Executing Change

So, where are we now? We have developed a plan for innovation, met with our main sources of influence, and are now ready to create an execution strategy. To have higher chances of success in our plan we will be using the 4 disciplines of execution. The 4 disciplines involve :

  1. Focusing on the wildly important goal.
  2. Acting on the lead measures.
  3. Keeping a compelling scoreboard.
  4. Creating a cadence of accountability.

These things will be done as we follow the 5 stages of change. The first stage is where my team is now: establishing clarity.

There are many responsibilities that teachers answer to on a daily basis, so the commitment to staying focused on our ePortfolios is vital.

We are aware of the whirlwind, but not distracted.

We cannot get so stuck in the whirlwind that we stop working on this initiative. To overcome this we are going to develop and follow a carefully executed plan. Our innovation plan is the wildly important goal at its core so we will use the Four Disciplines of Execution (4DX) to help us turn it into a reality. This strategy will be fully developed by the team so each member can take ownership of the process when moving forward, starting with our team and branching out to other teachers in our school and district. 

1. Focus on the Wildly Important 

​The more we narrow our focus, the more likely we are to achieve our goals. If we try to do too much at once, the whirlwind will drag us down. In the ePortfolio innovation plan, there are many possible goals, but there is one that would make all the difference. This is what we will call our Wildly Important Goal (WIG). Our WIG can be developed as we continue this process, but it could look something like “By 2024, all 6th-grade students will have developed an e-portfolio and use it for learning and reflection at least twice a week.​” 

**The WIG can be altered based on team discussion but will involve ePortfolios. We may want to discuss the time frame and amount of use

*We will also be viewing this work as action research, and as such, our research question follows: “Do 6th grade readers who construct and collaborate with ePortfolios score higher on reading assessments?

2. Act on Lead Measures

There are two ways we can measure progress – lag measures and lead measures. The lag measure will track the goal (destination), but the lead measures will be predictable and influenceable measures that lead to the WIG (on the path to the destination). We want to focus on the lead measures because this is where we will see the progress that leads to success.

*Lag Measure – 100% of 6th-grade students use ePortfolios

*Lead Measure – Digital learning is incorporated in at least 2 lessons per week.

*Lead Measure – Practice reflection with students at least 2 times per week.

*Lead Measure – Devote 30 minutes to ePortfolio development each week.

May be altered based on team discussion.

3. Create a Compelling Scoreboard

Reaching our goal is winning, and part of winning is going to be keeping score. Having the opportunity to win a game as opposed to just making a change will help keep our team and our campus engaged. As a team, we will design and build a scoreboard to hold and track the lead and lag measures to show where we are and where we are going. It will be simple, visible, and easy to read at a quick glance to determine if we are winning. We will discuss where to display it (possibly PLC meeting room) and the responsibilities of keeping it up to date at a later meeting. 

I successfully used 4DX last school year for a “Reading Marathon” leading up to star with students from every 5th grade learning community, and used 4DX in my classroom for a playful STAAR test prep unit (102 of 103 students passed). I will use photos and artifacts from those experiences to demonstrate compelling scoreboards.

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4. Create a Cadence of Accountability

            The first three disciplines set up the game, but until you apply Discipline 4, your team isn’t in the game.

              (Covey et al., 2012, p. 13)

​By meeting regularly and updating the scoreboard, we will be holding each other accountable for our progress. If we don’t hold each other accountable, our WIG will get lost in the whirlwind. We will overcome this by holding WIG sessions for approximately 60 minutes monthly where the sole discussion is about the WIG and not the whirlwind. A WIG huddle is also an option, which is a 5-7 minute condensed version of the WIG session that takes place weekly during PLC meetings near the scoreboard that will be in our PLC meeting room. As a team, we can decide what best suits our needs.

5 Stages Of Change 

To create effective change is something hard to do. We will use the 5 stages of change together with the 4 disciplines of execution to help us navigate this process, hoping to ensure long lasting success.

6 Sources Of Influence With 4DX

The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) process and the Influencer Model can be used together to make change happen and maybe lead to a more streamlined process. The Influencer Model creates the plan, and 4DX makes the plan happen. The 6 Sources of Influence and 4 Disciplines of Execution are different models that are not an exact match, but they complement each other well as they both focus on creating long-lasting and effective change.

​Both processes increase motivation and morale in participants, use measurable terms of success, and focus on a small number of factors that lead to success. Additionally, the desired results of the Influencer match the WIG of 4DX, and the vital behaviors are similar to the lead measures. In 4DX, the lead measures must be influenceable. The 6 Sources of Influence can support 4DX because the model can influence the lead measures.

​Using the 6 Sources of Influence with the 4 Disciplines of Execution will result in successful behavior change. In order to successfully implement my plan, I will start with the Influencer to establish my plan for behavioral change, and then use the 4DX to execute my plan effectively for long-lasting results.

Mrs.Cliff4DX by Colby Clifford


​FranklinCovey. (2012, April 19). Executive overview of the 4 disciplines of execution [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZR2Ixm0QQE

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

​McChesney, C., Covey, S., & Huling, J. (2016). The 4 disciplines of execution: Achieving your wildly important goals. New York: Free Press.