The “Five Whys” to Ask in Botswana Football


Part 1 – First and Second Why

The Toyota Approach still works for the Japanese automaker
The late Sakichi Toyoda, one of the fathers and pioneers of the Japanese industrial revolution, developed the “Five Whys” technique in the 1930s.

Sakichi was an industrialist, inventor and founder of Toyota Industries. Shortly before he died, he asked his son, Kiichiro Toyoda, to follow his dream and pursue automobile manufacturing.

The son obliged and later established Japan’s largest automaker, Toyota. Sakichi’s method became popular in the 1970s and Toyota still uses it to solve problems today.

Michael Loftman, author of 1o critical psychological concepts for coaches, has lamented: “The ‘five whys’ theory suggests that when dealing with a recurring problem, asking the question ‘why’ five times over will ensure you get to the bottom of what is actually happening.”

The same theory can actually be used in sports, in this instance football, to find out why our football is always experiencing the same problems over and over again. Or why our administration, management and leadership seems unable to come up with solutions to move our football forward.

I was actually saddened by the much-peddled defaulters’ issue that took the shine away from what our players did in the field of play in the 2021/22 season. The issue undeservedly became a centre of attention though it could have been averted before it manifested. Our football has been synonymous with defaulter issues as a part and parcel of maladministration for as long as I can remember.

The First Why
Why are we always experiencing the defaulter issue?
Our football is notorious with always experiencing and reporting a defaulter season in and season out. The occurrence is due to us not wanting to do things on time and always finding someone else to blame in the process. If the window closes at 1700hrs on the 30th September 2022, why should I register a player at 1702hrs, for instance?

We have made this a culture and people got accustomed to doing everything at the last minute because they know someone who can assist them. Back in the days of the manual system, this was a prevalence and the norm killed us. We became complacent as abnormality became the norm.

They say repetition builds reputation and this rendered us to be regular ‘committers of crime’ as late registration experts. The systematic ‘error’ had prominent people who could be bribed to propel it and treat it as normal. Why?

Second Why
Why do we never learn from previous incidents? When you are compromised and don’t subscribe to best practice, logic never matters. Loftman would say our decisions are based on emotion and are habitual, require little energy, and are made quickly under pressure or when we are in danger. When the danger has been dealt with, we believe the problem has been solved.

But that is irrational because we actually didn’t do things in an intentional manner and our emotions were very high at the time. Ultimately, we don’t learn anything because those who overpowered us didn’t guide us on how that was rationally solved. Instead, they used force and their power of influence which unfortunately is not proper and is against was is written.

They don’t subscribe to written statutes and documented principles. They won’t tell you which regulation or rule or provision they used to solve the incident.
For example, how did Ofentse Nato’s issue at Township Rollers end? What have we learnt from Sadiki Takunda at FC Satmos? What did we do wrong there? What can we do next to avoid such mistakes?