Problems are Good

The best organizations in the world are not the ones with all the systems and procedures or even the most up-to-date technical solutions.

There were other causes, but let’s stick to these few. If any of these (and other) causes had been eliminated or mitigated, the Titanic would just be another big ship from the turn of the century. It would not have become famous.

The tragedy caused a firestorm of publicity and inquiries were immediately started in both the U.S. and England. These inquiries solved problems that were there, but until this incident, unrecognized. The problems, left unexamined, would have possibly resulted in numerous other tragedies.

The findings found by the inquiries and the subsequent changes to the law, design and maritime procedures have made traveling by ship an order of magnitude safer for everyone. In this way, the disaster led the way to a complete review of the ship, its systems and the whole maritime industry. Many problems were found and most were fixed.

Next time you have a problem - a big like the Titanic or a small one like a tire blowout, uncover the causes and use them as a viewing platform to look at your whole operating situation. DuPont does this and reaps an 11 to 1 return on investment from finding and fixing the causes of its problems.

Joel Levitt has trained over 6,000 maintenance leaders from over 3,000 organizations. Since 1980, he has been the president of Springfield Resources, a management consulting firm that services a variety of clients on a wide range of maintenance issues.

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