Reading recommendations on risk management: 3 books to add to your August reading list

By: Gordon Graham


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

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I previously shared some tips for making notes and summarizing key points from the books I read, as well as some recommendations for other publications that will help you keep up with trends. Let me know 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 it because he is a wonderful writer. This work is simply phenomenal – and he attacks my favorite topic – how to eliminate “error.” Most of the tragedies I have studied in so many different disciplines get down to good people who make honest mistakes. This can be fixed, and Dr. Kern gives some excellent ideas on how to do so. A must-read for all in the “risk” business.

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

By Atul Gawande

This is the first book I have read by this author, but I must get the rest of them. It is a brilliant piece on the importance of checklists and how they work. He uses real examples from his profession of medicine but gives concrete examples from the construction industry, aviation and law enforcement. Many of the “errors” we make could have been prevented if a checklist was in place and taken seriously.

Just Culture: Restoring Trust and Accountability in Your Organization

By Sidney Dekker

This work surrounds the importance of “reporting systems” and how they work and why they don’t work. While the focus of the book is taking the “criminal prosecution” component out of the equation when someone makes a mistake at work, there is a lot of other valuable information about building a reporting system that works. This work was near and dear to my heart because of my involvement in and while I do not agree with all his recommendations, I recommend the book for your consideration.

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