The Five Whys - Identify problems fast


Most of us stop asking “why” after the age of 4. But maybe the four year olds have it right. Maybe we need to ask “why” more often.

Why? It's probably the most important question in creativity, design thinking, marketing and branding.

Why? Because when you understand the ‘why’ everything else falls into place. It sets vision, guides strategy, sense checks during the process, helps solve the problem and entices the end user or customer to buy.

Why is the reason. Why is the meaning. Why is everything.

With that in mind it’s amazing to consider how many teams forget to ask this question. As a solo consultant, unfamiliar with my client’s worlds, I find I spend most of my time like a four year old - asking “Why”. I’m on a mission to get people to ask why more often and in this post I’d like to introduce you to a workshop technique you can use to do this effectively.

The Five Whys Technique The technique is simple. At the start of the workshop get delegates to articulate a problem statement. Then, get them to answer ‘Why’ it is a problem 5 times.