Flying home from Dallas yesterday I picked up the latest issue of The Week which is a weekly magazine which acts as an aggregator of other published materials. If you haven’t ever checked it out before you can do so here.
In the “Last Word” column they featured this article on the usage of checklists from a recently released book. I thought it was a good reminder of how this simple tool can help us remember important details & act as a tool for scaling various tasks.
Here are a few points I found especially interesting:
*”…we have just two reasons that we may nonetheless fail. The first is ignorance—we may err because science has given us only a partial understanding of the world and how it works. There are heart attacks we still haven’t learned how to stop, skyscrapers we do not yet know how to build. The second type of failure the philosophers called ineptitude—because in these instances the knowledge exists, yet we might fail to apply it correctly.”
*”The reason that our failures remain frequent is increasingly evident: The volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably.”
*”That means we need a different strategy for overcoming failure, one that takes advantage of the knowledge people have, but somehow also makes up for our inevitable human inadequacies. And there is such a strategy—though it will seem almost ridiculous in its simplicity, maybe even crazy to those of us who have spent years carefully developing ever more advanced skills and technologies.
It is a checklist.”