Mighty but humble, the checklist saves lives

02/10/2009 | Financial Times (free content)

Capt. Chesley Sullenberger gets the credit for landing the US Airways flight on the Hudson River, but can we save some praise for the co-pilot's crackerjack use of checklists? Jeffrey Skiles contributed to the outcome by adeptly following the engine-failure and water-ditching checklists. Checklists -- whether for surgeons, investment bankers or pilots -- help teams focus and coordinate, says Gary Klein, a cognitive psychologist. "If you can trust everyone on your team or crew to follow the checklist, it makes everyone's actions predictable."

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