The 4DX and 5 Stages of Change
When establishing Hat Trick Training Academy, not only did I have in mind starting up a training facility but also incorporating a school later on. While working in the DLL program it has given me a chance to prepare a plan to roll out the education part and focus on what is important, HTT’s goal of being the best education choice for the student athlete in Northwest Florida. To do this we are going to use two models together to get the best outcomes to achieve our goal. These two processes are “The Influencer Model” and “The 4 Disciples of Execution (4DX). Using them together it will allow us to focus on the Wildly Important Goal (WIG) while working on everyday jobs without being distracted. This strategy will be difficult at first because it is a change to the norm. There will be new challenges and new ideas. With those challenges and ideas there will be a fear of failure. If we stay focused on what is important, then there won’t be any failure.
The 4 Disciplines of Execution:
The 4DX is a strategy-based system in which everything is done while focusing on the accomplishment of the big goal (s), known as a WIG (Wildly Important Goal). There are 4 disciplines in the 4DX of which need to be followed to achieve the WIG. The first discipline of the 4DX, focus on the WIG which is essentially what it says. Second is Acting on Lead Measures while 3rd and 4th focus on Keeping a Scoreboard and Accountability. During the implementation there will be outside factors, distracters and everyday work that will keep you and your team from focusing on the WIG, these are called the Whirlwinds. Whirlwinds exist no matter if you use the 4DX or not, it’s just now you will be able to recognize them as for what they are…distractions from achieving the goal.
Discipline 1: Focus on the Wildly Important Goal (WIG)
Ambitious leaders like to achieve a lot of goals. The problem with having too many goals is losing focus on what really matters. When there are too many goals nothing will be changed or there will be very little change in achieving success. (McChesney, Covey & Huling, 2012) To get away from having an enormous amount of goals, one will need to establish and focus on a Wildly Important Goal (WIG). A WIG is the ultimate goal, one in which if it is not achieved nothing will work. I’ve attached my WIG directly to my Desired Results (add image). When my WIG, Every member of the HTT staff will be fully trained to accomplish the Desired Results by August 2021, ensuring the success of the academy for the future, is set into motion the staff will have a easy to understand goal that doesn’t lose focus and is obtainable as long as they are not sidetracked by the ever so evil whirlwind. The staff and leader must keep the focus on the WIG and deal with the whirlwind as needed to ensure the achievement of the goal.
Discipline 2: Act on the Lead Measures
What in the world is a lead measure? To understand what a lead measure is, you have to know what a lag measure is. Lag measures, track all measurements of the WIG (McChesney, Covey & Huling, 2012). These are activities that have already happened in the past and can’t be fixed. People spend a lot of time focusing on the lag measures; however, nothing can be changed in results that have already happened. Don’t focus on the lag, but focus on the lead. Lead Measures are the steps you can take that have the most impact on achieving the WIG. The lead measures, drive success of the lag measures in achievement of the WIG creating new behaviors by the team. Lead measures are predictive and can by influenced by those working with them. The secret to success is acting on the lead measures. To bring it all back together, lead measures are important because they can be acted on, predictable and influenced. Lag measure are ultimately the important thing you’re trying to accomplish (McChesney, Covey & Huling, 2012) but the lead measures are what gets you there.
Discipline 3: Keep a Compelling Scoreboard
Discipline 3, Keep a compelling scoreboard, is exactly that. Tracking the measurements and using this as motivation and engagement with the team is the purpose. Being able to see where the team and individuals stand is a great way of tracking toward the WIG. What I have decided to do is to remove the name Scoreboard and replace it with Stats Board. While it essentially it will measure the same as the scoreboard, I want the team to see they are part of a team and show what they are contributing. Out with the name that essentially means Us v Them and in with the name that is more about our team, our goal and no one else. It’s not Us v Them, but Us as a Team we have accomplished these goals by focusing on the first wo disciplines.
