and other ramblings of a small business owner
I am delighted that I can, after all, read a book by a man without turning into a fiery ball of feminist rage. That’s a relief, I thought I was broken after my last review.
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande is a remarkable book. I’ve been aware of it for a while, having been drawn to it on the shelves in bookshops – the big “Checklist” on the spine always gets my attention. And a number of times I’ve picked it up and gone “oh, it’s about medical stuff” and put it back. However, I was doing a productivity course by Carl Pullein a couple of weeks ago (great course by the way) and he said something along the lines of “you MUST read this book”. So, I thought okay Carl I will give it a go.
And I’m so pleased I did.
Yes, on the face of it it’s not a book about how to improve your small business systems. The scenarios used in the book are surgery, flying planes, building, and a bit of investment. But, it is absolutely fascinating. It’s a very well written and enjoyable demonstration of the difference a checklist can make.
I’m already a big fan of checklists. I have a series of checklists I use in my business for jobs that I repeat regularly and they make a massive difference to me – it means I can can work through the tasks one by one without having to make sure I remember all the steps, the checklist does that for me. OK, in web design it’s not exactly a life or death situation, but it does take a lot of stress out of the job and saves a “oops, I forgot that” panic.
So, what I’ve taken away from this book is that I need to review and update my checklists and see if there is anything else I can create a checklist procedure for. This is something that any business will benefit from, whether big or small, working on your own or in teams. You might not think you’re a checklist kind of person, but how about if following a list for regularly repeated tasks helps free up your mind to be creative in other areas? Got to be good, right?
I give this book a wholehearted 10/10 and would encourage you to read it, it really is an eye opener and incredibly inspiring as to what you might be able to achieve with something as unassuming as a list.
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