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People Play Differently When They Are Keeping Score

Discipline 3: Keeping a Compelling Scoreboard

The difference in performance between a team that simply understands their lead and lag measures as a concept, and a team that actually knows their score, is remarkable! Lead and lag measures that are not captured on a visual scoreboard and updated regularly, will surely disappear into the distraction of the whirlwind.

You may be thinking that you already have a scoreboard, or even lots of scoreboards, all captured in complex spreadsheets inside your computer. This type of approach is tied to conventional thinking and is what we would call a “coach’s scoreboard.”

What we are asking you to do in Discipline 3 is move from conventional thinking to the 4DX Principle: The scoreboard is for the whole team. To drive execution you need a players’ scoreboard designed solely to engage the players on your team to win…Here’s where we need to be and here’s where we are right now. In five seconds or less, anyone can determine whether we are winning or losing.

With this approach you will see an increase in the level of intensity of your team and you will also see teamwork. Jim Stuart, one of the originators of 4DX, said it best: “The fundamental purpose of a players’ scoreboard is to motivate the players to win.”

4 Characteristics of a Compelling Players’ Scoreboard:

  1. Is it simple? It must be simple. Coaches need the data to manage the game, but the scoreboard on the field shows only the data needed to play the game.
  2. Can I see it easily? It must be visible to the team. Visibility drives accountability.
  3. Does it show lead and lag measures? This really helps a scoreboard come to life.
  4. Can I tell at a glance if I’m winning? If the team can’t quickly determine if they are winning or losing, then it’s not a game, it’s just data.

Like Disciplines 1 and 2, Discipline 3 is not intuitive for most leaders. You don’t naturally create a players’ scoreboard. And you’re not alone. We seldom find even a single scoreboard in most organizations that meets the four criteria listed here.

“The thing that I liked most about the 4DX Process by far is the engagement of our people. Just the fact that everyone from the General Managers to hourly associates knew exactly what our wildly important goals were…And because we were keeping score and holding people accountable the engagement level went up tremendously!” Dave Grissen – Marriott, President, The Americas  


The 4DX Book posted November 27, 2012 comments (0)

How to Clarify Your Goals and Reach the Finish Line

“We are the most focused company that I know of or have read of or have any knowledge of.
We keep the amount of things we focus on very small in number so that
we can put enormous energy behind the ones we do choose.” -Tim Cook, Apple CEO

All too often goals lack clarity. In other words, we constantly set goals that no one can achieve because there’s no
finish line; no way of telling whether you completed the goal or not and where you stand at any given point. Here
are some examples of goals that lack measurement:

“Improve inventory processing.” How much?
“Strengthen new client relationships.” How do we measure “stronger”?
“Identify, recruit, and retain the best employees.” How will we know if we’ve done that?

Exiting vague theory, we activate a proven set of practices that have been tested and refined by hundreds of
organizations and thousands of teams over many years. Simply put, enabling organizations of all shapes and sizes
to focus their finest efforts on one or two wildly important goals (WIGs) that will make all the difference, instead
of giving mediocre effort to dozens of goals.

Consider the two most common focus traps:

• Do you find yourself saying ‘yes’ to all good ideas?
• Do you turn everything in the whirlwind into a goal?

What is this lack of clarity in your goal-setting process costing your organization?

This dilemma is overcome by executing a matched set of 4 deceptively simple rules:

1. No team focuses on more than to WIGs (wildly important goals) at the same time.
2. The battle you choose must win the war.
3. Senior leaders can veto, but not dictate.
4. All WIGs must have a finish line in the form of ‘from X to Y by when.’

Lag vs. Lead Measures

Lag Measures – The measurement of a result you are trying to achieve. We call them lag measures
because by the time you get the data the result has already happened; they are always lagging.
Lead Measures – Foretell the result. They are predictive and influenceable.

Here’s a warning: Resist the temptation to oversimplify.

As a quick wrap up for now, remember, a WIG is not a strategy. A WIG is a tactical goal with a limited time frame.
Some WIGs take years to implement. Use your own judgment.

We’ll talk more about selecting the right lead measures in our next post.

The 4DX Book posted October 18, 2012 comments (0)

The 4 Disciplines of Execution Summary (Part 1)


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, and creating a cadence of accountability, leaders can produce breakthrough results.

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.

What the 4 Disciplines of Execution are and why they work.
How to execute your strategic priorities and get results.
How to effect change in human behavior to achieve your goals.
How to install the 4 Disciplines of Execution in your team and organization.

The Real Problem with Execution
If youre leading people right now, you are probably trying to get them to do something different. Whether you lead a small work team or a whole company, a family or a factory, no significant result is achievable unless people change their behavior. To be successful, you will need their commitment. Getting the kind of commitment that will endure in the midst of the daily grind is not easy. When you execute a strategy that requires a lasting change in the behavior of other people, you’re facing one of the greatest leadership challenges you will ever meet. With the 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX), you are implementing a set of proven practices that meet that challenge successfully every time. The real enemy of execution is the whirlwind, the massive amount of energy that’s necessary just to keep your operation going on a day-to-day basis. The 4 Disciplines aren’t designed for managing your whirlwind but for executing your most critical strategy in the midst of your whirlwind.

In the next blog post, The 4 Disciplines of Execution Summary (Part 2), we will discuss the four disciplines to help you and your organization to achieve your wildly important goals.

The 4DX Book posted August 9, 2012 comments (2)

Businesses must define and prioritize goals

“The key for companies to achieve their priorities is to narrow their focus and take on one goal at a time — something with which many leaders struggle.” -Chris McChesney

In an interview with Arizona Central newspaper, author Chris McChesney said, “For business to execute their goals they must define and prioritize their wildly important goals.” For more information on this article please go to the following link:

News, The 4DX Book posted August 9, 2012 comments (0)

Marriott Hotel Case Study


One of the hotels near Marriott Internationals headquarters, the Bethesda Marriott, wanted to improve performance measures, an effort magnified by being so close to the companys leadership. General Manager Brian Hilger, his team and the hotels owners worked together on a $20-million renovation that included remodeled rooms, an impressive lobby, and a new restaurantimprovements critical to higher guest scores. And the results were amazingthe hotel looked fantastic. But the guest scores were still not at desired levels . . . yet. The second part of the equation would involve how associates interacted with guests and executed at the hotel a strategy dependent on new behaviors.

After one year Brian, and his team proudly celebrated earning the highest Guest Satisfaction Scores in the thirty-year history of the hotel. As Brian said, I used to dread the arrival of our new Guest Satisfaction Scores every Friday. Now, Im excited to get up on Friday mornings.

Ask yourself these questions: Do you remember the last major initiative you watched die in organization? Did it go down with a loud crash? Or was it slowly and quietly suffocated by other competing priorities?

Now is the time for you to implement the 4 Disciplines of Execution in your leadership management. Where can you make execution possible? Please share with us where you see execution possible.

The 4DX Book posted April 30, 2012 comments (0)