Collision Course

How Good Business Decisions Sank the Titanic (and why you're making the same mistakes)

Think you make good business decisions? Think again.

The Titanic sank not because of pride, greed, or poor business choices but because good corporate decisions were poorly applied and your business may be steaming toward the same fate. Making the startling assertion the best way to understand the Titanic disaster is as a business story, this book provides the untold story that has been overlooked for a century and has fascinated thousands of business professionals and students in the Washington, DC area.

Starting with the hours before the crash and working back through time, the book takes the reader into the planning and implementation stages of a decade of decisions that ultimately and unknowingly rendered Titanic vulnerable. These sound but fatal business choices were made by stakeholders all the way from the international holding company that owned Titanic down to the engineers, marketers, and officers.

Using historical data and tantalizing details, the book demonstrates how solid business decisions were blown off-course through poor situational awareness and shows how these same mistakes repeat themselves for disastrous results – from the bridge of the Titanic to the boardroom of Lehman Brothers. It demonstrates that a 360-degree view of risk and reward is crucial for planning competitive strategy and integrating new technology.

With analytic precision, the book traces each failure to a lack of proper alignment of people, processes and systems then shows the corresponding principles that lead to success. Each chapter concludes with questions helping the reader translate critical lessons from Titanic into smart strategies for their challenges today.

About the Author

Joseph Mortati learned to understand complexity while flying supersonic fighters in the U. S. Air Force. Adopting a “People, processes, and systems . . . in that order” view, he launched a successful business career and after 10 years running his own consulting practice, decided to write the untold story behind the Titanic.

A professor at American University’s Kogod School of Business, he teaches Information Systems and Operations Management. He previously taught at The Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, and George Mason University. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Rutgers University, and The Johns Hopkins University. This is his first book.