The Checklist Manifesto: How to get things right

The Checklist Manifesto: How to get things right

by Atul Gawande (Author)

Synopsis

Today we find ourselves in possession of stupendous know-how, which we willingly place in the hands of the most highly skilled people. But avoidable failures are common, and the reason is simple: the volume and complexity of our knowledge has exceeded our ability to consistently deliver it - correctly, safely or efficiently. In this groundbreaking book, Atul Gawande makes a compelling argument for the checklist, which he believes to be the most promising method available in surmounting failure. Whether you're following a recipe, investing millions of dollars in a company or building a skyscraper, the checklist is an essential tool in virtually every area of our lives, and Gawande explains how breaking down complex, high pressure tasks into small steps can radically improve everything from airline safety to heart surgery survival rates. Fascinating and enlightening, The Checklist Manifesto shows how the simplest of ideas could transform how we operate in almost any field.

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More Information

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Publisher: Profile Books
Published: 28 Jan 2010

ISBN 10: 1846683130
ISBN 13: 9781846683138
Book Overview: One of the top ten greatest doctors in the world looks at the lowly checklist, and how this simple idea - which is free to reproduce - will revolutionise the way we approach problems, and help save lives.

Media Reviews
A welcome book ... packed with vivid writing, heart-stopping anecdotes and statistical surprises * Financial Times *
This is not a paean to bureaucracy... Gawande... has an instinctive sense of how much jargon the lay reader will tolerate - how to maintain the balance between accessibility and precision. He manages to be vivid without being gruesome... Gawande's style is always clear, with the crispy lilt that is a trademark of the New Yorker -- Rafael Behr * Observer *
Atul Gawande [is] an oncologist, writer and contributor to the New Yorker, whose lucid, intelligent dispatches from the surgical front have entertained and terrified readers for a decade or so... [a] riveting and thought-provoking book -- David Aaronovitch * The Times *
A fascinating read * Catholic Herald *
He argues eloquently and persuasively for the humble checklist. His pitch is candid about the delusions we work under and insightful about our self-justifications for cutting corners * British Medical Journal *
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
Important as well as absorbing -- Steven Poole * Guardian *
A fascinating insight into the power of the humble to do list * Psychologies *
this important book teaches lessons that ought to be gratefully embraced by porfessionals in any complex field * Sydney Morning Herald *
Author Bio
One of the world's most distinguished doctors, Atul Gawande is a staff writer on the New Yorker, teaches surgery at Harvard Medical School and practises in Boston. He as advised President Clinton on health policies,and is also advisor to the WHO on surgery. The bestselling author of Better 9781861976574 and Complications 9781846681325, he has lectured in the UK and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford.