Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Success Tools: Checklists Revisited

I’ve posted recently about Charlie Munger and his recommendation that people employ checklists. Recently a post by Monica Jackson, which in turn linked to an article in the New Yorker reaffirmed the immense benefits of checklists, especially in Intensive Care settings. But I submit that Charlie Munger’s insistence on the use of checklists has even more far-reaching implications. We associate checklists often with aircraft takeoff procedures, because so many complex and critical procedures need to be performed in a synchronized and (hopefully) error-free manner. However, in our modern lives there are many areas of our lives that are increasingly complicated, and I think that is what Charlie Munger is getting at. As simple a task as going out on daily errands would benefit from a checklist procedure. So would locking up the house before a trip. Or meeting wth a handyman on a range of home improvement tasks. What about meetings which occur rarely, but with important professionals, such as attorneys or doctors?

The simple fact is, the case for “winging it” is weak, and getting weaker. The truly historic results achieved in the ICU environment even regarding well-known and “rote” procedures, is enough to give one pause.

Ok…that’s everything on my list.

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