Digital Leading and Learning · Digital Tools in the Classroom · ePortfolio

4DX Strategy Plan

The 4DX model addresses one of the  most important aspects of change: it is so difficult to actually achieve goals when we have so many other things to worry about. It teaches how to address the “whirlwind” of life and still accomplish the goals without losing focus. Because our innovation plan deals so much with teachers having to work something new and daunting into their existing curriculum, it is extremely important to give them tools to use so as to not get caught up in the daily grind that teaching so often becomes. Smaller, predictive and influenceable goals are effective ways to motivate people to making those bigger changes, and using these goals will help us ultimately follow through with our timeline.


Stages of Change

Stage 1: Getting clear

  • Make sure that everyone is clear on and agrees with the WIG which is: Increase student ePortfolio use from 5% to 100% in Owen J. Roberts High School English classes by the end of the school year. Also, make sure that the English department has a clear understanding of the 4DX strategy process.
  • Key actions
    • Be a model of focus on the WIG by implementing the learning ePortfolio in all of our English classes and curriculums and openly discussing and collaborating with colleagues about the WIG.
    • Identify and explain the following lead measures:
      • Each teacher will devote at least 10 minutes to ePortfolios each week, whether that is modeling, student examples, or time to work on
      • Teachers will complete short, bi-weekly surveys identifying potential collaboration opportunities.
      • Teachers will complete short, bi-weekly surveys sharing current progress and shortcomings.
    • Make the players scoreboard visible for all department members and show the lag measure and lead measures. It will also document which teachers are using the learning ePortfolio, how often, in which classes, and how many posts their students are posting (required and voluntarily).
    • Select a time during the week when the English department can meet for 20 minutes for a WIG meeting. Members should plan to come.

Stage 2: Launch

  • On the morning of the first day of school (during inservice), hold a launch meeting in the Department Chair’s room with coffee and doughnuts to help focus and motivate the department to adopt and consistently use the learning ePortfolio from the first days of the school year.
  • Key Actions:
    • Make sure each teacher is involved in identifying the purpose of the ePortfolio.
    • Have a small group meeting with teachers from each grade level to help specifically apply the ePortfolio to their content area.

Stage 3: Adoption

  • English department members begin to use the learning ePortfolio in their classrooms. During the weekly WIG meeting, scheduled individuals share how they performed on the previous week’s commitments, report on the scoreboard, and share what they plan to do the next week to improve the scoreboard. This WIG meeting helps provide accountability and also provides an opportunity for greater focus and performance toward the WIG, despite the daily demands of the whirlwind. It also provides an opportunity to determine which teachers might need additional training or support and also a chance to answer questions and directly involve those who may still be hesitant.
  • Key Actions:
    • Make sure scoreboard is up to date.
    • Have incentives based on scoreboard.
    • Provide support for struggling teachers.
    • Utilize surveys to provide opportunities and make adjustments.

Stage 4: Optimization

  • Instead of just trying to figure out what a learning ePortfolio is and how to use one in their classrooms, English teachers now begin to focus on ways to best use the learning ePortfolio and improve their use of it. This is a great time for increased collaboration and encouragement over the variety of creative ideas that the teachers are coming up with to implement and use the learning ePortfolio.
  • Key Actions:
    • Offer ideas to teachers for collaboration.
    • Provide opportunities for collaboration.
    • Utilize surveys to provide opportunities and make adjustments.

Stage 5: Habits

  • It is important that the 4DX model is not just viewed or used as a way to implement this one WIG but should be a habit for all future WIGs as well. Faculty involvement in this process for ePortfolios and all goals focused on the betterment of our students is essential. No WIGs can be successfully implemented without the input of faculty and staff. Through using the 4DX model the English department will not only successfully accomplish the WIG, but they will do so in high-performing ways, both individually and collectively. These kinds of habits will be supplemented by habitually celebrating our accomplishment of the WIG and moving those in the middle from average performers to high performers has a major impact on everyone involved – teachers and students.
  • Key Actions:
    • Be a model of focus on the WIG(s).
    • Identify the importance of high-leverage lead measures.
    • Maintain a players’ scoreboard.
    • Schedule and focus WIG sessions at least weekly.

How the Influencer Model and 4DX complement/supplement each other

The Influencer Model and 4DX are similar in that they both focus on the implementation of a goal. They complement each other because they both focus on gathering different data. The Influencer Model measures results from a variety of sources. Complementarily, 4DX gathers data based on lead and lag measures and is focused on the performance of team members. The Influencer Model focuses on different vital behaviors that are crucial for implementing a goal, and 4DX uses different disciplines that, when followed consistently by all team members, lead to high performance and execution of a goal.

The Influencer Model is especially specific as it focuses on personal, social, and structural motivations and abilities. These influences certainly supplement 4DX as its approach is holistic but does not break down these influences as specifically. The Influencer Model seems to address more psychological aspects of change and goal setting, whereas the 4DX approach focuses on the actual implementation and logistics. Because of this, they should be used together, not in place of one another. In order to complete a goal successfully, we will need to have both psychological and emotional support in addition to the logistical plan to carry it all out.

The Four Disciplines

The four disciplines are clearly integrated within our 5 stages of change. There is a clear focus on the wildly important, which is discipline one. Every aspect of our plan revolves around achieving our WIG, which is an essential, measurable goal that leads to the accomplishment of our BHAG. We then also have clear, focused lead measures that directly impact our lag measure or WIG. Acting on these lead measures if discipline two. Discipline three asks that all of these measures are collected on a compelling scoreboard to enhance morale during the adoption and optimization stages, which we have in our plan. Finally, all of these disciplines (focus, lead measures, and a scoreboard) along with weekly WIG meetings lead to creating a cadence of accountability. Keeping the lines of communication open and our focus on realistic goals will help us as an English department, and eventually us as a school, move step by step to full learning ePortfolio implementation and the development of life-long learners.

Completed with Ryan King and Erin Sanchez


Grenny, J., Patterson, K., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2013). Influencer: The new science of leading change: 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

McChesney, C., Covey, S., & Huling, J. (2012). The 4 disciplines of execution: Achieving your wildly important goals. New York, NY: Free Press.

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