Discipline 4: Create a Cadence of Accountability
When working with a team or leading a team, it is beneficial to always work together and call out the good and the bad. Every week we will hold a meeting where ALL staff will be in attendance. Discussions will revolve around the WIG and what measures are being taken to achieve it. The stats board will always be discussed as well as any ideas that would help achieve the WIG. Voice is important in the meeting but must not be taken over by the whirlwind. For HTT, the meeting is held on every Monday, focused on the WIG, in a short twenty to thirty in time frame. The success of the meetings is in direct relationship with the success of all the disciplines of the 4DX.
The 5 Stages of Change
Changing behaviors in an individual is hard enough, try changing behaviors of an entire team. That’s what the 4DX is about. Behaviors don’t change overnight and there are always some people who will resist change. According to the 4 Disciplines of Execution, to change the behavior of an entire team there are 5 stages they must go through. These stages are: Getting Clear, Launch, Adoption, Optimization and Habits. It is imperative that the leader understands these stages and is proactive to keep the team together during these stages and always keeps them focused on the WIG
Stage1: Getting Clear
During stage 1, the leader will focus on the WIG an 4DX and show the team how important the WIG is. When the team understands CLEARLY the importance of the WIG, they will be more likely to strive toward the success. During this stage the leader: will be a model by focusing on the WIG, will finding out what the high-level lead measures are, creation of a stats board to keep track of goals and motivate the team and hold WIG sessions scheduled and required.
Stage 2: Launch
In the second stage of change, is where the leader will launch the WIG. The team needs involvement from the leader to show why it is important to stay focused on the WIG. This launch might not go accordingly and probably will be a little shaky. Some will follow (those are the models) and some will resist the change. Focus on the implementation of the 4DX and trust it. Hold the resistors accountable and talk with them about change and encourage the change. Reward the models and encourage the great success that is happening.
Stage 3: Adoption
Adoption stage is going to be the hardest stage. This is the stage where the real models will show and the real resistors will try to infect to resist change. As the leader you have to start holding the team accountable for each other despite the demands of the whirlwind. The team adopts the 4DX and the new behaviors will be used to achieve the WIG. Adoption won’t happen overnight and will take time for the whole team to get on board. As the leader you will need to:
- Focus first on adopting and sticking with the process, then the outcomes.
- Hold weekly WIG sessions where each team member holds each other accountable.
- Keep a tally of results on a stats board.
- Additional training for those who are showing promise.
- Address resisters and what is holding them back from adopting the behavior changes.
Stage 4: Optimization
Closing in on the end of the 5 stage of behavior change, stage 4 shows that results are starting to make a difference as this is the stage where the team is now embracing the 4DX system and showing ownership. Along with ownership this stage is where new ideas will start to show as the attitude has now moved to a “Playing to win” behavior within the team. As the leader you want to reward and encourage those behaviors that are moving the lead measures and helping the team as a whole achieve success. Here is where on the stats board you can make an assists column. Those who help out team mates can be rewarded for assisting another team mate, which in whole helps the entire team.
Stage 5: Habits
The final stage, Habits, is about creating ongoing habits that continue after the success of the initial WIG. At this level goal achievement will happen as well as performance will be top notch and will create a “culture of excellence” as 4DX is a habit-forming system. Leaders need to:
- Celebrate and acknowledge success to the WIGs
- Continue the 4DX by starting new WIGs
- Emphasize that the 4DX is the new standard to achieve success.
- Reward and show that the team members who have the most potential (the middle performers) will be the most productive and where a majority of the work happens
Applying 4DX and Influencer Model
While both models are different, they both address similar activities and can be successful on their own. But having the structure of the 6 sources of influence and the wildly important goals acting together, I believe a lot can be achieved. Why utilize one sources of influence when you can stack two on top of one another and use them together to achieve a goal and changing behaviors at the same time.
McGraw-Hill Education. (2013). Influencer: the new science of leading change: 2nd ed. New York.
McChesney, C., Covey, S., & Huling, J. (2016). The 4 disciplines of execution: achieving your wildly important goals. New York: Free Press.