The 4 Disciplines of Execution

The 4 Disciplines of Execution®

Building roadmaps to achieve your business-critical goals. 

 “Seventy percent of strategic failures are due to poor execution of leadership. It’s rarely for lack of smarts or vision.” 

-—Ram Charan, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done


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Do your managers know how to institutionalize goal clarity and an execution process throughout the organization?

When it comes to attaining wildly important organizational goals, the role of the manager in the business execution process is critical. At FranklinCovey we’ve studied the topic of execution for several years in thousands of teams and in hundreds of organizations. Our research shows that execution breaks down in four ways:

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1. Managers and work teams don’t know the goal.

Our research has shown that only 15 percent of employees actually know their organization’s most important goals—either there are no goals or they have too many goals. 



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2. Managers and teams don’t know what to do to achieve the goal.

Too many people don’t know what critical activities provide the greatest leverage to achieving team goals.




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3. They don’t keep score.

Our research shows that most workers don’t know what the key measures of success are, and they don’t measure and track the specific behaviors that lead to goal accomplishment. 




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4. They are not held accountable.

Our research shows that fewer than 10 percent of people meet with their manager at least monthly to discuss their progress on work goals. 



“Once they saw how easy The 4 Disciplines of Execution was to do, they became champions of the model and began to spread their enthusiasm to others in the division.”    

–Danny Jones, Executive Director of Operational Excellence and Innovations, Opryland


Watch The Opryland Case Study

The 4DX Solution

Establish a clear line of sight to your Wildly Important Goals.

It takes incredible discipline to execute a strategic goal in any organization. But it takes even more discipline to do so again and again. Creating a culture of execution means embedding four basic disciplines into your organization. At every level, individuals, leaders, and teams need to institutionalize a common approach.


The purpose of The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Manager Certification is not just for business management strategy, but to help managers create actual work plans.

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Focus on the Wildly Important.

Exceptional execution starts with narrowing the focus— clearly identifying what must be done, or nothing else you achieve really matters much. 



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Act on the Lead Measures.

Twenty percent of activities produce eighty percent of results. The highest predictors of goal achievement are the 80/20 activities that are identified and codified into individual actions and tracked fanatically. 



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Keep a Compelling Scoreboard.

People and teams play differently when they are keeping score, and the right kind of scoreboards motivate the players to win. 



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Create a Cadence of Accountability.

Great performers thrive in a culture of accountability that is frequent, positive, and self-directed. Each team engages in a simple weekly process that highlights successes, analyzes failures, and course-corrects as necessary, creating the ultimate performance-management system.    



See how Marriott Hotels used the 4 Disciplines to transform its organization.

-Watch the video


Watch the Case Study


Foster a culture of getting the most important things done.

The 4DX process has been refined to achieve three objectives:

1. High quality implementation in the shortest possible time
2. Maximum leader and team engagement with minimum disruption to business operations
3. Sustainable WIG results through full process adoption (new habits)

The objective of the 4DX process is to teach leaders how to help their teams execute on their highest priorities in the midst of the whirlwind of the day-to-day. We find that by not just teaching 4DX to leaders, but teaching them to teach and implement the process with their teams, they “own the process” at a deeper level and the results are often groundbreaking. Through thousands of implementations, we have identified four critical milestones that must be achieved for optimal results and engagement.

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