The 4 Disciplines of Execution – Applying 4DX as a Leader of a Frontline Team

This article closes the “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” series. The first one focused on presenting the 4 disciplines of execution, the second one was about how to apply the disciplines when you are a leader of leaders and the third one is about applying 4DX as a Leader of a Frontline Team.

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The 4 Disciplines of Execution – Applying 4DX as a Leader of Leaders

This article is the second part of “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” series of posts. In the previous one we focused on presenting the 4 disciplines: focus on the wildly important, act on the lead measures, keep a compelling scorecard and create a cadence of accountability. This one covers how to apply these disciplines by being a leader of leaders.

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OKRs – Measure What Matters

Activity Trap

Peter Drucker termed the “activity trap”: stressing output is the key to increasing productivity while looking to increase activity can result in just the opposite. On an assembly line, it’s easy enough to distinguish the output from activity. It gets trickier when employees are paid to think. Grove wrestled with two riddles: How can we define and measure output by knowledge workers? And what can be done to increase it?

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“Crucial Conversations” – Move to action

The two riskiest times in crucial conversations tend to be at the beginning and at the end. The beginning is risky because you have to find a way to create safety or else things go awry. The end is dicey because if you aren’t careful about how you clarify the conclusion and decisions, you can run into violated expectations later on.

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“Crucial Conversations” – Explore others’ paths

While is true that you can’t force others to dialogue, you can take steps to make it safer for them to do so. After all, that’s why they’ve sought the security of silence or violence in the first place. They’re afraid that dialogue will make them vulnerable. Somehow they believe that if they engage in real conversation with you, bad things will happen to them.

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