4DX Model

It’s been full force since August with implementing my innovation plan of using ePortfolios in the classroom. Through trial and error I realized that if I stood any chance at all of bringing other grade levels and teachers onboard then I need to have a very strategic plan and a slew of strategies to help bridge the gap of change from one side to the other. 

As a team, we need clear communication and well defined steps in order to move through the process of implementing ePortfolios in all classrooms.  Our “Why” is one of the most important beginning points for communication. It is imperative that everyone involved in the process understands why we want to make the changes, what our goals are and how those would be a benefit for  our students.

Using the 4DX model would guide our team on choosing and aligning our goals and performance measurements. When discussing and planning  Wildly Important Goal, or WIG, we will use the 4DX model to dig through the 4 Disciplines of Execution and begin making a plan that keeps the daily whirlwind in mind but also allows us to focus on specific strategies to meet our goals.

There are four disciplines of execution within five stages of change.

Discipline 1: Focus on the Wildly Important.

For our WIG to be successful you must focus your best efforts on one or two goals that will make all the difference (McChesney, Covey, & Huling, 2012). Planning an implementation process for ePortfolios in the classroom will come with many goals. One goal in particular will make the greatest difference.

Our Wildly Important Goal (WIG): By the end of the 2021-2022 school year, grades 3-5 will have student created portfolios and students will use it at least once a week during core content classes to express their choice, ownership, and voice.

*Based on team discussion, the WIG can be adjusted regarding the time frame and amount of use.

Discipline 2: Act on the Lead Measures.

Measuring progress requires the use of two different methods – lag measures and lead measures. The lag measures track the goal, while lead measures are the greatest actions the team would take to achieve the goal. The lead measures are those that lead to the WIG and can be predicted and influenced.

Lag Measure – We will track student and teacher ePortfolio creation and usage during our weekly PLC meetings.

Lead Measure – At least 70% of the teachers will create their ePortfolio by the end of the last semester of the 2021-2022 school year.

*Measures can be adjusted as needed.

Discipline 3: Keep a Compelling Scoreboard.

Studies show that people who keep a score play differently and are more engaged. People tend to be more involved if there’s a chance of winning a game and not just solely making a change. Our team will create a scoreboard that is easy to read and will keep track of our lead to lag measures and show where we are and where we are headed. Our team can see immediately where they fall and if they are winning or losing.

Our scoreboard will track the number of students that have created their ePortfolios and will be sorted by homeroom teachers. The visualization will help show and track continued progress.

Team scoreboard example:

Teachers SeptemberOctober NovemberDecemberJanuaryRunning Total
Teacher 14652421
Teacher 25361318
Teacher 33281216
Teacher 46428222
Teacher 51276622
Teacher 63140816

Discipline 4: Create a Cadence of Accountability

Discipline 4 is where we begin to see more execution. This is where we will focus on accountability, so as not to risk losing any ground we’ve gained or lose focus of our WIG. We will have scheduled weekly meetings during conference periods. During these meetings, we will focus on the commitments we made previously and report any updates. Before closing the meeting we will make a plan for moving our lead measure forward.

Our weekly WIG meetings will be during the first conference of the week for each grade level and will follow the same agenda as to get as much covered as possible while respecting our time.

  • Team members report on the commitments they made at the previous meeting to move the lead measures
  • Review and update the scoreboard
  • Discuss what works and what does not and how to adjust
  • Based on what has been discussed each team member makes commitments for the upcoming meeting that moves the lead measure to the desired level of performance.

5 Stages of Change

WIGs, lead and lag measurements, and scorecards are important components of the 4DX model but the most important factor in this process is our team. the project team As we would expect, there are five very predictable stages of behavior change that we should expect our team members to go through.

  • Stage 1: Getting Clear
    • Our team will focus on developing a single cohesive WIG for the coming school year, as well as identifying lag and lead measures, creating an inspiring scoreboard, and schedule our weekly WIG meetings. Getting clear engages many of the personal motivational techniques needed in the Six Sources of Influence.
  • Stage 2: Launch
    • During our weekly WIG meetings, we will shine light on big and small achievements, challenges, and tracking progress on our scoreboard.
  • Stage 3: Adoption
    • Beyond the launch stage, the tracking of the scoreboard and ensuring transparency become increasingly more important. Disciplines three may also be supported by using the influencer model that organizes social and structural motivations within the organization. As the launch takes off and ePortfolios are being created and shared, others not quire on board yet are motivated to implement. Using our scoreboard to identify these patterns will also help with adopting initiative. We will continue to work as a team, focus on accountability, monitor our progress and adjust as needed.
  • Stage 4: Optimization
    • This is where we will start seeking out areas that need refining and making adjustments across the board. It could be the process as well as revisement of the lead measures in order to obtain greater lag benefits. We want to make changes to insure the best results possible. Team members should promote ideas for improving efficiency and effectiveness by moving the lead measures. Team members will visit the scoreboard and celebrate successes, offer help to those that need motivation, and reach out to teachers that are resistant to change. This could also be supported by using structural motivations.
  • Stage 5: Habits
    • It is after our behaviors that were the driving force for our lead measures have now become common and are part of the daily whirlwind that our team can take on another WIG. We want to insure that any team members in obtaining higher levels of engagement as this would only prove to be beneficial in the process of achieving the next WIG. The team will write a new goal for the upcoming school year and determine if new members need to be added to the team.

Connecting the Influencer Model and 4DX

While developing my 4DX I was in constant comparison with my previously created Influencer Model . During this process, I was able to make a few very strong connections between the two. Goal implementation is a major focus for both with the Influencer Model focusing on identifying and changing behaviors to achieve a measurable goal. 4DX has more of team focus around a goal implementation process. Combining the two plans will ensure that true leaders are leading their teams with a predetermined direction while the members of that team focus on the steps needed to achieve the goal. Integrating The 6 Sources of Influence can prove to be an invaluable resources for supplementing the 4DX model and achieving success in implementing my innovation project.


FranklinCovey. (2008, December 29). Execution video preview: whirlwind – Chris McChesney. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/94w1Tt5IpS4

FranklinCovey. (2016, May 29). 4 Disciplines of execution WIGs- Chris McChesney. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/94w1Tt5IpS4

FranklinCovey. (2016, December 29). The 4 disciplines of execution in a nutshell. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZR2Ixm0QQE

McChesney, C. (2017, January 5). 4DX OS (Operating System) overview. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZR2Ixm0QQE

Grenny, J., Patterson, K., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2013). Influencer: the new science of leading change (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education

McChesney, C., Covey, S., & Huling, J. (2012). The 4 disciplines of execution: achieving your wildly important goals (1st ed.). Free Press.