Byron's Babbles

Insane Plans

Posted in Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on April 8, 2022
Credit: Smithsonian Magazine

One of my favorite books this year has been The Martian by Andy Weir. There were many great lines in the book that caused me to think. Here’s one I pulled to blog about today: “This was an insane plan and somehow it worked. I spent the last three months being the loneliest man alive.” In the book I got to thinking about all the crazy and insane plans that have worked over time. I can think think of some of my own and I’ll bet you have a list too.

I am reminded that in January of 1917, during World War I, The German Kaiser declared all-out unrestricted submarine warfare on any ship that came within the sights of German U-boats. Between March and December of 1917, British ships of all kinds were sunk, at a rate of 23 a week. Insane plan: camouflage ships — a tactic that proved to be very effective on land. The challenge, however, was how do you do that with a ship? Thomas Edison suggested camouflaging ships as islands. Gotta love Edison Answer: make the ships stand out. Dazzle camouflage was introduced.

During WWI hitting a ship with a torpedo was more art that science. Therefore if all kinds of geometric shapes, swirls, angles, and other art forms were painted on the ships it thoroughly confused the U-boat operators. Guess what? It worked! It also helped the allies quickly identify friendly ships. What was considered insane saved lives and ships.

Do you have an insane idea you need to try? Go ahead. It might just be the next great breakthrough!

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