Force Field Analysis

A Decision Making tool

Force-Field Analysis is a tool for studying a situation that you want to change. The method was first described by Kurt Lewin and is based on the observations that, in general, a situation can be described as a balance between two types of forces.

 

First, the forces on both sides must be identified. Then they must be weighed in terms of the amount of force they exert. When we can see more clearly what these various forces are and how significant (or strong) they are, there is a better chance of bringing change in the direction we seek.
For example,look at the basic force field analysis below you decided to make for the new idea you have for improving service before you push your suggestion to your manager.

 

forcefieldanalysis2

 

Steps in Force Field Analysis

1. Identify problem - describe in writing the change desired.
2. Define problem in terms of:
a) Present situation
b) Situation you desire to see when problem is solved
3. List forces working for and against change.
4. Underline the most important forces/give a weighting.
5. For each restraining force list actions you could take to reduce/eliminate that force.
6. For each driving force list actions which would increase that force.
7. Determine most promising steps you could take in sequence.
8. Re-examine your steps for resources required and omit steps which do not help achieve your goal. 

Using Force Field Analysis as a means of conceptualising a change, highlights then, certain forces which are promoting change and others which are resisting it.  Changing the balance could involve: • adding or strengthening driving forces
• removing or weakening restraining forces
• a combination of these

 

Example of Force Field Analysis

Present situation: Unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, gaining weight

Desired Situation: Fitter, more energy, long term health

DRIVING FORCES

RESTRAINING FORCES

Good example to children

Lack of time for self to exercise

Join in with kids activities 

Chocaholic/Puddingaholic

Improved self confidence/feel good factor 

Ready meals on the run/routine

More energy/less stressed 

Stress – comfort eating

Wardrobe of clothes that don’t really fit – economic benefit 

Lack of energy/motivation to get started – easy to put off

Long term health benefits for me 

 

Family history of strokes/heart attack

 

 

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