The Value of the Force Field Analysis
Force Field Analysis is a useful tool for analysing and visualizing the factors that influence a situation or decision, whether in business, project management, or personal life. Here, creative sector skills development specialist Alec McPhedran, gives a simple overview of the model.
Developed by Kurt Lewin in the 1940s, it helps you identify the driving forces (factors pushing for change) and restraining forces (factors resisting change) in a particular situation. By understanding these forces, you can make informed decisions and develop strategies to achieve your goals.There are nine key steps to effectively use the Force Field Analysis.
Define the Issue or Goal: Clearly articulate the problem, issue, or goal you want to analyse. Be specific about what you want to change or achieve.
Identify Driving Forces: Identify the factors that are pushing for the change or goal achievement. These are the positive forces that support your objectives. Some examples of driving forces include market demand, technological advancements, cost savings, and customer preferences.
Identify Restraining Forces: Identify the factors that are resisting or hindering the change or goal achievement. These are the negative forces that act as barriers to your objectives. Restraining forces could include resistance from employees, financial constraints, regulatory barriers, or cultural norms.
Assign Scores: Assign a numerical score (usually on a scale from 1 to 5) to each driving and restraining force to indicate their relative strength or importance. A higher score signifies a stronger force.
Create a Force Field Analysis Diagram: Create a diagram with two columns, one for driving forces and one for restraining forces. List the identified forces in their respective columns and include their assigned scores next to them.
Calculate the Total Score: Calculate the total score for both the driving forces and restraining forces columns. This will give you an overall sense of the balance between the forces. A higher total score in driving forces suggests that you have more support for your goal, while a higher total score in restraining forces indicates more resistance.
Analyse the Results: Interpret the results to understand the dynamics of the situation.
If driving forces outweigh restraining forces, it indicates a favourable situation for achieving your goal. You can focus on leveraging the driving forces and mitigating the restraining forces.
If restraining forces outweigh driving forces, you may face significant challenges in achieving your goal. You'll need to address the restraining forces and find ways to strengthen the driving forces.
Develop Strategies: Based on your analysis, brainstorm strategies to maximize the driving forces and minimize the restraining forces. These strategies may involve communication, resource allocation, training, or other actions.
Implement and Monitor: Put your strategies into action and continually monitor the situation. Adjust your strategies as needed based on changes in the forces and their impact on your goal.
Force Field Analysis is a dynamic tool that can help you make informed decisions, anticipate challenges, and take proactive steps to achieve your objectives. Keep in mind that the analysis may need to be revisited as circumstances evolve.
Alec McPhedran Chtd Fellow CIPD, Chtd Mngr CMI, MAC, MCMI is the managing director of Skills Channel TV, a training company for talented creative people. He specialises in one to one coaching, facilitated learning, media training and team development. For further information, contact 0121 366 87 99 or visit www.skillschannel.tv.
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