The Five What is was a cause and effect coughing methodology developed by Toyota to establish the main issue behind a specific issue. By continuing to ask why to every response, it is likely to peel back the layers to reach the nub of the issue and build a lasting solution to conquer it. The problem we all face now is the way to boost performance when earnings are decreasing and budgets are squeezed.
As the recession takes Hold, organisations have reacted by tightening their collective belts in a drive to lower their overhead and minimize their exposure to the sympathetic banks. Consequently, there is less money around and earnings have dropped with businesses fighting for what company there is by cutting margins, blowing and doing anything they can to convince the client to place their hands in their not so deep pockets.
The inevitable result Is that ecba certification organisations reorganize, and spending is scrutinized with budgetary autonomy diminished as FDs apply tighter controls. Easy money saving cuts include experiential marketing, internal communications and group development as discretionary spend is contested and the enrichment of this message eroded. Furthermore, organisations are reconfigured to the changed environment and that means job losses, merged teams and changed teams.
So let us ask The Five Whys around this statement: The performance of my group has dropped.
- Why: Our regular Customers are not buying from us just like they used to and we are finding it hard to find new clients.
- Why: Our people Are not engaged, giving it 100%. Individual targets are being overlooked.
- Why: Morale is low, Were not communicating effectively, relationships are not as powerful as they used to be and that is effecting customer interaction and relationships.
- Why: We have re organized, less people, smaller budgets, same work load.
- Why: The focus is on Cutting costs as opposed to optimizing sales.
Business leaders are Keenly aware of the need in these recessionary times to keep cost down and reduce overheads to coincide with the economic cycle. Indeed, we have reorganized our own company and realigned ourselves towards new opportunities that have now emerged. However, to prevent symptoms of PTCD (post traumatic shift disorder), there are some quick wins to get the performance curves pointing back into an upward direction:
- Re-engineer your Teams addressing staff effectiveness and leadership
- Re-engage with the Consumers with experiential marketing
- Re-incentivize your Team using a meaningful reward strategy
Toyota’s Five Whys is not a panacea but it is going to help crystallize a problem and efficiently diagnose the issue. By having a clear understanding of what you would like to achieve you can then start the construction of a solution. Both need contribution and purchase in from the people.