More than that, these One Millimeter Mindset™ 5 Business Whys pose solid questions designed to keep you thinking bigger, instead of becoming obsessed after drilling down to identify What’s Wrong.
Now, the 5 Whys technique is used in quality and design thinking to take a deep-dive into cause-and-effect relationships which underlie specific problems. In short form, the question “Why?” is posed five times. Then, the answer to the prior Why creates the basis of the next “Why?” question.
Often, small problems snowball over time until they become too big to ignore. Under the guidance of the right implementer, the 5 Whys explores the breadth and depth of what, when, where, why and who is involved in causing – and addressing – specific problems. However, far too many do-it-yourself folks schedule meetings and ask “Why?” 5 times. Then, they are amazed that the group does not magically arrive at “the” answer to the problem.
In addition, when done well, arriving at the ultimate Why (the 5th Why), tends to open an even bigger can of worms. Why? (No pun intended). Because root causes have really big, hairy, audacious contexts. (With attribution to Jim Collins’ book: Built to Last).
And that is where the fun (and innovation) begins!
As a result, the 5 business whys I deploy look at specifics, yet avoid getting everyone’s head buried in root cause sand.
Yes, specific problems have very specific business, operations or financial impact (or all three). And then what?
While there are specific fixes, most of the issues into today’s digitally connected, IoT businesses involve systems of people, processes, business models. Regardless of business size, this ecosystem of people, processes and business models exists to serve customers.
Ultimately, each of the 5 business whys I use roots out issues which, when recombined synergistically, impacts customer success and customer retention. Keeping sight of the Big Picture while drilling down on root causes connects the specifications and details to end user experience.
When your organization is able to connect the big stuff to the small stuff, innovation happens. Instead of fixing things so they work in today’s systems, improvements are made which upgrade, retool and recalibrate for tomorrow. Bye, bye status quo.
To get started, read these 5 articles which focus on:
- Why You cannot work with or sell to Skeptical Technical Decision Makers
- Why Unconscious Bias undermines Professional Innovation
- Why a Promise Statement is more than A Value Proposition
- Why you remain a SMB Business Model Prisoner
- Why Professional Change is so Professionally Uncomfortable
One Millimeter Mindset 5 Business Whys are focused on leveraging collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer success. When leaders, teams and individuals understand their causal roles in customer success, the status quo tends to dissipate. Instead, innovation mindset moves in, as a replacement.
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
Babette Ten Haken | Change Catalyst | Purpose-Driven Professional Innovation | Cross-Functional Team Leadership | Trust-Based Client Retention | In Person & Virtual Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author |
Babette Ten Haken is a refreshingly extroverted STEM professional and skeptical thinker focused on intentional innovation. She helps people, teams and organizations make hard calls when designing products, services, careers and cultures. These are not easy conversations to have. Her ability to translate cross-functional conversations between left-brain and right-brain thinkers provides different pathways for behavior, response, insight and collaboration. Think of the strategic business and human capital value of moving beyond avoidance or group-think, together. Instead, let your creativity, critical thinking, and leadership skills co-develop together, one millimeter at a time. She is a member of ASQ, SHRM, PMI, and the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock.