The 4 Disciplines of Execution - PCC - ebook

The 4 Disciplines of Execution offers…the ‘what’ but also ‘how’ effective execution is achieved. They share numerous examples of companies that have done just that, not once, but over and over again. This is a book that every leader should read!” (Clayton Christensen, Professor, Harvard Business School, and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma). Do you remember the last major initiative you watched die in your organization? Did it go down with a loud crash? Or was it slowly and quietly suffocated by other competing priorities? By the time it finally disappeared, it’s likely no one even noticed. What happened? The “whirlwind” of urgent activity required to keep things running day-to-day devoured all the time and energy you needed to invest in executing your strategy for tomorrow. The 4 Disciplines of Execution can change all that forever. The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) is a simple, repeatable, and proven formula for executing on your most important strategic priorities in the midst of the whirlwind. By following the 4 Disciplines—Focusing on the Wildly Important; Acting on Lead Measures; Keeping a Compelling Scoreboard; Creating a Cadence of Accountability—leaders can produce breakthrough results, even when executing the strategy requires a significant change in behavior from their teams. 4DX is not theory. It is a proven set of practices that have been tested and refined by hundreds of organizations and thousands of teams over many years. When a company or an individual adheres to these disciplines, they achieve superb results—regardless of the goal. 4DX represents a new way of thinking and working that is essential to thriving in today’s competitive climate. The 4 Disciplines of Execution is one book that no business leader can afford to miss.

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Create a Winnable Game

If your team is operating exclusively in the whirlwind, they're giving everything they have just to sustain their day to day operation and survive. They're not playing to win; they're playing not to lose. And the result is a big difference in performance. But with 4DX, not only do you create a game for your team, you create a winnable game.

Almost everyone agrees developing a strategy is easy but that executing that strategy is much harder, especially if that requires a signifcant change in human behavior. Strategy can be changed with the stroke of a pen but executing on a strategy and achieving an important goal often requires that you do new and different things-and these new and different things usually come up against the“whirlwind”of activities which make up a normal working day. Most people are just trying to survive battling that whirlwind and don't have the time or energy to do something new.

With that in mind, the key to increasing execution is not to manage your whirlwind. It is instead to execute your most critical strategy in the midst of that whirlwind.

There are four steps involved: “The 4 Disciplines of Execution”:

Key Thoughts

“Although the disciplines may seem simple at frst glance, they are not simplistic. They will profoundly change the way you approach your goals. We believe they represent a major breakthrough in how to move teams and organizations forward. 4DX is an operating system for achieving the goals you must achieve." — Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling

“The great management scientist Peter Drucker observed, “I’ve seen a great many people who are magnifcent at getting the unimportant things done. They have an impressive record of achievement on trivial matters.”But you don’t want to be magnifcently trivial. You want to make a real difference. You want to make a high-value, high-impact contribution. The 4 Disciplines of Execution can take you there.” — Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling

4DX 1

Focus on What’s Wildly Important

An inescapable truth is the more you try to do, the less you will usually accomplish. People lose track of this and try to cram more and more into each day. Therefore, the frst step to executing is to fgure out what exactly is wildly important to what you want to achieve and then focus on that alone. Select one or at absolute most two wildly important goals(WIGs)and make them your top priority. Make it clear to everyone this is what matters most.

Execution always starts and ends with focus. Focusing your fnest efforts on one or two important goals will be more productive than giving a mediocre effort to dozens of goals. In fact, it has been found this kind of dynamic exists in most organizations:

When it comes to setting goals, the law of diminishing returns always applies no matter how inconvenient it may be. Therefore, one of the keys to achieving more is to change your conventional thinking into something more aligned with a 4DX principle: