Using the 4DX Model

In order to effectively implement change, you need to include a detailed execution strategy. In the book, “The 4 Disciplines of Execution,” authors Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling outline the exact methodology to effectively create change and “close the education gap.” Based on human effectiveness, the 4DX model uses four differenct disciplines to attain goals whether it be professionally or personally.

The Four Disciplines

Discipline 1: Focus on the Wildly Important

This step is where you identify you or your organization’s WIG, Wildly Important Goal. Set a clear goal so that when your project starts taking off, the goal is the same and the end result is clear.

WIG: By the end of 2022-2023 all classes at Kuleana Education will have a blended learning curriculum.

Discipline 2: Act on the Lead Measures

In this step, you are directed to work on lead measures vs lag measures. A lag measure tells you if you have achieved a goal. A lead measure tells you if you are likely to achieve a goal. Lag measures are called this because by the time you are observing the measurement, the actions behind the result have already occurred. Lead measures follow the actions that drive the lag measures. It is important to follow lead measures so that you have control over the lag measures.

In this model, the lead measures are short term. Meaning they are a daily or weekly check-in working toward the goal. This is so that a person or a team can quickly adapt and change with varying circumstances. Over time, lead measures may change as myself along with my team learn what becomes most effective in working toward the WIG.

Lag measure:

  • A measure of how many teachers have actually set up a blended learning environment in their classroom.

Lead measures:

  • Teachers will be given training and resources during teacher week before the 2021-22 school year.
  • Teachers will be expected to create at least one blended learning based unit to try during the first trimester.
  • Continual check-ins about the blended learning curriculum and troubleshooting to encourage teachers to set up more blended learning units.

Discipline 3: Keep a Compelling Scoreboard

Keeping a meaningful score of effectiveness of the lead measures will help keep staff involved and invested in the WIG. Making sure that the score is effective is just as important as the execution of the WIG, without meaningful scorekeeping, the execution will fall apart.

In order to keep track of teacher’s progress, there will be a shared document where teachers can log new curriculum introduced, new online resources they have found, give shout-outs to students doing exceptionally well with blended learning, and give kudos to one another. This positive feedback/ way to document success will keep teachers involved in the WIG and feel accomplished in moving forward with blended learning.

Discipline 4: Create a Cadence of Accountability

It is important to follow through with accountability for teachers. Without the follow-up, execution will once again fall apart. Each step of the 4DX model ensures success. The fourth and final step is accountability. There will be weekly meetings discussing the WIG. Staff members will be given opportunities to share their successes and share ways they think the WIG may need to be altered. This weekly check-in will hold teachers and staff accountable to the WIG and keep it an ongoing project, not just lost in the wind

The Five Stages of Change

Stage One: Getting Clear

During this stage, everyone involved works on getting on the same page. Each part of the process needs to be definitively outlined and defined. This is arguably one of the most important stages of change. This stage will set the tone for the entire phase of change. Involved members define their WIG, lag and lead measures, and determine a scoreboard. This is an opportunity for everyone to contribute their voice so that everyone is deeply committed to the WIG. After this stage, everyone will have the same ideas and expectations going forward.

Stage Two: Launch

At this point, the entire team is involved and knows the goals and expectations. This is the point where the leader needs to inspire the team to take action. It can be through an event or a simple pep talk from the leader but the team needs to feel the inspiration from the leader. In my case, this will take place during teacher work week. All teachers and staff will be well rested from summer and feel inspired for the coming year. I, serving as the leader for this movement, will do a presentation where I appeal to the heart and then to the mind so that teachers feel prepared to create radical change in their curriculum over the coming year. Change will not come all at once but getting the team ready to rumble going forward is a very important step.

Stage Three: Adoption

Teachers and leaders fully adopt and commit to the 4DX model. Everyone is committed to the WIG and change vital behaviors that compliment lead measures. Teachers become accountable to one another and begin to increase their enthusiasm toward the WIG and toward the 4DX model. This is a period of growth for the team as the project begins to take off!

Stage Four: Optimization

In this stage, as teachers (or team members) begin to get the hang of the 4DX model, they begin to change behaviors and working in the most efficient way to attain best results. Team members are accountable to one another and fully buy in to the 4DX model, creating a positive and efficient work place where all members are on the same page working toward the same goal. Basically, the 4DX model is in full swing and the team is completely involved optimizing their behavior for the better.

Stage Five: Habits

At this stage, the 4DX model is completely assimilated into the culture of the work place. It becomes habit almost second nature. You can see change happening and see a higher level of work performance all around. This is where the model really takes effect to make a more positive work place along with a more effective work place.

The Influencer vs. 4DX

After developing both the 4DX model and the Influencer Strategy, there is a large correlation between the two. While they both focus on creating meaningful organizational change, there are a few key differences between them. The Influencer model focuses on the individual. There is an appeal to individual motives such as the heart, the head, and the individual mindset. This is important in creating individual support which ultimately leads to widespread support (this is also mentioned in the influencer strategy). The 4DX model focuses on team support and team cooperation. Personally, I feel these strategies will be most effective when used in tandem with one another. After the influencer strategy is posed and individual support begins to turn into team support, the 4DX model will then follow. While neither strategy is ever really over as you want to continue to inspire to keep the team involved, implementing both strategies together will create the most effective and most meaningful change.


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.

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