We are unable to launch the product.

Why ?

Because the product is not compliant.

Why ?

Because it contains a food extract that is not allowed.

Why ?

I don’t know

Why ?

I didn’t ask anyone

Why ?

I assumed that if I am told it is non compliant, it is so.

This is a real conversation from last week where we had a project stuck for a long time and I asked the team why. As we kept probing with more why, we found that no one had gone to the root cause of the issue to truly see what was the problem and what could be the possible solution. The result of this conversation is that we are on the way to finding the root cause and the potential solution for the issue.

I am not happy. Said the wife.

Why ? asked the husband incredulous

I feel lonely.

Why ?

I am not enjoying doing the things I normally do.

Why ?

I feel that we are not spending time doing fun things together the way we used to.

Another real conversation. Another real solution emerging on planning weekends together to make sure the bonding between husband and wife is strengthened and the relationship gets better over time instead of getting worse.

Asking Why is powerful. Asking it 5 times is ultra powerful. It is the sword of truth that can cut through all layers of confusion, falsehood and surface level views. It can bring out the true root cause of any issue and point us to the right direction in any case.

Everytime you find yourself at work and in personal life engaged on an important topic and are unclear of what the answer may be , start by asking why. Keep asking till you peel the onion and get to the root cause.

5 Whys can unravel the mysteries of the universe. It is the tool all good detectives and scientists use to diagnose issues and find solutions.

When you are faced with an issue in your life you are unable to solve or an opportunity you are unable to address – go ahead and start asking why. 

The why will get you there.

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