This gives us the clues we need to develop the most effective question set when treating the problem, and leads us to ask 4 questions in the sequence shown.
Q1. How do we prevent the actions or conditions that cause the event from taking place?
Q2. How do we prevent the event occurring?
Q3. How do we prevent the effect of the event?
Q4. If the effect took place, how do we mitigate it’s impact?
Here are some examples of how these questions work.
Notice that each one of these questions results in a slightly different form of treatment.
Q1. How do we prevent the action or conditions that cause the event from taking place (the bugs)? We might …
- close the tank opening,
- fit fine gauze to openings,
- enclose the tank in a bubble,
napalm all bugs,
- empty the tank of water …
Q2. How do we prevent the event occurring (unfit for drinking)? We might …
- flush the water frequently,
- nominate it as drinking water for cows,
- chlorinate the tank regularly …
Q3. How do we prevent the effect of the event (people getting sick)? We could …
- stop people from drinking the water,
- immunise people against illness,
- let people keep drinking it until they genetically evolve for drinking contaminated water,
- erect a nuclear waste sign at the tank,
enforce the use of water purifying tablets,
- only give it to SAS soldiers (too tough to get sick),
- serve it at the next local politicians’ meeting (now we get something done) …
Q4. If the effect took place, how do we mitigate it’s effect / impact? Its possible that we could …
- insure against claims,
- appoint a 24 hour rapid response team,
- put people through an SAS toughening up course (I’m serious),
- only allow drinking on days off …
I think you get what I’m talking about.
Let me leave you with one thought:
"If you choose to be brilliant in anything, be brilliant in how you ask questions."