posted by: Sandra

Don’t underestimate ‘The Checklist’


Atul Gawande wrote ‘The Checklist Manifesto’ a few years ago. It’s not something I would pick up in a bookshop and it’s never been recommended to me by Amazon. I was given this book by a close friend. She loved it and thought I would get something from it too. Atul Gawande is an American surgeon, writer, and public health researcher and while I trusted the judgment of my friend I couldn’t work out why a whole book had been dedicated to such an obvious topic! Then I read it!

Atul describes how lives are saved when surgeons use a checklist either when undertaking ‘routine’ operations or faced with sudden life-threatening situations and businesses save millions of dollars when they use the checklist during complex contract negotiations. There are countless other examples, but these have stayed with me.

But how does Atul’s work apply to events?

Live events are full-on. I always picture events like the pit stop at a Formula One race. The car pulls in off the track and for a short time ‘winning the race’ depends on the people completing their specific task under pressure with confidence and precision. The car stops and everyone in the team carry out their mental checklist. The fastest team has completed a pit stop in 1.92 seconds (2016 European Grand Prix).

Events aren’t completed in 1.92 seconds but they are intense and exhilarating at the same time! They require checklists to run smoothly!

Chameleon is a production company often responsible for delivering engaging experiences to thousands of people on one day, in a range of spaces at one location, with dozens of presenters and their messages, using complex equipment to create exceptional sound quality, dynamic lighting solutions, and inspiring technology! With so many people involved in the setup and delivery of these events and the degree of precision required to make the impact the client is expecting – they use checklists in their project management, the management of equipment and even in their marketing activity!

Checklists can transform the way you work and the way you work with others. They save you a considerable amount of time and money. If you work in events and you’re looking to continually improve what you do take a look at The Checklist Manifesto, I couldn’t put it down!