The paratrooper — Flawless execution requires checklists not super-humans

One thing that surprised me when I spent time with Canada and America’s elite soldiers was that they were certainly intelligent and athletic, but they weren’t as I had imagined: super-human. What truly set them apart was practice and training — a lot of this training came down to learning procedures, or checklists very, very well. Parachute school, or “Jump school” exemplifies this. Jumping out of a plane is easy, landing happens, but to jump in a large group, at low altitude in the middle of the night at high speeds with so much gear that two people have to help you stand, requires flawless execution (or when you jump out you scrape your helmet along the fuselage, twist the lines of your chute and barrel to the earth at high speeds — you don’t walk off the drop-zone).

Speak with us now about how to enable your team with mobile checklists! →

(Or drop and give me 50!!)

Jump school is a really tough course and most fail, not because of their physical fitness (there is a crazy amount of push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, running etc.), but because they fail to master the procedures, or steps in the right sequence as they should be done.

With checklists you can transform your business from mediocre to elite, overnight.

Where it matters that things are done right, you need great, constantly evolving procedures that are documented. The best tool for following a procedure is either a brutal three week intense course where that procedure is drilled into your muscle memory, or more practically, a checklist (for more on this, Read @AtulGawande‘s book, Checklist Manifesto, a brilliant book).

Photo: The Author, Ian Howard, in his Jump Course graduation photo with Canada’s best.

Where practical (not at 850′ in a plane, at night under red lights at 130 knots) the military loves checklists and that is why the best militaries are so professional, they execute procedures flawlessly and use checklists either mental or when they can physical.

The ability to create digital and mobile checklists to document the work you do, and to check it, is the part of BuiltSpace that this ex-soldier thinks can turn your business from mediocre to exceptional overnight.

With these checklists you can assure that all of your people follow the best process to fix, repair, maintain or do whatever it is that your company does. Even better, with the power of smart phones and tablets, and BuiltSpace, as your team checks off their work, it is stored forever and accessible by whomever you want to see it. You and your customer then know that the right work was done, the right way and they are happy to sign that cheque (check).

Another beliver in checklists and elite business person, is Mike Lipkin, and his work on “The Checklists of Champions.”