In Series 1.2, we learned that in the Reveal Step, the Faith Entrepreneur approaches God to obtain a Specific Revelation (solution, idea or project) that will be implemented to benefit people. We discovered there are Five main Stages the Faith Entrepreneur(s) goes through to receive this revelation. These include Pray/Fast, Identify Root Causes, Listen & Record, Communicate & Discuss and Apply The TCLR-Test.
We started with Stage 1 (Pray/Fast) and discovered most people are only in pursuit of their personal interests. As a result, many of their endeavours don’t bring fulfilment. We also discovered God wants us to accomplish Specific Projects which He wants in order to advance His Kingdom. Prayer and Fasting help the Faith Entrepreneur’s revelations to align with God’s will.
In this Series, we will focus on Stage 2 of the Reveal Step – Identify Challenges & Root Causes.
Many solution ideas in the world are only at a Superficial Level. For instance, in trying to solve the problem of poverty, many so-called rich countries propose humanitarian aid as the solution. A more effective solution, however, is eliminating economic disequilibrium and unselfishly sharing technological discoveries while placing more emphasis on Local Capacity Building initiatives. Another example is spending billions of dollars in conflict resolutions while continuously encouraging the development and propagation of sophisticated weapons. The last example is having a willingness to promote social and technological inventions but neglecting backing up the propaganda with concrete and adapted research centres.
It’s important to do a Root-Cause Analysis to discover the main challenges and their root-causes. This knowledge will, in turn, help to generate projects, ideas or solutions which are adapted to the context and to tackle them from their roots, not superficially. Superficial solutions are like covering a wound with a bandage.
In 2016, we conducted a Lean Six Sigma project to improve the performances of students and teachers of the LifeWayLight Schools in Tanzania. Many students did not perform well in most science subjects and English language. Looking at the problem from a superficial level, many quickly assumed teaching methods were inefficient. Most of the bad performances of students were, therefore, attributed to poor teaching methodologies.
When we (Treff-End) looked deeper into the problem by conducting a Root Cause Analysis, we discovered there were a number of factors which cause poor performances and teaching methods were only one of them. A few of the most pertinent were:
- Students didn’t obtain help from their parents at home mainly because most parents were illiterate.
- Teachers weren’t usually paid in time. This caused a number of grievances, frustrations and lack of motivation which, in turn, affected their teaching performances.
- Lastly, the school premises was devoid of study materials and attractive settings to motivate students to learn.
After addressing some of these root causes, the performances of the students improved greatly in 2018. Among the primary schools with less than 40 people which registered for the official examinations, the LifeWayLight Schools came 2nd out of 59 in the district, 4th out of 323 in the region and 77th out of 6726 primary institutions in the country.
We can never solve problems effectively if we don’t deal with them from their Root Causes. We also cannot generate appropriate solution ideas or projects if we fail to do an appropriate Root Cause Analysis. Analysing Root Causes helps us to understand the context and origin of the challenges we are facing.
If you cut the roots of a tree, the whole tree dies. But if you cut only its branches, the tree germinates and flourishes again because it is still connected to its source of life. In the same way, if we handle problems from their roots, we cut off their source of propagation. But if we handle them superficially as in the case of conflict resolutions which don’t target limiting arm production and ownership, we simple pave the way for more complicated troubles to handle in the future.
Root Causes are appropriate to identify at this stage especially because in Stage 1 we commit everything to God and invite Him to reveal His will to us. When Identifying Root causes, the Faith Entrepreneur analysis and understands the context in the process. Once this contextual understanding is complete, the people can generate appropriate project ideas and solutions to overcome those challenges they are facing in their community.
In the next series (Series 1.4), we’ll deal specifically with how we generate concrete and adapted project ideas or solutions from Root-Causes.
Stay tuned and make sure you share the information with your family and friends.