Throughout the past few weeks, I have studied the importance of changing behaviors in order to influence lasting change. First, I am focusing on ME as well as my desired results for my innovation project incorporating blended learning in an authentic problem-based environment. I have absolutely NO doubt that the way that I conduct this innovative course alongside the students – the focus on the process of learning, sharing and collaborating on frustrations, successes and creating resources to assist and share with others – will cause a contagious EXCITEMENT within the campus. I am hopeful that my innovation project is more of an inspiration, a concrete example and a motivation to adjust the current classroom norms and incorporate some pieces of blended and authentic learning, student choice and ownership into every core class. It is a challenging concept as it requires a solid plan to motivate, appealing to hearts, focus, teamwork, crucial conversations and determination to create a climate of positive change. As I now begin to push my Innovation Plan forward, I have a game plan where all the components can work together to bring about lasting change.
1. I need to start with my WHY
I need to be crystal clear on the reason for change so that I can successfully make meaningful connections and touch the hearts of those that I am asking to consider and embrace the change. The true sense of urgency of my Innovation Project is to provide our students with the best learning environment possible. This will allow students to leave our school with the confidence and skills to conquer obstacles and thrive in real-world situations.My Why, What and How statement puts my goal into perspective.
2. I need to be a Self-Differentiated Leader
A leader needs to be a non-anxious presence within the organization that helps others take responsibility for themselves (Friedman, 2010). This type of person is called a self differentiated leader who is able to regulate his or her own anxiety and take on the responsibility of their own emotional state. By embracing the characteristics of a differentiated leader, it can lead to real change within my organization. The most influential people are those that are able to accomplish things and build relationships simultaneously, this is possible through mastering their crucial conversations (Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, & Switzer, 2012). This bold statement forced me to reflect on my own leadership style and how I communicate with others through my blog post, CHANGE STARTS WITH ME.
3. It is time to put my plan into action!
There are many similarities between the 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) and the Influencer Model. The Influencer model serves as the theory behind how to influence others to change whereas the 4DX model is the practical execution of the theory behind Influencer. The vital behaviors in the Influencer model become the lead measures in 4DX. The Influencer model result is adapted into the 4DX WIG. The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) and the Influencer Model compliment each other and each process is fundamental in order to achieve our team’s wildly important goal and ultimately change behavior. The Influencer model focuses on paying attention to behaviors and emotions, where the 4DX is a detailed approach to prevent goals getting lost in the day to day activities (the whirlwind). I predict the most challenging obstacle will be to continue the WIG through the entire year despite the chaos of the day-to-day distractions and busyness (the “whirlwind”). With these strategies in place from both models, I am confident that implementing blended learning will be challenging but achievable.
This is where we look for the results we want to achieve including identifying the vital behaviors and the organizational influencers. The six sources of influence allows us to consider all angles and all perspectives of behavioral change. When the six sources are used correctly, your chance of success is ten times greater than relying on one source (Grenny, Patterson, Maxfield, McMillan & Switzler, 2013). My Influencer Strategy will help advance my innovation plan in the right direction!
We have to approach goals in a measurable way that is easy to understand and follow through with accountability. The 4 Disciplines of Execution emphasizes the importance of establishing the wildly important goal (the WIG) and the steps to achieving it. 4DX provides the rules for translating strategy into action in order to successfully implement a goal and create lasting change. Implementing my 4DX model including the 5 stages of change, I feel that we will be able to successfully execute my project-based blended learning innovation plan.
Camp, J. [Mathew David Bardwell]. (2010, November 10). Friedman’s theory of differentiated leadership made simple [Video file]. Retrieved from
Grenny, J., Patterson, K., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A.. (2013). Influencer: The new science of leading change. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Patterson, K., Grenny, J., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2012). Crucial conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high. New York: McGraw-Hill.
McChesney, C., Covey, S., Huling, J., (2012). The 4 disciplines of execution. New York, NY: Free Press.