Every City and County Needs “WIGS”

You may be wondering what WIGS and local government have in common.  The WIG I’m talking about is a “wildly important goal”.

WIGs are extremely important goals that can change the landscape of an organization.  A WIG is such an overpowering goal, that if you accomplish it, you will likely (as a side benefit) make big headway on 2-3 related goals.

For instance, if you solve a challenging crime problem, you may also indirectly improve your economic development problem, your community beautification problem or low home values.

Cities and Counties have a lots of plans and goals…workplans, comprehensive plans, council and commission goals, department goals, retreat goals and more.

…but is there a highly-focused, united energy behind any of them?

WIG is a concept developed by the authors of 4 Disciplines of Execution – 4DX for short.   They maintain that when we put focus on 1-2 very important goals (done in a certain way) a lot of good can come to the organization.

Here are their four main principles of 4DX’s WIG approach:

  1. Focus on the Wildly Important Goal (WIG)
    • The idea here is to find that one goal that is key to success.   As organizations try to focus on 4, 6 or 10 goals they get progressively worse at accomplishing the goals with any excellence.   It will take your team’s efforts to help determine what your City or County’s WIG should be.
    • It could be crime reduction, it could be growing the commercial tax base or reducing time to repair water leaks, if the water department is under siege.
    • These WIGS should be defined as “We want to go from Point A to Point B by ____ date”. ex: Reduce the time to fix water leaks from 3.0 days to 1.0 day by December 20th. 
  2. Act on Lead Measures
    • The idea here is to focus on the activities that influence accomplishing the WIG.
    • If the WIG is to lose 10 pounds, trying to watch what you eat and checking the scales periodicaly won’t do it.
    • A lead measure would be “eating 2,200 calories a day” or “walking 6 miles a week”.   If I do these two things, the odds of me losing 10 pounds go up.  Tracking these measures takes effort but it’s worth it!
    • If the WIG is to reduce crime at the most crime ridden neighborhood then making 5 passes per Police Shift, getting churches to hold 4 meetings there a month and holding 5 neighborhood watch meetings a month around safety issues should impact the crime.
    • These are the new behaviors or actions that will likely lead to change.
    • Lead measures are predictive and can be influenced by the team.
  3. Keep a Compelling Scorecard
    • When the team members know they are winning or losing (as in a sports game), energy goes up, there is excitement, there is competition and the team knows if they are making a difference.
    • The authors share that when team members are informed as to where they are they are more engaged.
    • The scorecard needs to be simple (think poster boards), visible and needs to show how far the team is in meeting their lead indicators and how they are to moving the WIG needle.
  4. Create a Cadence of Accountability
    • The fourth principle is to create a regular meeting cadence around the WIG.   When team members see the results during team meetings, a sense of accountability rises.   These meetings are meant to review successes, analyze what’s going wrong and alter lead indicators if needed.

If your team wants more information on 4DX’s WIG principle check out this video.  You are also welcome to contact InnerComm at (678) 833-4310 or bstark@innercomm.net.

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