Friday, April 23, 2010

"The Checklist Manifesto" by Atul Gawande

Finished reading "The Checklist Manifesto" by noted surgeon Atul Gawande and found it to be a fairly interesting book.

Gawande is the author of two bestsellers that I enjoyed quite a bit, "Complications" and "Better"... both about his experiences as a doctor. Where "The Checklist Manifesto" diverged is that is covered not just medicine, but the wider-reaching concept of using a checklist in the pursuit of excellence. Fields discussed in the book range from aviation (where the checklist is perhaps most ingrained) to investing, building and yes... surgery.

While I found definite value in the checklist concept, I was more captivated by his prior two books in that they were all about a topic that he's dedicated his time to. Gawande is a good writer (contributes frequently to The New Yorker), though, and I'm interested in his National Magazine Award winning piece "The Cost Conundrum" (on health care expenditures in McAllen, TX) linked to from his website.

I'd recommend "The Checklist Manifesto" to anyone who either enjoyed Gawande's previous two books or is interested in the idea of peak performance and how to attain it in a given effort.