CREATING SUSTAINABLE IMPACT:
LET “WHY” LEAD YOU
How else can we explain several attempts at creating impact that has not been sustained or incremental growth instead of giant improvements to Africa’s wicked problems.
I figured that understanding problems on a deeper level will help us create solutions that outlive us.
One of the most powerful ways to do this is by asking the WHY question.
Although philosophical, It provokes profound thoughts that not only challenge the norms but also provide solutions that disrupts the existing methods.
Why are WE doing what we are doing?
Why are we here?
Why do we have schools?
The way we answer these questions will settle boundaries for innovation. How far we probe will determine the strength and impact of our innovation.
Just like the chicken is in the egg, the solution is usually in the problem. We unveil solutions to Social problems by probing deep to understand the problem.
For instance, if I am looking to solve the problem of foot diseases among children in a society. I could ask ‘why do children in this society have foot diseases?” The answer to that might be, “Because several of children do not wear shoes”
If we stop asking questions and take this answer as the ultimate cause of the foot diseases, we can start a campaign/movement in the community with a tagline that looks like this: “STOP FOOT DISEASES, WEAR YOUR SHOES REGULARLY”. This is innovative and will help a few who can afford the shoes but we haven’t uncovered the root cause of the problem.
Supposing I probed further to ask ‘why don’t they wear shoes?’
The answer to this might be “Most of them don’t have shoes to wear”
It is another good place to stop asking questions. We could seek donations to supply the community with shoes one pair to a child.
But if we seek to create sustainable solution, we should probe further till there are no more WHY’s to be asked.
From the illustration stated above, we ‘might’ find that the disease is deeply rooted in the economic status of the community that has remained static for years because of little or no formal education. If people in that community are empowered for wealth creation, buying shoes will be the least of their worries.
This is a great approach for unpacking problems and creating solutions that addresses the root cause not the symptoms.
Thanks for reading and never forget to ask WHY