It’s (finally) spring here in Cleveland, and that means it’s time to clean out my office. I’ve got an entire shelf of books here that I’ve accumulated in the past 12 months that aren’t doing much, so during the next few weeks I’m going to send them to a few lucky readers.
First up is “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande. I wrote about this one in a recent column:
In his latest book, “The Checklist Manifesto,” Gawande talks about how simple checklists have helped doctors in ICUs across the country reduce infection rates to statistically zero. They make sure doctors remember stuff like wash your hands before operating and cover the patient in sterile cloths before you cut him open. Not rocket science, but easy enough to overlook in a crowded operating room.
The checklist programs started with nurses, the people doing most of the hands-on work with patients day to day. They really caught on after hospital administrators gave nurses the power to call out doctors when they missed key steps on the list.
Gawande describes three types of problems these lists help solve: simple, complicated and complex. A simple problem is like replacing a light bulb. It has a few steps that anyone could accomplish, and repeat. A complicated problem is one that involves lots of people and decisions, but can be divided into many simple problems – like launching a rocket.
It’s a quick read, and this slightly dog-eared copy is already lovingly annotated for increased ease of use.
It’s all yours. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and include a note about a simple process or tactic you’ve implemented in your business that has made you more efficient.