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Drilling for Your Own Fuel

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Local Blogs - The Quality Coach! Blog
Monday, 08 July 2013

Drilling for Your Own Fuel

We have long been proponents of "The 5 Whys Methodology" to get to the root cause of a problem relatively quickly. This simple, yet effective, method of digging beneath the surface to root cause was made popular in the 1970's by the Toyota Production System, and is used the world over.  Once we get to the root cause of a problem, how to solve the problem usually reveals itself. 

For example, our problem may be "Unhappy client."  So we ask what's causing our client to be unhappy?  We discover it is because we are frequently missing shipping dates.

Why?  We discover that we are5 Whysunderestimating the complexity of their jobs.

Why?  Because we tend to make quick estimates of time required without detailing each specific step involved.

Why?  Because we deviated from our reliable estimation process last year when we had fewer customers, with large repetitive orders.  

Wallah!!!!  We can stop asking Why. The solution becomes obvious. Let's go back to following our reliable estimation process.

Had we tackled the problem before drilling down, we might have implemented an unsustainable or superficial solution.  

I was recently introduced to a whole new way of using The 5 Whys.  I learned that when we are crystal clear about Why something is important to us, our Why becomes our fuel to get it done. Our actions become clear and intentional.  Clarity in purpose fuels our sure success.   

So, when you are having difficulty accomplishing something important and you feel stuck and frustrated, consider taking a few minutes to call a little 5 Whys meeting with yourself.

Your 5 Whys meeting agenda may go something like this:

  • Define exactly what you want to accomplish.
  • Ask yourself why that accomplishment is important to you. 
  • And once you are clear why the accomplishment is important, then continue asking why until you drill all the way down to your essential why. 

Coach JeanneFor example, I am frustrated because all the clothes in my closet seem to have shrunk at the same time.  And, my full scale denial about the cause just hasn't worked.  I realize it must be the extra 7 pounds I picked up over the rainy spring.  I really need to shed those pounds. 

Why is shedding those 7 pounds important to me?  I want to fit into my clothes comfortably.  

Why is that important to me?  I want to look and feel my best each day, so that I can give my best in everything I do. 

Why is that important to me?  I want to experience and model optimum health.

Once I am able to get to the root of my motivation, I am properly inspired.  It's simply a matter of choosing how to go about doing this.  I chose Weight Watchers On Line, focusing on eating lots of fruits and vegetables, eliminating processed foods, and drinking plenty of water.  I'm pretty sure this method will provide the structure I need and help me create a sustainable outcome.

When we go straight to the How without clarity about our WHY we can be making the accomplishment Harder than it needs to be.

It turns out that getting down to the essential and shared WHY is extremely helpful in organizations, as well.  We encounter unnecessary resistance when folks do not understand why. 

Once we are clear about our WHY, the HOW will magically show up.  And our efforts will be inspired by our WHY.  It's as good as done.  

Your Coaching Challenge, Should You Choose to Accept It:

Is there something you are feeling stuck around?  Conduct a little 5 Whys Meeting with yourself, or ask a colleague or friend to help you.  See if you can dig down and find your own fuel and inspiration.  

 

 

We encourage you to share your thoughts. To continue 

the conversation, simply follow this link to our Quality Coach Facebook page.  Who knows what we can learn from one another! 

  

 

We'll see you online next Monday.  May This Be Your Best Year Yet!

  

Cheers!  Coach Jeanne 

 

 

To learn more about The Quality Coach!® services for truly tapping into your people power,  visit us at www.thequalitycoach.com.

 

 

  

The Quality Coach!®, celebrating over 20 years of coaching great leaders and great teams.  

 

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