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Force Field Analysis

About the Tool

Force Field Analysis was created by Kurt Lewin in the 1940s and the tool has applications in business as well as personal decision making processes

The idea behind Force Field Analysis is that when we have a situation that we need to make a decision about, maintaining an equilibrium between forces that drive change and others that oppose change (figure 1 below).

For change to happen, the driving forces must be strengthened or the opposing forces weakened.

How to Use the Tool

To carry out a Force Field Analysis, use a blank sheet of paper or download our worksheet (see below) and follow these five steps.

Step 1: Describe Your Goal

Define your goal for change, and write it down at the top of your page

Step 2: Identify the Driving Forces

Think about the kinds of forces that are driving the change. These can be internal and external.

When you've identified the forces that are driving change, add them to the left-hand side of your Force Field Analysis.

Step 3: Identify the Opposing Forces

What are the the forces that are stopping you to achieve your goal, make that change. Again look at internal and external factors.

Now add the forces against change to the right-hand side of your Force Field Analysis.

Step 4: Score each of the Force

Score each force, from, say, 1 (weak) to 5 (strong), according to the degree of influence each one has on the plan, and then add up the scores for each side (for and against).

Add the scores on each side of the worksheet and have a total for each of the columns (Driving and Opposing Forces)

Step 5: Analyse and Apply

What do the totals look like?

Are the Opposing forces higher than the Driving forces?

What are the degrees of importance on each of those listed?

Analyse the results and do one of the following:

1. To decide whether or not to move forward with the decision or change.

2. To think about which Driving force you can strengthen and which opposing you can weaken, and how to make the change more successful.

Force Field Analysis
Download PDF • 55KB

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