The Four Disciplines of Execution (4DX) model offers what I believe can be the bridge to successfully changing behavior. The 4DX model comes from the book, The Four disciplines of execution: Achieving your wildly important goals written by Chris McChesnsey, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling. This book describes life’s overpowering demands as the whirlwind. The problem with the whirlwind is that it has a sense of urgency that many times take the place of important goals to the point that the goals fail.
The purpose of the 4DX model is to help a team or individual to focus on giving their goal equal urgency with discipline. Discipline can be very hard to achieve, but as the quote states above, it is a much better alternative to the regret of failure. The book lists five stages of change that occur when implementing the 4DX model.
Getting an Understanding
It is during this stage that we will be addressing the first discipline of execution, focusing on our wildly important goals (WIG). The most important consideration when creating our goals is that we don’t try to accomplish too many goals at one time. This is the fastest way to kill a program. I plan on focusing on decreasing behavior problems and increasing student engagement. I feel in order to achieve higher test scores and content master you have to engage our students and have classroom management. Our specific wig will be to decrease documented conduct problems by fifty percent by the end of the school year.
Let’s Get It Started
Meeting as a team we will begin the transition school-wide. During this transition I will make this process easy and least stressful. This will be done by having staff development and team leaders that can help other peers who may seem hesitant and who is struggling with the change.
I think once teachers become re comfortable with my innovation plan the excitement will begin. Teachers will begin to push this initiative. At this point I will implement the second discipline of execution, acting on lead measures. The lead measures that I plan to use is to incorporate student-led learning into our classrooms and to use a blended learning station rotation model to allow students the freedom to work at a pace that is suitable for them. Student-led learning and blended learning can both be directly influenced by the teacher, and these lead measures can be used as leverage to push the lag measure (the wildly important goal) forward. Since teachers are required to create lesson plans for each lesson, we can measure the amount of student-led learning through these plans.
By now teachers will begin tailor and modify the innovation plan and this is when they will begin to see the significant positive impact in their classrooms. I think this is when the competitive mode will kick in amongst the teachers. Teachers will be looking at the scoreboard often to see how progress is coming along. This ties in well with the Influencer Model’s idea of accountability.
This is where the third Discipline of execution of keeping a compelling scoreboard will be implemented. A compelling scoreboard needs to be highly visible, include lag and lead measures, and it needs to show the teachers if they are being successful or not. The scoreboard should be easy and simple to read and that is why I plan to use a line graph to showcase progress on our lag and lead measures. One graph will be used for lead measures, and the other for the lag measure. Each lead measure will be represented by a different color. I think this is a quick and simple way to show progress. For visibility, I plan to place the scoreboard in the workroom. This is the area that all teachers and employees in the school visit on a regular basis. It is a great place to allow visibility. To show the team how they successful they are being, there will also be target goals marked on the lag and lead measures line graphs.
To ensure that the excitement and engagement for this initiative doesn’t easily fade away over time, it is important to keep this process as a normal behavior. I plan to hold weekly meetings to discuss progress and make plans to continue that progress. As we continue to focus on our innovation plan and its benefits, it will start to become second nature.
Now we can focus on the final discipline of execution, creating a cadence of accountability. This discipline is supreme, because it holds everyone to the standards that have been set. To set a pace of accountability, I plan to meet with my group of team leaders on a weekly basis. During this meeting we will report and reflect on our previous weeks plans and actions, review the scoreboard and measure our current status and create a plan to accomplish before the next week based on our review. Team leaders will then report back to the teachers that they are responsible for to review the events of the meeting.
In summary, the 4DX model is an effective way to focus on important goals and to form behaviors that will help to accomplish those goals. So many of my teachers feel that blended learning will be just another mandate that goes away because there is never any accountability. By setting up standing meetings, sticking to them, and “hunting” down those who have not attended, teachers will see that we are now going to have some accountability in this process. This will go a long ways in helping to execute a change in my building.
4 Disciplines of Execution model image retrieved from http://franklincoveysouthasia.com/events/4disciplinesofexecution/assets/img/discipline1.png
McChesney, C., Covey, S., Huling, J. (2012, April 24) The Four disciplines of execution: Achieving your wildly important goals. Free Press