Applying Lessons from “The 5 Whys” to Solve a Hiring or Promotion Problem

In our last post, we discussed a theoretical hiring quandary that involved a company struggling with a high turnover rate for a sales VP position.

Using the 5 Whys exercise, we diagnosed the core problem facing the company: the founders had never established an animating vision for the direction of the company.

Assuming that this root cause analysis was correct, what could a company do with this information to solve its frustrating HR problems?

Here is a possible strategy. The founders might get together over a long weekend and work on and isolate a meaningful vision. For instance, perhaps this company is a computer company. Its new mission could be: dethrone Sony in the videogame console business.

With that clear, coherent mission, the company would likely have less internal “ADHD” and more focus. As a result of having more focus, the company could more easily define the roles and responsibilities of its sales people. And as a result of that clarity, the job description for sales VP would stop shifting so rapidly. It would then be a lot easier to find and keep great talent at the position. Thus, the problem is solved.

Of course, the 5 Whys methodology is not always perfect, and it is not without its critics. In the next post, we will highlight some of these problems.

Turn to seasoned Los Angeles employment lawyer, Nancy Gray, today for help; she can provide a free consultation for and your team.


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