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The majority of businesses that go broke don’t lack effective strategy or vision.  They lack the ability to execute effectively.  In other words they lack ability to prioritise and channel their finite and limited resources into achieving goals and objectives to achieve the best return.

Developed by Franklin Covey, a leader in business training services, the 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) is a very powerful methodology for getting the right things to actually happen in your business.

Read on for a quick summary of 4DX:

Discipline #1 – Focus on the Wildly Important

No matter how strong the temptation, only pick 1-3 Wildly Important Goals (WIGs) for your company in any given period. Human nature is set too many goals at once, which invariably results in very few of them actually being accomplished.

Note each department may have its own WIGs, but they must ensure the success of the overall company WIG/s.

Discipline #2 – Act on the Lead Measures

While “Lag measures” measure the goal, “Lead measures” measure something that leads to the goal and something that we can directly influence.  For example, in the context of trying to lose weight, the Lag measure is my weight. The Lead measures are 1) the number calories consumed (diet) and 2) the amount of calories burned (exercise).  Focusing on the Lag measure alone won’t help me lose weight.  Setting KPIs for the two Lead measures will enable me to track progress towards achieving the Lag measure.

Lead measures aren’t always easy to identify, but acting on them will have much greater and more predictable influence on your ultimate goals, or Lag measures.

Discipline #3 – Create a Compelling Scoreboard

As in any game, your team needs to know the score. Does everyone in your company know at any time during the day how they’re tracking towards their monthly or quarterly goals?

Enter the scoreboard. Create a scoreboard that your team can understand, and immediately tell whether they’re winning or losing.  At very least, make it a whiteboard, and update it daily. Better still, install screens in your office and plant and display live data, tracking your Lead and Lag measures.

Discipline #4 – Create a Cadence of Accountability

A regular meeting schedule is essential for building accountability within your team. Review the scoreboard and the results for the period. Are we achieving the Lead measures we said we would, and if so, is the Lag measure responding? What 1-3 things can we do this week to impact the Lead measure/s?

Keeping short accounts and regular feedback loops greatly increases the ability to achieve the specified goals.

Implementing 4DX isn’t easy. The discipline to keep things simple, only select a couple of key goals at a time and relentlessly executing on the Lead measures often isn’t something we’re used to doing, and sometimes even feels counterintuitive. But get it right, and these tools are extremely powerful in moving your business forward.

See http://www.franklincovey.com/4dflv/4D_2Vid.html for more information.