We Don’t Ask Why Enough

I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.

I let them rest from nine till five,
For I am busy then,

As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men.
But different folk have different views;
I know a person small—
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!

She sends’em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes—
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!

From The Elephant Child–Rudyard Kipling

We don’t ask why enough.

There is a problem-solving technique within Lean Manufacturing, which can be called Lean Thinking. It is called Five Why’s. By the time you arrive at an answer to the fifth why, you should have arrived at the real problem. You can fix the root cause and not just a symptom.

This applies to us like the little one in the poem with ten million questions. How I love the curiosity of the little ones!

How I wish I could ask even more questions!

I don’t ask why enough. I need this reminder taped to my computer screen and notebook.

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