4DX Lead Measures: Examples to Guide You

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The 4 Disciplines of Execution" by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here.

Do you need examples of 4DX lead measures? What should you track and why?

For 4DX lead measures, examples focus on the example of a bottling plant. There are two types of lead measures for these examples to help you understand how they work.

Read on for the 4DX lead measures examples and types.

Examples of 4DX Lead Measures

There are two types of lead measures, both perfectly acceptable to use in Discipline 2.

  • Small outcomes are lead measures that create multiple new behaviors. The team must achieve a result, but everyone can use whatever method they want, and the team is accountable for the result.
    • For example, achieve average customer satisfaction scores of 80% each week.
  • Leveraged behaviors are lead measures that force everyone on the team to do the same beneficial behavior. The team doesn’t have to achieve a result, but must do specific behaviors throughout the week, and the team is accountable for doing the behavior.
    • For example, each team member must help at least 50 customers per week.

Example: Water-Bottling Plant

Here’s are 4DX lead measures examples from one company.

A water-bottling plant came up with the following WIG: “Increase bottling from 45 million gallons to 50 million gallons by the end of the year.”

At first, the company struggled to understand the difference between lead and lag measures. Their early suggestions for lead measures were to keep track of water production by day or month—these might be more frequently measured than the WIG result, but they’re still lag measures. Then, the production manager identified a problem that stopped the company from producing more water—the machines had too much downtime.

The next step was to translate the problem into a lead measure. They came up with: complete preventative maintenance on each machine once a week.

Water production increased at a rate faster than anyone expected. The plant had known that the factor they chose as a lead measure was important, but instead of focusing on only this factor, they’d been trying to tame the whole whirlwind at once. Their efforts were so spread out they had little effect on anything.

A Note on Process-Oriented Lead Measures

If your WIG comes out of a process (for example, a ten-step sales process), you might find your lead measure within the process itself. Look at the individual steps of the process. Where are the leverage points? Where is performance failing? Make those leverage points your lead measures. For example, if step 4/11 is business analysis, and this is a place that would have the most impact on the process result, look for a lead measure there.

If you try to improve the whole process at once, you’re forgetting Discipline 1.

4DX Lead Measures: Examples to Guide You

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling's "The 4 Disciplines of Execution" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full The 4 Disciplines of Execution summary:

  • The 4 disciplines that can make any strategy a successful reality
  • Why a great plan falls apart when you don't think adequately about execution
  • The 6 steps you need to scale the 4DX model across an entire organization

Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *