It’s interesting when we get to this time of year how we reflect on how our year has gone and divide these into what we did well and not so well.
Our year is often based on what we achieved or didn’t achieve, however, we also need to balance this out by looking at what the circumstances were that helped us achieve and what the causes were that prevented us from achieving.
When we look deeper into these events, we can find the root cause for perceived failure and / or the basis or reason for our success.
There are various tools we can use to examine these; below are some examples of tools available for us to look at.
The Five Whys is a root cause analysis – we repeatedly ask ourselves the ‘why’ question to dig deep into a problem or issue.
The Five Ws also known as the Five Ws and How or 5W1H are the five questions we ask ourselves one at a time which we must give a factual answer to. The questions are: Who; What; When; Where; Why; How.
Why Goals is a way in which we can look at our goals in this way too! When we’ve decided what our goals are, we can ask ourselves why we want that goal and what that goal will give us. Repeatedly asking these questions determine what you will feel when you achieve your goal.
The Fishbone Diagram is another tool that can be used; it’s also known as Ishikawa diagram. This is a visualisation tool for identifying potential causes of a problem for us to identify root causes.
The benefit of this one is we can look at those goals we didn’t achieve and work through identifying why and what were the reasons we didn’t achieve.
The Causal Tree is a tool which enables us to identify the root cause of an outcome and see how we got to where we did, based on those assumptions or reactions we made and the actions we took led to an outcome. Going through this process enables us to put corrective plans or actions in place to prevent the re-occurrence of that event.
Whichever of the above you might use to reflect back on the year to see how you might make those positive changes for next year, the key thing is always trying to improve the way we do things and learn from our mistakes, as well as being clear on those great processes we used that worked well so we can use these next year and future years.
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