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The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right Hardcover – December 22, 2009
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Amazon Exclusive: Malcolm Gladwell Reviews The Checklist Manifesto
Malcolm Gladwell was named one of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2005. He is most recently the author of What the Dog Saw (a collection of his writing from The New Yorker) as well as the New York Times bestsellers Outliers, The Tipping Point, and Blink. Read his exclusive Amazon guest review of The Checklist Manifesto:
Over the past decade, through his writing in The New Yorker magazine and his books Complications and Better, Atul Gawande has made a name for himself as a writer of exquisitely crafted meditations on the problems and challenges of modern medicine. His latest book, The Checklist Manifesto, begins on familiar ground, with his experiences as a surgeon. But before long it becomes clear that he is really interested in a problem that afflicts virtually every aspect of the modern world--and that is how professionals deal with the increasing complexity of their responsibilities. It has been years since I read a book so powerful and so thought-provoking.
Gawande begins by making a distinction between errors of ignorance (mistakes we make because we don't know enough), and errors of ineptitude (mistakes we made because we don’t make proper use of what we know). Failure in the modern world, he writes, is really about the second of these errors, and he walks us through a series of examples from medicine showing how the routine tasks of surgeons have now become so incredibly complicated that mistakes of one kind or another are virtually inevitable: it's just too easy for an otherwise competent doctor to miss a step, or forget to ask a key question or, in the stress and pressure of the moment, to fail to plan properly for every eventuality. Gawande then visits with pilots and the people who build skyscrapers and comes back with a solution. Experts need checklists--literally--written guides that walk them through the key steps in any complex procedure. In the last section of the book, Gawande shows how his research team has taken this idea, developed a safe surgery checklist, and applied it around the world, with staggering success.
The danger, in a review as short as this, is that it makes Gawande’s book seem narrow in focus or prosaic in its conclusions. It is neither. Gawande is a gorgeous writer and storyteller, and the aims of this book are ambitious. Gawande thinks that the modern world requires us to revisit what we mean by expertise: that experts need help, and that progress depends on experts having the humility to concede that they need help. --Malcolm Gladwell
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
The author's key message is that the volume and complexity of knowledge today has exceeded any single individual's ability to manage it consistently without error despite material advances in technology, boatloads of more training and super-specialization of functions and responsibilities. Yet, despite demonstrating that checklists produce results, there is resistance to their use because of the (1) Master of Universe mentality (Rock Star; Fighter Pilot; Hero), (2) our jobs are too complex to reduce to a checklist, (3) checklists are too rigid and don't force us to look up and see and think ahead of what's in front of us. Yet, in a complex environment, he states that experts are up against 2 difficulties - the fallibility of human memory when it comes to mundane, routine matters that are easily overlooked under the strain of more pressing events and secondly, people can lull themselves into skipping steps even when they remember them - after all certain steps don't always matter...until one day they do. Gawande makes a persuasive case in his book as to why you should develop and implement a process checklist for critical processes/decisions.
* Whether you are from the medical field or not, you will benefit from the inspiring thinking and insights.
* This book is game changing - a call-to-action for generating better results despite the pull to run with intuition or gut instinct.Read more ›
First, this is an easy-to-read, engaging book. I'll bet that you will find it hard to put down. It is interesting enough to make you want to read the book and serious enough to deliver important messages.
Second, the value of using checklists springs directly from the complexity of modern life, whether we're talking about surgery (the author is a surgeon), flying an airplane or building a skyscraper. By the way, in reading this book I have developed a newfound appreciation of how complex the construction business can be.
Third, checklists are not just for simple, straightforward tasks. Checklists help people communicate and work together better, especially when the unexpected occurs.
Fourth, checklists are important regardless of the time available. Indeed, when the cockpit crew of US Airways flight 1549 lost both engines over New York City, they had only three minutes of airtime remaining. The first thing they did was to get out their checklists. (You can read Captain Sully Sullenberger's excellent book for more details.)
Fifth, checklist usage has saved numerous lives, including one of Dr. Gawande's patients. His candor in discussing that episode is laudable.
Sixth, humans being human, mistakes will inevitably occur.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A bit sobering to find out what really goes on around the O.R., but the applications for checklists is impressivePublished 21 hours ago by OhioSteve
The idea presented in this book is simple but powerful: the world and our systems are so complex that no human can remember everything all the time, so use checklists to manage... Read morePublished 8 days ago by lorimaile
what a fabulous book! Motivating and self helping! I must get going on getting my own checklists in order!Published 13 days ago by A Searcher of Life
Whilst a valuable topic it could have been covered in a medium length blog post. Page after page, chapter after chapter churning out illustrations of the same point until finally... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Warwick Davis
A very well written book with insight that could help in any work or personal situation.Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
I have observed the surgical checklist in practice before I read this book, and knew that OR teams had great faith in it. Now, I appreciate it even more. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Kindle Customer
This is not what I expected. It does a great job of explaining the power of checklists. It tells stories about how checklists have led to great improvements. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Heather J.