Ever had a conversation with anyone about a third party when you asked this question; "What on earth was he or she thinking?" You might have been talking about one of the kids, one of your peers or perhaps even one of your Directors. In the past when you have made a decision that didn't work out so well. What on earth were you thinking?
Just before the Titanic sailed from Southampton heading for New York on April 10th, 1912, its Directors replaced the second officer, David Blair, with the more experienced Charles Lightoller. Blair never got around to giving, and Lightoller never got around to asking for, the keys to a locker that contained the ship’s binoculars.
At any point before disaster struck, did anybody in charge suggest that binoculars might be necessary for lookouts. Did anyone do a risk assessment or make an apreciation? Did someone not deem the safety of the ship worth breaking the lock to get the binoculars. Was the disaster caused by a poor cost-benefit analysis?
Around midnight on the night of April 14th, 1912, four days into the Titanic’s maiden voyage, lookout Frederick Fleet spotted an iceberg and alerted the bridge. The officer in charge ordered evasive action. Given the distance to the iceberg, the ship's speed and mass, basic physics made it impossible for the ship to manoeuvre away in time to avoid the collision.
Of the 2224 passengers and crew aboard the ship, over 1500 lost their lives, making it one of modern history’s worst peacetime maritime disasters. In the subsequent investigation, lookout Frederick Fleet testified that he would have spotted the iceberg sooner, and the ship would thus have had more reaction time to steer away from a collision, if he’d only had binoculars...
Every civilisation in human history has went into decay and dissappeared. We are now for the first time a global civilisation. Are we evolving or are we in decline? Why is it that eight of the ten largest companies in the world did not even exist fifty years ago?
Questions, comments, answers. What are you thinking about now...