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The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
In his latest bestseller, Atul Gawande shows what the simple idea of the checklist reveals about the complexity of our lives and how we can deal with it.81% (17)
The modern world has given us stupendous know-how. Yet avoidable failures continue to plague us in health care, government, the law, the financial industry—in almost every realm of organized activity. And the reason is simple: the volume and complexity of knowledge today has exceeded our ability as individuals to properly deliver it to people—consistently, correctly, safely. We train longer, specialize more, use ever-advancing technologies, and still we fail. Atul Gawande makes a compelling argument that we can do better, using the simplest of methods: the checklist. In riveting stories, he reveals what checklists can do, what they can’t, and how they could bring about striking improvements in a variety of fields, from medicine and disaster recovery to professions and businesses of all kinds. And the insights are making a difference. Already, a simple surgical checklist from the World Health Organization designed by following the ideas described here has been adopted in more than twenty countries as a standard for care and has been heralded as “the biggest clinical invention in thirty years” (The Independent).
Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2009: With a title like The Checklist Manifesto, it would be natural to expect that Atul Gawande is bent on revolutionizing that most loved-hated activity of workers the world over: the to-do list. But it's not the list itself he wants to change; there are no programmatic steps or tables here to help you reshuffle daily tasks. What you'll find instead is a remarkably liberating and persuasive inquiry into what it takes to work successfully and with a personal sense of satisfaction. The first thing you'll realize is that it takes more than just one person to do a job well. This is a toppling revelation made all the more powerful by Gawande's skillful blend of anecdote and practical wisdom as he profiles his own experience as a surgeon and seeks out a wide range of other professions to show that a team is only as strong as its checklist--by his definition, a way of organizing that empowers people at all levels to put their best knowledge to use, communicate at crucial points, and get things done. Like no other book before it, The Checklist Manifesto is at once a restorative call to action and a welcome voice of reason. --Anne Bartholomew
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
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A Handbook For An Organized LifeRelated topics:
If you've ever wished for a class in Coping 101, or a guide to living more efficiently and with less stress, this book is for you! Over 100 sensible checklists offer quick tips and expert advice to make your life easier at work, at home, and through all of life's ups and downs.
Arranged by subject, from Personal Safety to Home Maintenance to Social Life, these lists will help you know what to ask, what to do, and what to have on hand in any situation.
What to do when your wallet is stolen
How to stock a bar
Questions to ask when hiring a contractor
What to keep in your medicine cabinet
Frequently overlooked tax deductions
How to be friends with your computer
The best and worse places to hide valuables
What to keep in a safe deposit box
Six steps of bare minimum housework
How to organize your file cabinet
How to cure your dying houseplants
Tips for writing an effective complaint letter
Tipping: who and how much
A countdown to moving day
At some point in our lives, we all wish life had come with an instruction manual; a little something to help us navigate the labyrinth of this complex world with a touch of grace and dignity. Is it so much to ask? Luckily for us, Kirsten M. Lagatree has risen to the challenge. Checklists for Life offers 104 lists that can help you with all those nagging little uncertainties, from organizing your closet to choosing a lawyer. "Show me a successful person," asserts Lagatree, "and I'll show you a list-maker.... Lists ensure that the job gets done correctly and completely--and with the added finesse that springs from an uncluttered mind."
Categorized into personal safety, getting organized, stocking up, home maintenance, housework, flowers and plants, social life, correspondence, death, children, moving, travel, health, the law, your money, professional life, your computer, and your car, many of the lists in this book consist, as she points out, of commonsense advice. Others, though, are less obvious. For instance, her advice on extras to pack when you go abroad (electricity converters, adapters, pre-addressed envelopes and Benadryl, just to name a few) and choosing realtors (Do they insist on a buyer/broker contract? Do they use a computer to help find homes?) are clearly the product of experience. While all the lists are highly helpful--the checklist for organizing your workspace alone is worth the price of the book--the best seem to be those for less common events, such as buying and moving to a new home or preparing for court. Lagatree has clearly done her research on these topics and her advice will save you time, money, and a great deal of stress. --Laszlo Simonyi
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