How often have you come across kids asking the questions that start with a why? Why is the moon white? why should we pay bills? why should I go to school? Why should I do my homework? Kids ask why often because they are learning, improving their cognitive skills. From my memories as a kid, my mom was patient enough to answer every possible question she could, no matter how many times I ask her.
When you are in trouble or trying to solve an issue or learning something new or just curious, remember this: “Think like a kid”. This is a proven fact that most problems get solved if follow the “5 Whys”. 5 Whys is an iterative questioning method used to traverse the cause-and-effect links underlying a specific problem. Imagine this scenario in an IT world,
Q1: Why did the server go down?
A1: The server peaked the CPU usage and crashed.
Q2: Why did the CPU peak so much?
A2: The CPU was not scaled to handle the volume of requests.
Q3: Why was the CPU not scaled?
A3: This amount of users were not expected
Q4: Why did the number of users exceed our expectation?
A4: We were listed in the Forbes 500 for the best workplace.
Q5: Why did we not know that before?
A5: The Brand team did not communicate that we were selected by Forbes.
In 70% of the cases, we will have the answer by the 3rd iteration of Why. The “5 whys” method is a powerful tool that can be applied to any principle for that matter.
“Why” is not only used for problem-solving, in fact, its a key branding strategy. If you are running a startup or a small business owner or even a huge corporation, unless you identify why your company exists, you will never succeed. Companies lose their market when they forget to realize why they exist. Nokia is a very good example. They dominated the market by 41% in 2007, not long after Apple introduced their iPhone, Nokia crashed and disappeared into thin air. Nokia had a better camera, better technology and had a better-experienced team than Apple, still they failed to communicate why they existed.
As Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
Apple’s message was clear, they challenged the status quo, “Think Different”. Anyone who had the same mindset of being different became a fan of Apple and they lived up to the promise.
Earning million dollars a month won’t give you happiness in long term. There are people who have enough wealth to last next 10 decades, still, they go to work every day. They know why they do what they do. if you don’t know why you are doing what you are doing, its time to revisit that question, “Why are you doing what you are doing ?”. No matter what you do, be it a junior associate or an executive or a CEO, if you do not know why you are doing what you are doing, you are not going to be happy. If you are not happy, you are not going to be successful. Many think happiness evolve around success, that’s wrong. it is the other way around. Success revolves around Happiness.
A pan seller in a local street of Aurangabad decided to make the best pan in the world, today, after 33 years in service “Tara Pan Center” exports pan even to international destinations like Saudi and Dubai.
Thyrocare CEO Dr. Velumanu did not have Rs. 2 to take a group photo when he was at 11th Grade, today Thyrocare is worth 2000+ Million in INR.
As a young guy, he distributed daily news papers to meet his daily needs, became the president of India in 2002, Dr. APJ Adbul Kalam, knew why he existed. He exhaled his last breath while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong on 27 July 2015.
There are infinite success stories to share, but it’s your turn to answer the question, WHY! What motivates you to go to work or run your business every day?