As I have developed my innovation plan, I have considered a number of philosophies, models of instruction, and theories of behavior change. My most recent work focuses on two methods that are used to successfully execute strategic priorities. The first is the Influencer Model, which focuses on six sources of influence that that make change in an organization inevitable (Grenny, 2013). The second is the Four Disciplines of Execution, which is a proven formula for producing the results we seek (McChesney, 2012). I have combined these two strategies to create what I believe to be a realistic and goal-oriented strategy that promotes a shift toward a blended learning environment throughout my school.
When installing the Four Disciplines of Execution (4DX), a team can expect to go through five stages of change. It is important to identify these stages, as they are significant contributors to my strategy where the four disciplines are concerned.
What I want to achieve:
Every classroom in our building will become a blended learning environment that makes effective use of technology and allows engaging activities in which students can learn more effectively on a daily basis during the 2017-2018 school year.
Stage 1: Clarity
Being clear about what is expected and how success will be measured when implementing the 4 Disciplines of Execution is key to a strategy’s success. Convincing the members who contribute to my innovation plan that the change will benefit everyone is what will make my plan successful. I’ve been preparing my co-workers by sharing suggestions and strategies for blended learning in a regularly published Tech Newsletter that has been distributed in my school. I have also prepared students for blended learning environments by using my computer lab time to teaching them how to tools that area available to them on iPads and laptops in their classrooms. I have also had many discussions with my principal, and other district technology instructors and administrators, who have played a role in helping me plan my strategy.
Stage 2: Launch
The start for my innovation plan will take place on a School Improvement Day (Thursday). My principal will introduce the Integration Program to my colleagues, encouraging willing participants to contact me so that we could plan and team teach lessons that would integrate technology and blended learning into their classrooms. We will put the plan into motion on the following Monday, when teachers have had time to consider ways in which I can help them.
Stage 3: Adoption
My Tech Newsletter continues to encourage teachers to introduce new strategies in their classrooms, and teachers are already contacting me for assistance in their classrooms. As I work with teachers over lunch, other teachers overhear our discussions and are interested in what we’re doing. Personally, socially, and structurally, my experiences with willing teachers is influencing the not so willing to rethink their own strategies.
Stage 4: Optimization
As teachers are experiencing success in their classrooms, they will share their experiences with grade level team members in weekly PLC meetings. By sharing educational strategies, they will be motivating one another to become models for a blended learning environment in their own classrooms.
Stage 5: Habits
If grade level teams continue to use the new skills they’ve learned, and if they share new experiences with one another, the movement toward a blended learning environment will take on a natural life of its own.
Stages of Change and the 4 Disciplines of Execution
Discipline 1: Focus on the Wildly Important (Getting Clear)
Taking into account the fact that the whirlwind is the biggest deterrent in making a change toward blended learning, I’m placing myself in the role of “co-teacher” and I’m working with my colleagues to introduce their traditional concepts in new ways. By taking some of the responsibility and risk out of their hands, they are more at ease with seeing how effective and engaging different strategies can be for their students.
In order for my plan to be successful, I have established a system of documentation that includes lead measures and a scoreboard that will communicate to all participants just how successful their participation is to the climate of our school.
Discipline 2: Act on the Lead Measure (Launch and Adoption)
Reaching our WIG will require the involvement of all of my colleagues, whether it’s by directly working with me, or through team collaboration where those with experience share with one another. Lead measures that I have created are predictive, influential, ongoing, measurable and worth measuring.
Before team teaching with each of my colleagues, we will sit together to complete a learning plan, which will document the experience. Together, we will determine the goals of the lesson, and how success will be measured. These documents will ultimately be shared as lesson strategies with other teachers in the building.
Discipline 3: Keeping a Compelling Scoreboard (Optimization)
In order to show my colleagues that change is being made successfully, I will create a scoreboard on which growth will be indicated. I plan to use a chart that shows each team as a series of building blocks (one per teacher). Those blocks will be colored in as teachers employ new blended strategies in their classrooms. The design of my chart will accomplish many things:
- It will communicate to teachers that we (as a school) are moving toward a blended learning environment.
- It will allow teachers to see which members of their teams could offer them support as they introduce new strategies.
- It will be socially influential, as teachers will see that their colleagues are seeing success.
- It will offer suggestions for tools that can be used in the classroom.
My scoreboard will be placed in the teacher’s lounge, where teachers will see it throughout the day. By updating it regularly, teachers will see that the plan is active and that change is constantly being made.
Discipline 4: Create a Cadence of Accountability (Habits)
To ensure that we are working toward the WIG, it’s important for us to hold ourselves accountable for attaining our smaller goals. Throughout this semester, I will be meeting with a technology administrator every two weeks to discuss my experiences and my own progress regarding my plan. In addition, I will be using a series of forms to document the process. Plans for integration will be organized in a form that has been designed for this program. Feedback from the teachers will be collected in a second form. This will assure that teachers are involved in the change process just as much as I am. It will also help me to determine what is successful and what is not as I move ahead.
Influencer vs. 4DX
My innovation plan has been influenced by both the Influencer Model and the 4 Disciplines of Execution. These models are tools that work together to make me think logically about how to make change where it needs to be made. The Influencer model helps to personalize the change process by considering the people involved and what influences them. The 4DX model is less personal and geared more toward logic and measure, targeting the whirlwind rather than the people. When used together effectively, they assure a more successful result when making significant change.
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.