How often do you ask ‘why’?  Seriously, do you often go out of your way to find out WHY something is so?  It is one of the most important things I do every day.

Understanding is important.  One way I force myself to really understand a problem is to use the ‘5 whys’ approach.  5 whys makes me dig much deeper than I used to.  Instead of just treating the symptoms, I can understand and treat the cause.

Treating the cause of any problem is what I learnt in Physiotherapy school and applies exactly the same way to building a scalable business.

An example of how to use 5 whys is:

My car won’t start. (the problem)

  1. Why? - The battery is dead. (1st why)
  2. Why? - The alternator is not working. (2nd why)
  3. Why? - The alternator belt has worn out. (3rd why)
  4. Why? - The alternator belt is old and should have been replaced last year. (4th why)
  5. Why? - I haven’t serviced my car often enough. (5th why, the cause)

See how I got to the cause?  If I was in more of a rush and didn’t take the time to really understand, I probably would’ve just called the RACV and bought a new battery.  Bad idea.

The 5 whys.