One of the more useful root cause training techniques is to do RCAs on small problem events at home. Even if well done, they may not change the organization, but they will eventually lead the “investigator” to be able to improve their own clarity of thought.

Some years back, I did a root cause analysis on why I fell in love with a certain person. That is a difficult analysis, because anyone who attempts such a thing is essentially on their own. Nobody else can figure it out for you. Well, their eyes reminded me of a beloved family member. Their voice reminded me of one of my supportive clients. They were from a town one highway exit from where I lived when I was ages 2-4, a time when I remember being very happy. This was hundreds of miles from both of our current residences and the place we met. This person had chosen to go into the field of biology, which was the other main career choice I had considered before going into engineering. They had gone through some personal difficulties, and had come out of that time with great understanding that they were willing to share.

Let’s just say that this was the short list! What I ended up realizing was that no SINGLE or even any dozen of these “reasons” could explain the phenomenon of falling in love. Longer meditation on this helped me understand that there are no “causes.” There are factors, and sometimes we can’t even really figure out how important any given factor is.