Magazine article Talent Development

Why? X 5: The Perfect Equation for Achieving Lasting Change: Before Initiating Your Next Organizational Change Effort, Be Sure to Ask Why-At Least Five Times

Magazine article Talent Development

Why? X 5: The Perfect Equation for Achieving Lasting Change: Before Initiating Your Next Organizational Change Effort, Be Sure to Ask Why-At Least Five Times

Article excerpt

When starting any major change initiative, you need to ask some tough questions--and answer them honestly. Moe Glenner, organizational change expert and author of Selfish Altruism, recommends using the Five Why Method of Change to successfully dig through the obscurities of a problem.

Consider the following scenario: The sales division of a large company is struggling with achieving its revenue goals. To understand the real issue, leaders need to start by asking simple questions.

Q: Why are we losing money?

A: Because we don't have a cohesive sales and marketing effort.

Q: Why don't we have a cohesive sales effort?

A: We don't have the resources available.

Q: Why don't we have the resources?

A: We are on a tight budget that doesn't allow for them.

Q: Why are we on such a tight budget?

You get the idea. Although this example is overly simplistic, the process does work.

When the only answer to a why question is "I don't know," then you're ready to expose the real heart of the problem. …

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