I just realized the other day that it has been almost 30 years since a nuclear reactor at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island plant overheated, leading to the most serious accident of its kind in American history. I suppose some of my readers weren't even born yet, but I remember that time. I also remember visiting Three Mile Island with a small group from my business school class, nearly 15 years ago.
A key impression that I got was that I was probably at the country's safest nuclear plant. The accident had traumatized those who worked there, and from then on, it seemed that safety was paramount. I could imagine other people at other plants thinking, on some level, that such an accident wouldn't happen to them. But not at Three Mile Island, where they'd grown proud of their generous attention to safety.
So where am I going with this? Well, think about it in relation to investing. Every now and then some company experiences a disaster of some sort. How it deals with it tells a lot about the company and its culture. Think of Johnson & Johnson
In 1996, Odwalla -- now a unit of Coca-Cola
There are lots of other examples: Dow Chemical
Learn more about how good management is the secret of superior stocks.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola. Johnson & Johnson and Dow Chemical are Motley Fool Income Investor picks. Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Try our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.