Posts Tagged ‘business’

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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)