“5 why’s” is a tool that started life in the Lean Thinking toolbox, but in reality is simply common sense. In effect, make sure you understand the real cause of the problem facing you before you start deploying solutions, otherwise you risk treating the symptoms, not the cause.
It is a tool applicable to any problem or challenge, even the reluctance to engage with social media that I see so often with SME’s.
Following is an edited version of a of a recent conversation I had with a bloke running a successful small business, as he confronted his social media demons.
Bill: I have to get off my arse and start using Social media.
Bill: Because all my competitors are using it.
Me: Are you losing any business to them, are you generating business you expect, or are you just lonely?
Bill: Don’t know, but I think it is expected
Me: Expected by whom?
Me: Which customers, and what do they expect?
Bill: Not sure?
Me: wouldn’t it be wise to be clear about what you wanted to communicate, and to whom, which might offer some clues about how to best achieve the outcome?
That conversation led into a useful session better defining his value proposition, then considering the tactics to be deployed to reach his best prospects, which included some “toe-tipping” into social media.
Social Media is not a panacea, and it is not a description of one thing any more than a label of “Cars” is a description of all the cars available. You still need to decide what you want to do with it, how much you will spend, and how you will measure satisfaction before you make the shortlist, and eventual choice. It is just pretty clear that in a modern world, just like cars, it is hard to avoid Social Media, it is everywhere.