3 books to add to your August reading list


This is the eighth in a year-long series where I share my top risk management reading recommendations. These are the books I regularly consult regarding the discipline of risk management and related issues. Each of them gives you guidance on how to recognize, prioritize and mobilize solutions for the risks you face in your organization.

I’ve previously shared some tips for taking notes and summarizing key points from books I’ve read, as well as some recommendations for other publications that will help you keep up with trends. Let me know what works for you, then check out my reading suggestions for August:

Blue Threat: to err is inhuman

By Tony Kern

Dr. Kern is one of the smartest people in America and anything he writes I will read because he is a wonderful writer. This work is simply phenomenal – and it attacks my favorite subject – how to eliminate “error”. Most of the tragedies I have studied in so many different disciplines are about good people making honest mistakes. This can be corrected, and Dr. Kern gives great ideas on how to do it. A must read for all in the field of “risk”.

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Do It Right

By Atul Gawande

This is the first book I’ve read by this author, but I have to get the others. This is a brilliant article on the importance of checklists and how they work. He uses real examples from his profession as a doctor but gives concrete examples from the construction industry, aviation and law enforcement. Many of the “mistakes” we make could have been avoided if a checklist had been put in place and taken seriously.

Just Culture: Restore trust and accountability in your organization

By Sidney Dekker

This work focuses on the importance of “flagging systems”, how they work and why they don’t work. Although the aim of the book is to remove the “criminal prosecution” component from the equation when someone makes a mistake on the job, there is plenty of other valuable information about creating a reporting system that works. This work was close to my heart because of my involvement in FirefighterCloseCalls.com and though I do not agree with all of its recommendations, I recommend the book for your consideration.

That’s all for this month. Let me know what you think of these books and share your leadership and risk management reading recommendations. Email [email protected]


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