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The Power of the Humble Checklist

| July 29, 2008

by Jim Bruce

In my reading not long ago I found a pointer to a short piece by Sean Silverthorne – “The Power of the Humble Checklist“.  As the author points out, and as I will confirm, having a standard checklist for complex, but nevertheless, routine tasks – e.g., the pilot’s pre-flight checklist or the hospital’s safe-surgery checklist – is lifesaving and invaluable.  

I’ve also found that having a carefully developed checklist for my important, even one-of, activities can prevent embarrassing moments as well as wasting time for me and others.  For me, this will often take the form of a detailed list of actions that I must take to reach a particular goal.

For another take on this subject see Dan and Chip Heath’s “Heroic Checklist”.

I think you’ll find these two pieces to be an interesting read and even, perhaps, you’ll find a new practice (or two or three . . . ) you want to develop.

Have a great week.  .  .  .  .     jim