Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Prepare your Mind

“A relentless barrage of “why’s” is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo. Use it often”
-Shigeo Shingo

Very early in our process improvement training, we are taught about the 5 why technique in problem solving. I have learned in my kaizen efforts, by simply asking why, numerous opportunities for process improvement can be found, potential root causes identified and countermeasures created.

In this quote from Shigeo Shingo’s book “Kaizen and the Art of Creative Thinking”, we hear about asking why again but for a different purpose. We can use the why questioning to prepare our minds. Think about that for a moment. By preparing our minds first, we break our mental barriers with the status quo. Until we do, we are not ready to realize, implement or accept any improvements.

What better way to prepare our minds than by asking why. Isn’t the process of asking why, the core essence of human development? Throughout human history, most of our progress can be linked to someone asking why (or why not, in some cases). Even as children, asking why is a central part of our mental development process. Asking a relentless barrage of why’s is a great way to open our mind, just ask any 3-6 year old.

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