Monday, May 03, 2010

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

I was recommended this book by an old colleague/friend. I have to day I was a little sceptical and was not full with great confidence by the first couple of chapters. It was not that I thought the author was wrong in any way, but I did think it was going to be another of those business books that only had one relatively trivial thing to say, but fills the book saying the same thing over and over again.

However, I am very pleased to say this book was much better than I expected. It shows how the very simple concept of a checklist, if done well, can have a great impact at reducing risks. But this has less to do with the fact that steps to be performed have been written down and more to do with the cultural change that takes place, with people communicating better, working as a team and accepting that they cannot remember everything.

Equally, the author points out that getting people to accept checklists is not easy. It is difficult to explain why, but it is almost that the idea is too simple and so people somehow feel it cannot possibly help them improve.

The book has certainly got me thinking, and I will be blogging more over the coming weeks once I have had time to reflect.

The book is available from Amazon (current price £6.50) at

The Checklist Manifesto: How to get things right

Also, as an audio book

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right