those who think they do but are really failing at it.

You will find this an easy book to, as Ms. Harris says, “dip in and out of.” It will benefit not only CEOs and senior leaders but all who want to help improve their organization’s bottom line.

Rae Sands
Assistant Vice-President and Senior Counsel, Sun Life Financial

Rewrite has given me a fresh perspective on maximising business results. As Director of Business Development for a large construction company, I’m used to looking for opportunities to grow our employee-owned organisation. But Rewrite really got me thinking. It made me think about how we can grow our business from the inside out. We’re used to looking at how we can generate profit through new construction ventures, but I love the idea of improving financial results through effective writing.

Another aspect of Rewrite that I appreciated was the accessibility of information. It’s written in a way that’s clear and easy to follow, with strategies for change that can easily apply to real world situations.

Rewrite is a book that I’ll store in easy reach, to refer to during any major change project.

Peter Wardell
Director of Business Development, Chandos

I love the clear, no-nonsense quantification Lynda Harris offers of the cost of bad writing. This ability to make the intangible tangible is what makes the content and language of Rewrite so powerful. This is not a book about change — it is a blueprint for change. And this nicely demonstrates Lynda’s point that clear writing makes action much easier and much more likely.

In my experience, change initiatives frequently face one of two problems.
1. People underestimate the challenge — they think it will be easy.
2. People overcomplicate it — they fail to keep it simple.

The Rewrite for Change Model, introduced in Part 2 of Lynda’s book, addresses both of these problems. It’s simple and can be easily understood at every level of an organisation. This means it will provide a useful touchstone for everyone involved in the process of adopting plain language.

But no one who engages with the Change Model could be forgiven for expecting the process to be easy. Rather, it shows that a thorough programme of training, support, and accountability will be required if a project is to succeed. Rewrite then goes on to share multiple examples of change projects, showing the challenges and successes organisations have faced in achieving this change.

Rewrite is a useful and interesting read, even if you don’t have a hankering to change the writing in your organisation. But if you do, I suspect the book will become a strong ally as you sell your change plans — and a bible as you deliver them.

Belinda Bryant
Team transformation specialist, Updraft (NZ)

I almost never post reviews, but this book is really a breath of fresh air. If the word “Rewrite” scares you, please get past that… Harris makes a strong business case for the value of easier, plain, clear writing, and does so (spoiler alert…) using plain, clear writing! This results in ideas that are easy to implement. Perhaps even more important, you’ll be able to convince colleagues of the ROI from creating organizational culture where clarity drives business results. I’m adding this book to the list of resources we recommend to the participants in our courses on how to make websites and documents accessible and useful for all.

David Berman
Author (Do Good Design [Pearson, 2013])

Many consultants, academics and business books promise organisational improvement, but few are as immediately practical and useful as Rewrite: How to overcome daily sabotage of your brand and profit. Author Lynda Harris argues that all words have a price tag and challenges the reader to face up to the costs and consequences of poor writing. Any of us who need to communicate for a living should sit up and take notice. Rewrite demonstrates in impressive detail what Gandhi meant when he said, “Your words become your actions, your actions become your habits.” The plain language habit is clearly worth developing.

David Glover
International speaker and strategist, Principal, Creative Strategies Ltd

Rewrite is a wake-up call for all organisations to examine their writing style — in terms of their bottom line and the impact on ordinary people’s lives.

Gregory Fortuin
Former Families Commissioner and Race Relations Conciliator

It’s hard to see why anyone would oppose plain English, so why isn’t it universally used? Like everything that’s done well, clear writing needs time and commitment, so organisations need to be convinced that it’s worthwhile. This book is packed with “war stories” from real organisations that show how they did it, and how their investment paid off. It’s an inspiring read for anyone who feels they are alone in the fight against gobbledygook.

Rob Waller
The Simplification Centre (UK)

Rewrite advances the simple proposition that clearer companies will be more profitable companies. Not a new idea, of course, but the book expounds it in a fresh and systematic way — “What oft was thought but ne’er so well express’d,” as Alexander Pope said — and supports it with case studies from organisations that have shifted their writing culture from obscurity to clarity. Showing how to create and apply a plain-language strategy, the book tells a powerful and instructive story. I strongly recommend it.

Martin Cutts
Author of The Oxford Guide to Plain English

As plain-language consultants and advocates, we’re haunted by the short-lived results of our work. The beautifully crafted copy that succumbs to top-management ‘edits’, the hours of staff training that have little or no impact because the boss — who was too busy to attend the course — doesn’t support their efforts. We know that enduring change requires the whole organisation to understand the value of clarity and commit to it. And yet, we rarely manage to persuade our clients to take this step. Rewrite will change that. It packs the arguments, the tools, and the stories we need to make our case and guide our clients through a real organisational change process.

Sandra Fisher-Martins
Founder and Special Advisor, Português Claro

Rifling through Rewrite, it’s obvious why Lynda has been internationally recognised as a world leader in plain language. Written in clear, concise plain English (of course), the book methodically covers a myriad of challenges facing people who need help with maximising the power of their brand through clear communication.

I highly and enthusiastically recommend [Rewrite] to anybody who cares about improving their brand, by ensuring their audiences and clients clearly understand the message.

Malcolm Bell
Former Principal Advisor, New Zealand Ministry of Education


Book launch review by Unity Books

Book review by Kate Harrison Whiteside, Key Advice and Services

‘Four ways your bad writing can damage your bottom line’ by Nikki Mandow, Idealog

Insights, tips, and professional development opportunities.