The Checklist Manifesto

The Checklist Manifesto My office is filled with notebooks of various types, and my desk surface is covered with a big scratchpad. I make lots of lists: to-do lists, checklists, ‘action items’, etc. I love the fact that Atul Gawande has taken the time to write down his thoughts and experiences with checklists. Even more, I love the fact that a book like this is so lively, well-written, and fun. When I first received the book (as a Christmas present), I wasn’t that excited about it – but after reading the first few pages I was hooked. Gawande delves into his own experiences as a surgeon in a sobering and kind of frightening look at how an operating room actually works, then explains in detail how the addition of a simple checklist that includes seemingly obvious items such as “make sure all the O.R. staff introduce themselves before beginning” can pay off with significant rewards. Did you know that the B-17, the plane that some experts say won World War II, was considered ‘unflyable’ by early test pilots? Gawande does – he delves into the history of the plane and the first test flights, telling the story of how the B-17 became the first aircraft to use pre-flight checklists and how those checklists helped the plane realize it’s spot as the number one bomber of WWII. The Checklist Manifest...

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