Leaders always have good intentions in organizations. They always want to work and do things in the best possible way. However, when an initiative or project is to be rolled out in any organization, planning for an ideal execution needs to be in mind. Teachers are caught up in the whirlwind of the daily job they perform and are often consumed by a number of initiatives designed by their organization. Such initiatives are, from the organizations’ perspective, well-thought-out and ready to be rolled out. However, most of the times teachers have little input into the planning and even implementation stages of such initiative. The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) is a methodology that helps organizations close the execution gap. I have developed an innovation plan, found our main sources of influence, and are now ready to create an execution strategy. To have higher chances of success in my plan I will be using the 4 disciplines of execution, which involve:Franklin Covey & Chris McChesney.
- Focusing on the wildly important goal.
- Acting on the lead measures.
- Keeping a compelling scoreboard.
- Creating a cadence of accountability.
As a teacher, I feel I am always in the whirlwind of the daily tasks and struggles of the work I do. At work, I am always multitasking and going from one task to the next one left me with the feeling that I can never catch up my breath. But, as an educator, I cannot get trapped in the whirlwind. My main responsibility is helping my students grow so that they can be successful in life. My innovation plan is the wildly important goal at its core so I will use the 4 Disciplines of Execution to help me turn it into a reality. The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) is a formula designed to execute on my most important strategic priority – innovation plan – in the midst of the whirlwind in the middle of a pandemic.
Discipline 1: Focus on the Wildly Important
Narrowing the focus of my innovation plan allowed me to unclutter the path to see the end goal. I feel I am always trying to attend to too many tasks at once letting the whirlwind drag me down an unclear journey. In my Blended Learning innovation plan, there are many possible goals, but there is one that would make all the difference. The wildly important goal (WIG) I propose is: “By 2023, 70% of elective teachers in my organizations will do Blended Learning in their classrooms.” **The WIG can be altered based on team discussion but will involve Blended Learning.
Discipline 2: Act on the Lead Measures
In order to come closer to meeting WIG, I need to identify my lead measures. Changing and influencing behavior requires me to focus on behaviors that have the greatest leverage. These are three sample lead measures that I will l share with my team so that I can move towards achieving my WIG:
- Teachers will do blended learning in their classrooms. This will be measured by a reflection on how blended learning impacted student learning. Teachers will use Flipgrid to report such an impact.
- Teachers will integrate blended learning into the curriculum. This can be done by reviewing and implementing at least two components of the model every two weeks. This measure will ensure teachers apply their knowledge into their own content area modifying and/or adjusting curriculum activities.
- Teacher will hold themselves accountable through collaborative meetings (PLCs). During the meetings, teachers will support each other by sharing resources, developing lessons, celebrating successes.
The Lag measure tracks the goal, or in this case the end result, where at least 70% of the elective teachers will do blended learning in their classrooms by 2022-23. The LEAD MEASURES are what drives the success of the intended outcome/goal and need to be our focus.
Discipline 3: Creating our scoreboard to easily display and track our lead and lag measures
I have to admit that this discipline was the most difficult for me to design. I had to think how to do it in a way in which the strategy would really encourage participants rather than get disappointed or feel less than others. In my innovation plan, I stated I would create a site specifically to store PD sessions about blended learning, its types, examples of blended learning implementation in different content areas, as well as minutes of monthly PLCs. By doing this digital scoreboard, the elective teachers can see their progress, support each other and hold themselves accountable for their own progress and learning.
The scoreboard will be updated weekly by calculating the lag measures.
Discipline 4: Creating a cadence of accountability
Teachers will meet weekly. The meetings can be done synchronously via Zoom or face-to-face. When meeting as an innovative team, they will celebrate their successes. This will allow them to hold themselves accountable. The goal is for the team to design their own weekly goals and support each other at achieving them. Such goals are bite-size. This means that they can achieve them motivating teachers to continue growing while they do blended learning in their classrooms. In order to hold myself accountable, I will have the following items for the team:
- Account: Report on commitments. I am committed to continue working on the current implementation stage–“here is what I am doing”
- Review the scoreboard: Learn from success and failures. Report the implementation of BL and how is the BL taking on instruction.
- Plan: Clear the path and make new commitments. Members will share any difficulties and success found through the implementations of the Blended Learning. Suggestions will be recorded to be used during the next section. Questions will be clarified as a team. Help will be offer and PD will schedule
5 Stages of Change
6 Sources Of Influence & 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX)
One of my roles as an educator is to inspire and support change so that the school can move from where it is to where it needs to be to ensure the best outcomes for all its students. Change is always challenging but when necessary change takes place, it responds to the needs of students leading to changed practice and improved student outcomes. The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) process and the Influencer Model can lead to a more streamlined process that promotes change. From my perspective, when using the influencer model, I looked at my plan from different perspectives making sure the participants were going to be successful throughout the implementation. When using the 4DX model, I felt I was taking care of the details and the people who would implement the plan. Such a combination allows me to create a long-lasting and effective change in my organization.
Both models, the influencer and 4DX, share the following characteristics. Through the use of the models, participants are motivated. The influencer model provides the details on how to change behaviors through social, personal, and structure motivation and ability. In the 4DX model, a scoreboard is designed to encourage participants towards change and for it to become a habit. In addition to that, both models provide a clear path for me to measure success. A third similarity is a focus both models provide at the beginning stages of the plan. From my perspective, it allowed me to really unclutter my plan and focus on the end goal. By doing this, I was able to focus on one goal rather than a subset of goals that were not going to drive change in my organization.
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.