WISDOM – The Checklist Manifesto – Atul Gawande

Main learning outcome
Systematic frameworks, such as checklists, tend to help us make the most of our capabilities and knowledge in hyper complex and stressful situations.

Checklists are tried and tested instruments that support complex decision making process. Their use in Aeronautics led surgeon Atul Gawande to partner with World Health Organization to study their potential use in the field of medicine. While working on such project, Gawande witnessed checklists’ use in fields such as construction or investment. Leveraging on such experiences and best practices, he designed medical checklists with data-backed proven efficiencies.

Why are checklists useful?

  • They foster collaboration and encourage information sharing, leading to collective empowerment
  • They help to address recurring mistakes
  • They support rational approach to otherwise emotionally involving decision making (for instance under pressure or involving potential financial gain)

How to build useful checklists?

  • Explain and document how you wish to use this checklist – it won’t be self evident for most users
  • Keep it short
  • Focus on core elements
  • Be specific, also on timing of such checks
  • Try and test, again and again
  • Date it – so it can be updated

Bridging the implementation gap

  • Review my existing checklists, leveraging on above principles
  • Expend the use of checklist to investment decisions
  • Print and display checklists

View the book (or ebook) The Checklist Manifesto on Amazon

Read in April-May 2019

How I came across The Checklist Manifesto
The book happened to be quoted on several occasions in podcasts, namely on Tim Ferriss’ show with Ramit Sethi and was featured in Tim’s blogpost The Unusual Books That Shaped Billionaires, Mega-Bestselling Authors, and Other Prodigies

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