Four Disciplines of Execution Within the Five Stages of Change

Let’s Take A Look At Each Aspect From The Video In Greater Detail

What is my Why?

Our most recent WASC visit pointed out that our school has a low level of rigor.  WASC used pointed out that there’s not enough teachers operating at depth of knowledge levels 3 and 4.

 Our SPSA plan, which was written by us, states that we need to do better to engage our students in the learning process. “AHS will maximize the potential of every student by providing access to a broad rigorous and relevant course of study and educational experiences.” My why? More student engagement will allow us to increase our rigor and get to levels 3 and 4 on the DOK chart.

Our goals also include minimizing the number of out of class suspensions and in class behavior problems.  Finally, our professional learning communities require each one of us to teach the same standards. My innovation proposal will help us achieve these goals. Read the proposal >>>here<<<. If you would like to see my “Why” in greater detail, click >>>here<<<.

What is 4 DX?

Four Disciplines of Execution is a strategy that will help you execute your Wildly Important Goal. This strategy works best when used in conjunction with the Influencer Model, which you can learn more about >>>here<<<.  

Our Wildly Important Goal:

This goal will help us achieve our WASC and SPSA goals.  Achieving our WIG will help us become more rigorous while increasing student engagement.  

The following is how I believe that the implementation of the WIG will take place in the five stages.

Stage 1: Getting Clear

Here we will get the members of our PLC to commit to a new level of performance.  Two members of the PLC are currently operating within the confines of the WIG.  One person in the PLC is new, and is overwhelmed, but is willing to learn.  The other 2 people are culture busters.  Unfortunately, one of the culture busters is the PLC lead.  To help the culture busters, we will have two WIG sessions that will allow us to  go over our: Why, WIG, Lag measures, and Lead measures.  We will also create a scoreboard as a team.  I will actually give the team my first PBL project in order to help fulfill the WIG.  

Stage 2: Launch

We will have a formal meeting.  The best way to have a formal meeting for my group will include having food.  Here we need everyone to be involved in the process.  I will have to step up and pay very close attention to the culture busters.  They will get daily one on one consultations with me.  

Stage 3: Adaptation

There are two areas of focus in the adaptation stage.  The first thing we need to do is protect the WIG from the Whirlwind.  If the Whirlwind is too strong, the WIG will die.  During this stage we need to make sure that other Whirlwind projects are minimized.  This WIG will propel the school forward, so we need to make sure that little items such as helping other teachers with computer problems, or union business, etc. are minimized during the initial PBL project time.

I will have to plan to make myself available to the PLC even though it is Cross Country season.  Therefore, coach G will have to be prepared to get run the first 30 minutes of each practice.  

The second area of focus is increasing enthusiasm.  We have to avoid the trap that resistance to the WIG will bring with it; continued complacency in our PLC.  If we can get past resistance, accountability and achievement will become the norm.  The formula for the lag measure is “X to Y by (when)”.  Our WIG is “80% of Econ students completing 1 PBL module by the end of the 2021/2022 school year.”

How are we going to protect the WIG along with accountability and achievement?  We will take small measurements to reach our goal.  Reaching our goal is called a lag measure.  The lag measure has been given this name because by the time you get an opportunity to review lag measurements, the goal has either been met or has failed.  Our Lag measure is 80 percent of all eligible seniors completing one PBL lesson by the end of  the 2022 school year.

The next way to measure our goal is with lead measures.  Lead measures are influenceable by the team.  They are also predictive of whether or not we will fulfill our WIG.  Lead measure  one is to make sure that everyone in the PLC has a copy of the PBL Module.  The PBL module will be shared with everyone via Google Drive.  In addition, a paper copy of the module will be given to everyone in the PLC.  Lead measure two is to make sure that students are getting class time to work on the project.  The first two class periods we will give the students the entire class period to work on the PBL modules.  The culture busters usually like to throw on a “government” video once or twice a week so they can catch up on other items.  They will be able to replace this with the PBL module.  Lead measure three will be to make sure that students are getting a regular amount of in class time for work and guidance on the PBL module.  We will make our daily warm-ups the PBL module work.  Students will get time in class everyday to work together, get guidance, and research their ideas.  Lead Measure four for us will be to measure student progress at four different points throughout the module.  Lead measure five will be to go back and reteach students who do not complete the PBL module on time.  For this first PBL module WIG, we will allow students to turn in work late if they don’t make the deadline.    

Stage 4: Optimization

We will need to make sure that we are having regular WIG meetings, and even some quick WIG huddles.  We will create a players scoreboard in this stage as well.  The scoreboard will cause our PLC to have ownership.  As a result of ownership, and no one wanting to lose, our group should become more purposeful and engaged.  As a result of increased engagement, we should become more accountable to each other.  The scoreboard will help us create a culture of accountability within our PLC.   


This is a sample scoreboard based on my PLC’s love of Star Wars. This is an example. We will work together as a team to make a scoreboard that we can agree on. Picture credits: Esquire, Wikipedia, Amazon,, Pinterest

Stage 5: Habits

Once we get here, our PLC should no longer be the laggards.  We can focus on excellence, because the previous stages have broken down the wall of fear.  At this stage, I will propose that we build another PBL module together as a team.  This will provide us with another opportunity to fulfill the why (which advances the school forward), and give us an opportunity to build the habits that we will need to make the PBL modules an ongoing process within our PLC.

