Five whys LO21819

Gordon Housworth (
Thu, 03 Jun 1999 07:33:56 -0400

Replying to LO21805 --


At 14:02 02-06-99 +0900, Tony Padgett wrote:

>If a question is really worded and well thought out, sometimes asking only
>once will bring better results that simply asking "why" five times.

But of course. In advanced problem solving arenas such as TRIZ, stating
the problem is everything. Once one can pose the problem correctly, the
solution becomes increasingly trivial. Ohno-sama was aware of that from
all that I can read of his work and that of Shingo. In good hands, the
Five Why? process was a means to formulate the appropriate question.

An interesting snippet from years of selling: I was taught early on that
the prospect's "third question was the real one" and that probing, or
"objection handling" as it was often called, was needed to reveal the real
question that the client or prospect wanted to answer, that served the
prospect's core concern or need. I found that to be true to the point of
cliche. Many people are not by nature good problem solvers or even
consciously aware of their environment to the point that they keep all the
necessary conditions and assumptions in mind when making a decision.

Best regards, Gordon Housworth
Intellectual Capital Group LLC
Tel: 248-626-1310


Gordon Housworth <>

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