Sunday, November 24, 2013

Focus and Leverage Part 280

From time to time on my blog I take the time to recommend books that I think are drivers of excellence and today’s blog is one of those times.  The book I am referring to is, The 4 Disciplines of Execution:  Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals, authored by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling.  The primary reason is because I (and the authors of this book) have seen many improvement initiatives “die either with a loud crash or slowly and quietly suffocated by other competing priorities.”  And as the authors point out, “By the time it finally disappeared, it’s likely no one even noticed.”  What happened?  The authors of this book answer this question in an in-depth manner.  The 4 Disciplines of Execution can change this forever.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution (they refer to this as 4DX) is a simple, repeatable and proven formula for executing your most important strategic priorities in the midst of the whirlwind of all the other competing priorities.  In this wonderful book, the authors teach us that by applying their 4 Disciplines:  - Focusing on the Wildly Important, -  Acting on Lead Measures, -  Keeping a Compelling Scorecard and -  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 a theory, but rather a proven set of practices that have been tested and refined by hundreds of organizations and thousands of teams over many years.  4DX represents a new way of thinking and working that is essential to thriving in today’s competitive climate.  Simply put, this is one book that no business leader can afford to miss.

Throughout the years I have written about a technique first introduced as the Intermediate Objectives Map by H. William Dettmer who most recently has elected to change the name of this logical tool to the Goal Tree.  For those of you who follow my blog regularly, I have modified Dettmer's use of the Goal Tree to a tool that I use to quickly assess an organization and from this assessment, I use it to develop an improvement plan.  The time has come to evolve this tool once again.  This book has not only inspired me, but I truly believe that by combining the principles and practices contained in this book with the Goal Tree, the end product will be a new and much more effective tool for not only assessing the current practices within an organization, but also how to develop and execute a formidable improvement plan.

I am still in the process of developing the details of this new tool, so please stay tuned.  At my age, I don’t get excited as much as I used to when I was much younger, but this book has managed to do so.

Bob Sproull

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