The Dream that was the Dreamliner

It’s been more than a month now since the grounding of the 787 Dreamliner, still, questions are up in the air, instead of on the ground being resolved.

What do I mean? Well sometimes when you are so into your product, you do not really see its possible hits and misses; it might also be that you simply can not accept whatever misgivings it may have, thence creating a perilous scenario.

Titanic Connection. Yes, in this instance, I’m referring to the ill-fated ship that sunk on its maiden voyage – the RMS Titanic.

Now, what does this ship have to do with the 787 airplane? Simple. Both were thought to be “game-changers” in the transportation industry. Both were introduced with great fanfare. And incidentally, it’s been a century since the Titanic tragedy (April 15, 1912) and when the Dreamliner ran into critical technical issues that eventually got the 787 grounded.

Isn’t that a bit eerie? Well hopefully soon, their safety problems would be resolved once and for all; but as a Leader, these incidents should teach you the value of humility.

Inspection and Repair. Most of the negative incidents point to either the battery or the electrical system as the culprit which explains the focus of the investigation.

But then, how many has actually been doing the inspection? How long has it been going on? See, so many eyes are on the battery and electrical system but they never really found the problem after all this time. It only shows that you may have the numbers and the tools but if you fail to broaden your search – you could miss out on the real cause.

What is this telling you? Thoroughly scan the “whole” wiring system, the whole plane – 20% on the battery and 80% on the rest of the plane, from the battery going out.

Not 99% of the effort on batteries and 1% on daydreaming wondering what could the problem be. Remember how to find something you lost? Do it.

The Future. While many are still positive about the Dreamliner’s future, take advantage. James McNerney, Boeing’s CEO, should use his time to recalibrate his sights on:

Passenger Safety. Don’t just sit there watching your men at work. Go to work. Emphasize guidelines on passenger safety, give a timetable and support your people then go on to the next task.

Public Relations. Whether customer, passenger, crew, media, or what have you – they are all waiting anxiously. Don’t try to hide an elephant. Don’t give false hopes or overly positive estimates but make things black and white.

Financial Situation. With the grounding and all, money would continue to leak from your coffers so, slow it down by being more efficient in the use of your resources; by updating the public on the problems and significant actions taken to rebuild trust; and by meeting schedules.

Never compromise safety for breakthroughs and profits, or else the dream that was will never be.

What’s your take?

One thought on “The Dream that was the Dreamliner

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