Having just returned from Belfast, where the Titanic was constructed and launched, I can’t help but draw out some lessons from the mighty ship.
- Bigger doesn’t mean better. The ‘unsinkable’ proposition was flawed, afterall she was made of iron (a lot of it) which sinks. Arrogance stymied the ability to listen to smart people about a) the need to travel at a slower-than-target speed through the ice minefield and b) the need to sort out the insufficiency of lifeboats (disregarded for cost and cosmetic reasons).
- Multiple forces are at play in most things. And in Titanic’s case, it was the combination of speed, ice, possibly fire, poor vision (lack of binoculars), lack of lifeboats and poor communication (to name a few) which led to the great loss of life.
- Watch out for icebergs. Icebergs are often a metaphor for problems that we only have a surface-level understanding of … so if you can’t avoid them, sometimes it’s better to hit them head on rather than scrape past.