The 4 Disciplines of Execution, first published in 2004 by Stephen R. Covey, was revised and rereleased in 2012 by his son Sean Covey and colleagues Chris McChesney and Jim Huling. It covers a comprehensive system for executing change across a company.
The 4DX system is organized around four principles:
1) Focus on a small number of wildly important goals (WIGs). The more you try to do, the less you actually accomplish. So narrow your focus and make tough choices.
2) Act on lead measures contributing to those goals. The WIGs still need to be measured. But measuring the actions to achieve the WIGs will support accountability for what’s truly actionable.
3) Keep a compelling scorecard. It must be so simple that team members can track their own score and they determine instantly if they are winning or losing.
4) Create a weekly cadence of accountability to contribute to moving the score. Unless we consistently hold each other accountable, the goal naturally fizzles in the whirlwind of the day-to-day.
4DX is a detailed and highly specified system refined by the FranklinCovey organization over the last decade and a half.
I’m usually wary of any book that claims its system will work well every time. However, I can say that 4DX does work for executive teams (alot of the time - more on that below).
It’s very similar to the approach from Scaling Up and the 7 Attributes of Agile Growth that we use with leadership teams to help them execute their strategies. And that works.
That said, how well these execution disciplines work depends on a number of things, such as:
While 4DX is a proven execution method, the results will be limited if these other more foundational aspects of the business aren’t also worked on.
This is the benefit of a holistic,integrated approach to business growth like Scaling Up or the 7 Attributes of Agile Growth. They go beyond symptoms to address the root causes of top team challenges, stymied company growth and CEO frustration.
Book: 352 pages, full audio - 8 hours 30 minutes, abridged audio – 3 hours 40 minutes. Summary on Soundview: 8 pages, 22 minute audio. On GetAbstract: 5 pages, 10 minute audio.
How can you improve your team’s execution?
To find out how to improve your execution to grow more easily, quickly and profitability, AND enjoy the ride, try our complimentary Agile Growth Checklist. This self-service questionnaire takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete. You'll receive the checklist with your responses immediately. Within 24 hours, you'll receive a compiled report highlighting areas to improve. Complete section 4 to check your execution practices. Or complete all 7 sections to find out how your company is doing in each of the 7 areas needed to produce more rapid, profitable and sustainable growth. This report is complementary and involves no obligation.
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