It was 100 years exactly on May 5, 2012 when the famous RMS Titanic Vessel sank while on its maiden voyage to America. To many people, it was an ordeal remembered today, only for the 1,517 lives that were lost in the tragedy.
But from business point of view, there are many lessons for business leaders to learn, as we all know that an ocean liner is a floating business, and a discipline of execution of strategies can make a huge impact in the results we produce. The Titanic experience is similar to a modern day business in very many respects; for example…
It cost $7.5 million to build; that would be an estimated $400 million in today’s value. The Construction of the ship took three years to complete, and on completion, RMS Titanic measured 882ft.9ins (about 269 meters) long. It was 92ft.6ins (approx. 28 meters) wide, and 175ft (53 meters) high. The investment in RMS Titanic was massive and met the expectation of a long-term focused investor of our time.
What one lesson can businesses learn from the Titanic experience especially with respect to strategy and execution?
Maintain a Crystal Clear Vision
When the Titanic was built, it was believed to be “Unsinkable” because of the sixteen watertight compartments that were masterfully made. Unfortunately as the ship hit iceberg, six of the “watertight” compartments were badly damaged to the extent that its water resistance capability was exposed, and the ship began to sink.
Similar to business execution, nothing should be taken for granted for any reason. As the crew of your business or organization, if your vision of where your organization is going is not clearly defined, you may run the risk of striking the “iceberg,” and your ship might sink.
Maintaining a vivid vision in business, and a discipline of execution cannot be compromised, as it serves as the compass that determines where you’re taking your organization. A crystal clear vision is the compelling picture of the result you and everyone in your organization are trying to create together, not only for your customers, but the entire stakeholders. To succeed at this, you must develop commitment to simple strategy and execution culture.
It’s the reason that wakes you up every morning to go to work; the produce, service, value, and impact you want to create or make to your whole world.
Your vision doesn’t have to be a prize-winning masterpiece. It simply has to be a thing that everyone understands and is passionately excited to pursue.
For your vision to be effectively accomplished you must over-communicate it. This is where many leaders fail; they make it look good on paper, but do nothing in telling the world what it is, and how it guides them to serve them.
The image that was painted of the Titanic was that of a masterpiece built to weather the storm. This is the same type of promotion many businesses make about their organizations. But in order to maintain a crystal clear vision, business execution leaders should never think of themselves as being invulnerable.