4DX – The 4 Disciplines of Execution

The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Discipline 1:  Focus on the Wildly Important Goal

  • The team will develop our clear, focused WIG (wildly important goal). Although the team can adjust the percentage and/or timeline, this is the WIG I will initially propose:
    • 80% of the core content teachers at Lake Dallas Middle School will adopt a project-based blended learning environment by May 2022.

Discipline 2:  Act on the Lead Measures

  • Identifying our lead measures that are measurable and predictable will bring us closer to meeting our WIG. As I work with my team to define our lead measures, we will have to focus on what behaviors have the greatest leverage. These are three sample lead measures that I will l share with my team that I believe will focus on what behaviors have the greatest leverage to help our organization move towards achieving our WIG:
    • In order to create a true blended learning environment, daily online content delivery is essential. This measure allows for teachers to step back from being the sole deliverer of content and information with more emphasis on student-centered learning. 
    • Core teachers will plan and execute at least 1 project-based blended learning unit per 9-week grading period. This measure will ensure teachers are putting their training into practice while encouraging adoption and implementation of student-centered learning.
    • Core Teachers will hold each other accountable during a monthly PLC  meeting where they will share resources, develop lessons, provide updates and acknowledge successes. This measure will hold teachers accountable to each other as they pursue the WIG.
  • The Lag measure tracks the goal, or in this case the end result, where 100% of core teachers will adopt a project-based blended learning environment in school year 2022-23. However, the LEAD MEASURES are what drives the success of the intended outcome/goal and need to be our focus.

Discipline 3:  Keep a Compelling Scoreboard

  • Creating our scoreboard to easily display and track our lead and lag measures
    • A digital scoreboard would be added to our LDMS Classlink site (which staff access daily) and updated weekly after PLC meetings. Teachers could see exactly where they are on the scoreboard and hold one another accountable to their progress.
    • Below is my vision for the online scoreboard where each teacher is represented with a FUN photo and lead and lag measures are calculated, updated weekly and displayed in rank order:

Discipline 4:  Create a Cadence of Accountability

  • Weekly meetings to discuss our progress towards the WIG
    • This measure allows for celebrating success while holding team members accountable to the goals they set for themselves. The fact that team members make their own goals gives them ownership of the WIG, making them more likely to care if the goal is achieved as well as allowing for every team member to hold each other accountable to reach the shared goal. 

5 Stages of Change

 Adopting The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) approach requires that we also address the 5 stages of change as we implement the 4 disciplines.

1. Getting Clear:  This is the most important stage of change. My team and I will need to commit to the 4 disciplines of execution including developing our clear, focused WIG (wildly important goal), identifying our lead and lag measures that drive us closer to meeting our WIG, creating our easily read and understood scoreboard to track lead and lag measures, and weekly meetings to gauge our progress and readjust/refocus if needed to reach our goal.

2. Launch: Now that the goal and measures are established, this stage is about getting the change started! The team models focus and consistency while fighting the whirlwind (daily emergencies, failing forward, growth mindset) as this will set the tone and expectation for all staff. 

3. Adoption: Now that the goal is clear and launched, this is the stage where progress toward the WIG can be seen! This stage allows for the team to adjust as needed and focus on the process before results (growth before mastery).

4. Optimization: The team has been held accountable to the lead measures and can see the changes begin to make a difference in their achievement of the WIG, ownership and a shift in mindset develops. Teachers will want to participate in creating authentic learning environments for our students and suggest new strategies and creative solutions to reach lead measures. It is imperative at this stage that the lead team recognize and celebrate successes, encourage each other and spread positivity. 

5. Habits: With the results on the scoreboard and changes made to reach our goal, 4DX has become part of the established routine. The WIG will become the new standard of operation and will clear the way for greater efficiency in the organization and the opportunity to develop a new WIG and execute a new plan for further innovation (McChesney et al., 2012, pp. 112-113).

The Influencer Model vs. 4DX


Grenny, J., Patterson, K., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A.. (2013). Influencer: The new science of leading change. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

McChesney, C., Covey, S., Huling, J., (2012). The 4 disciplines of execution. New York, NY: Free Press.

Image Reference:

Franklin Covey. (2017, April 4). The 4 Disciplines of Execution [Digital image]. Retrieved April 22, 2021, from https://www.execunet.com/4-disciplines-execution/

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