The Death of Socrates, by Jacques Louis David, 1787, French Neoclassical painting, oil on canvas. Greek Classical philosopher Socrates about to drink poison hemlock The Socratic method centers on asking a series of questions that help people understand issues and their own ways of thinking about them. (Credit: Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com)

The Greek philosopher Socrates developed a means of teaching that became known as the Socratic method. It centers on asking a series of questions that help people understand issues and their own ways of thinking about them. Nearly 2,400 years later, Sakichi Toyoda—founder of Toyota—developed the concept of 5 Whys: When a problem occurs in a process, repeatedly ask “why” in order to unearth the root cause of the problem.

Related: Questions and opportunities to create progress

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