Freeing time higher up
Too many novice checklisters assume that following a checklist in their daily procedures will hinder their efficiency and enforce a rigid or static way of working. Try again.
In operating rooms where wasting even seconds can mean life or death, checklists are consulted every step of the way. When a plane’s engine is failing and 300 lives are (literally) hanging between life and death, a pilot’s first response is to consult an emergency checklist.
The best checklists are clear, simple and brief. Following well-crafted checklists, therefore, will not hinder your efficiency, but enable it. Checklists contain the bare minimum of steps needed to complete a task, ensuring you’ve ticked off the essential components while making you think twice about adding unnecessary steps.
The time checklists save converts to time for you to do what you do best: the stuff other people really can’t do. In the financial services industries, this is connecting with your clients, understanding their financial position and taking the time to work with them to achieve their full potential.
When people with greater expertise in an area (i.e. senior staff) design basic checklists for lower-ranked staff to customise and utilise in their work, it reduces questioning and clarification time with senior staff dramatically. At the same time, it empowers employees with a sense of responsibility in the work that they do. Win-win.
Checklists are your key to freedom. It sounds odd – many of you think of a checklist as a list of rules. Perhaps a checklist does require a certain degree of conformity, but the result is your personal freedom. Appreciate the irony.