People tend to fixate on the common
use of an object. For example, the people on the Titanic
overlooked the possibility that the iceberg
could have been their lifeboat.
Newspapers from the time estimated the size of the iceberg
to be between 50-100 feet high and 200-400 feet long.
The Titanic was navigable for awhile
and could have pulled aside the iceberg.
Many people could have climbed aboard it to find
flat places to stay out of the water
for the four hours before help arrived.
Fixated on the fact that icebergs sink ships,
people overlooked the size and shape of the iceberg
(plus the fact that it would not sink).
From Why We Can’t See What’s Right in Front of Us, Tony McCaffrey, Harvard Business Review, 10 May 2012. Submitted by Emma Rae Lierley.