problem vs. symptom…

Being distracted by symptoms, rather than focusing on the root cause of a problem, means you will spend a lot of time fixing the wrong thing, wondering at the end why your actions didn’t have the effect you were expecting.

Try using the 5 why’s technique – asking yourself (or your team) why you are doing something (why it is important, or why it is worth the time of your team or yourself), over and over, until you really get to the heart of the matter. While generally 5 times is enough, this technique is one of the most effective ways to really get to that root problem or issue. You will know when you have gone far enough through this exercise when your answers are essentially the same or you just can’t get any deeper. Then, start working on a plan that really gets to the heart of the matter.

By focusing on that root problem/cause/issue, you will likely get the results you expect.



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