"The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right" by Atul Gawande

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Title: The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
Author: Atul Gawande
Start Date: 3/18/16
End Date: 3/26/16
# of Pages: 224
Edition: Metropolitan Books hardcover (2009)

Favorite Quotes: (1) “Failures of ignorance we can forgive. If the knowledge of the best thing to do in a given situation does not exist, we are happy to have people simply make their best effort. But if knowledge exists and is not applied correctly, it is difficult not to be infuriated…It is not for nothing that philosophers gave these failures so unmerciful a name - ineptitude.” (2) “Good checklists, on the other hand, are precise. They are efficient, to the point, and easy to use even in the most difficult situations. They do not try to spell out everything - a checklist cannot fly a plane. Instead, they provide reminders of only the most critical and important steps - the ones that even the highly skilled professionals using them could miss. Good checklists are, above all, practical. The power of checklists is limited…They can help experts remember how to manage a complex process or configure a complex machine. They can make priorities clearer and prompt people to function better as a team. By themselves, however, checklists cannot make anyone follow them.”

Why I Chose It: CGP Grey (popular YouTuber and cohost of the podcast “Hello Internet”) recommended this book. And I like the concept of using checklists.

Other Notes: The most prominent thought I had while finishing the book is that Gawande’s entire argument about the usefulness and importance of using simple checklists leans heavily on both humility as an attitude to develop and as a recognition of the susceptibility of even the most intelligent people to make simple, avoidable mistakes.

BooksKarl Magnuson