Why do we stop when we find human error?

We can’t fix problems unless we admit they exist.

It is difficult to convince organizations to restructure and change the way they do business when we blame people for our problems. But often, if we look hard enough, we will find that it is the system in place that allows for these type of errors to keep reoccurring.

Sakichi Toyoda with Toyota developed the Five Whys method, asking why over and over again until a root cause was identified.

Why is this customer unsatisfied?
Why did the product not ship on time?
Why are the sale staff making promises they can’t keep?
Why are these sales goals so high?
Why don’t we adjust them?

Why is my son flunking math?
Why is he getting poor test scores?
Why is he not doing his homework?
Why is he locking himself in his room?
Why is he spending so much time online?

As a rule, ask why at least five times until you have actually uncovered some kind of underlining cause of the challenges you are facing.