Stories | November 4, 2009

Make no mistake

The economics of avoiding errors

The economics of how to avoid mistakes is highlighted in London's free morning newspaper Metro today.

The economics of how to avoid mistakes is highlighted in London's free morning newspaper Metro today. It examines the book Errornomics, published this year and written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Joseph Hallinan. In it, Hallinan investigates why people make mistakes and how they can avoid them. One theory centres on a group working together rather than relying on the authority of the group's most senior member. Hallinan give the example of the crew of the US Airways flight 1549, who worked together to save the lives of 150 passengers when the plane crash landed on New York's Hudson River in January. The pilot Chesley Sullenberger did not take all the glory, instead "frequently credited his first officer and other people involved for the way they worked together to bring the plane in," Hallinan told the newspaper. "This theory collapses the authority of the captain and makes everyone a group of equals. As a result it's proven that you make far fewer errors." More about Errornomics is available on Hallinan's website.

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