At one point in my life I worked for a pharmaceutical company. The job I enjoyed more than all the others I did there was conducting investigations. Because we were manufacturing medicinal products for human consumption, each product had to be manufactured according to strict governmental guidelines. Any anomaly in the manufacturing process could jeopardize the saleability of the product and potentially cost the company millions of dollars. Therefore every time something went wrong in manufacturing, the incident had to be carefully investigated to determine its impact on the product. Some investigations were quite simple and easily resolved. There were some investigations, however, that were quite extensive and would involve several departments within the company.
When conducting an investigation, one thing we always had to look for was the root cause. In other words, what was the underlying factor(s) that caused this anomaly to occur in the manufacturing process? Once that was determined we could come up with a preventative action to keep the problem from reoccurring in the future. Determining the root cause and coming up with a preventative action sometimes required some very creative thinking!
With this investigative process as a basis, I have a question I would like to ask:
What is the root cause of all the pain, heartache, and woes of our modern society?
The answer might be easier to determine than what you think.