According to Patrick Lencioni, three signs of a miserable job are anonymity, irrelevance, and non- measurement.  From a worker’s perspective, why would I work hard if no one is watching (especially if I don’t have integrity)?  If my job is irrelevant, why do anything to change what I do, it is not important any way?  Finally, If I came to my job everyday and got paid the same, and there is no way to measure if I am doing good or bad, why work harder?  Having the WIG, and going through the 4 DX process, will make all of us better.  We are all being watched by our peers, what we are doing is important because we are moving the school forward, and our performance (or lack thereof) is being measured.  As a coach I like to say that competition prevents complacency, the same rings true at our workplace.  We will truly need a growth mindset to be successful in this process. Read about the growth mindset >>>here<<<.

The Influencer Model Meets the 4 Disciplines of Execution

Influencer & 4DX Model Complimenting Each Other

Focus on The WIGAct on Lead MeasuresCreate a Compelling Player’s ScoreboardCreate A Cadence of AccountabilityStages of Change
Influencer: PersonalHelp members of the organization do what they can’t.  85% of employees don’t know their company’s goals.  Keep the WIG simple.  Create a culture of innovation.  Structure + creativity = engagement Be clear about the lead measures.  Check on completion of lead measures daily.  Offer assistance for anyone who needs help on lead measures.  ModelLet team members help create a scoreboard, for buy in. Scoreboard should be in a place where everyone can see so that team members will be motivated to win.Change their economy, but don’t pay people for what they will do for freeAll 5 stages, whether it is motivation or ability.  Stage 3 (adaptation) and stage 5 (habits) are important for the long term health of the company.
Influencer: SocialAsk influential questions such as, “How are you changing the score?”Most workers are more accountable to their peers than to their own bosses.Provide assistance, this is also a great time to do some other team building activities.See aboveHave to motivate culture busters by creating a Cadence of 200% accountability.  Don’t use extrinsic rewards for things people will do anyway (overjustification hypothesis).Adaptation and Optimization.  Use natural/ thought leaders, peer pressure and food to help move the stages forward.    
Influencer: StructuralTeam members need to have access to the items required to make the WIG achievable.  Also there should be communication in place structurally to help the team members.Lead measures need to move the entire organization forward.  Scoreboard needs to be placed where every member can see it with ease.  Proper norms and traditions need to be in place within the organization.All 5 stages, but specifically the last 3.  This is where new norms and traditions can be made.
Notice the ObviousWIG should help the entire organization.Focus on “What” not “How”.  Defining WIG should start with a verbNeed to reevaluate and adjust based on the data the lead measures revealIf teams are falling too far behind, we need to have a crucial conversation.See who is not adhering to the cadence of accountability, and find out why.  Yet another crucial conversation.Leaders need to be more intensely involved during the launch phase.  The involvement will give them an opportunity to “Notice the Obvious”
Crucial MomentsProper set-up!! People must understand your why.  People also need to know what you are trying to do.WIG must be achievable, winnable and worthyMake sure you also define your Lead measuresIn the whirlwind, people play not to lose.  The compelling scoreboard gives personal, social, and structural motivation.Create new norms.  Stop the “Conspiracy of Silence”All 5 stages are crucial for the success of the WIG. Need to be constantly getting feedback, measuring and adjusting.
Positive VariantsIt’s not the merit of the idea, it is who adapts.  Use the wisdom of the crowd to get this group to influence the Potentials and Resistors.One weekly goal that they can be fulfilled.  We want to provide assistance to them.  Also want to tap into their natural social capitalResults drive engagement.  Nothing affects morale more than when the workers feel like they are winning.  Models and Potentials are the ones that can move the tipping point of your organization.  They will be the people that hold themselves and others accountableThese are known as “models” in the 4 DX.  They should be used to help move the project along  Adaptation, Optimization , and forming Habits.
Culture BustersCulture Busters/Resisters will initially believe that the WIG cannot be done.  You have to help them love what they hate.  You will have to change the accepted norms.  Give them direct experiences so they can feel the consequences of their choices.  Help them do what they can’t by using deliberate practice.Everyone in the group has to be given lead measure tasks that have to be completed by a specific time.  Use The Positive Variants/Models to help move the culture Busters forwardResisters/ Culture Busters might feel like they can be anonymous, or their work is irrelevant.  Also, this group of people needs to have their work measured.  A compelling Player’s Scoreboard to help them outThe WIG session leaders have to demonstrate respect, but also reinforce accountability while encouraging performance. Resisters believe that it can’t be done.  They will need extra focus during all 5 stages, but specifically during the 1st 3 stages.  
Fuzzy GoalsGoals need to be clear and precise. No more than two goals.  You will have to pass on the good to get to the great. Break your WIG into “mini” goals (lead measures).If your goals are unclear, you will not be able to put together lead measuresIf goals are unclear, the scoreboard can’t be kept correctly, because no one knows how to keep score.If there is no vision, there will be no accountabilityThe first stage is getting clear.  Use this stage to make sure everyone is on the same page.  
Infrequent MeasuresCan’t just focus on the outcome (Lag Measures)Lead measures are predictive and influenceable.  They create leverage for achieving the goal, because they tell you if you are likely to achieve the goal.  They must be measured frequently.A simple Players scoreboard that is visible, and allows team members to tell the score in under five seconds is desired most.  The scoreboard must be updated weeklyYou must have someone who keeps the scoreboard up to date regularlyIssues with infrequent measures can be solved by having a clear goal (stage 1), having all measures in place throughout the launch and adaptation stages.
Bad Measures2 traps will make your WIG a bad measure.Refusing to say no to good ideasTrying to make everything in the whirlwind a goalNo lead measures when working with bad measures.See “Fuzzy Goals”Bad measures prevent me from holding you accountable, or helping you do what you can’t.  No deliberate practice.  No immediate feedback.  What would bad measures allow you to be held accountable to?WIG won’t get past stage 1, getting clear.  However, you may have just modeled bad habits (stage 5).  Being consistent with bad habits will make the people in your organization believe that is how your business runs.


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