Atul Gawande and Checklists as the Solution to Civilization’s Problems

I can’t get enough of Atul Gawande and his approach, so here is his recent TED talk that I think has the most profound implications of any recent TED talk for how we run the world, and tackle our most pressing problems, including conflict. Process, discipline, humility, check lists, admitting and learning from mistakes are what it is all about in any field of expertise these days, especially conflict.

And below that are some of his most powerful quotes

  • You can’t make a recipe for something as complicated as surgery. Instead, you can make a recipe for how to have a team that’s prepared for the unexpected. 
  • Making systems work is the great task of my generation of physicians and scientists. But I would go further and say that making systems work — whether in healthcare, education, climate change, making a pathway out of poverty — is the great task of our generation as a whole. 
  • The pre-penicillin era] was when the core structure of medicine was created. … It was at a time when what was known, you could know. You could hold it all in your head and you could do it all. (In medicine,] we have trained, hired and rewarded people to be cowboys, but it’s pit crews that we need. 
  • Having great components is not enough, and yet we’ve been obsessed in medicine with components. We want the best drugs, the best technologies, the best specialists, but we don’t think too much about how it all comes together. 
  • Just using a checklist requires [doctors] to embrace different values from ones we’ve had, like humility, discipline, teamwork.
You can links to all the talks when he said these quotes at: 
Atul Gawande:

About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict Processes, PERSONAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION: CREATIVE STRATEGIES, Ways to handle conflict and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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