Facilitation Tools: Force-Field Analysis

Force-Field Analysis is a process tool that encourages an in-depth look at the pros and cons of any plan involving change management. It is useful for facilitators when all angles need to be scrutinised and evaluated in a group environment.

Developed by Kurt Lewin in 1951, force-field analysis continues to inform decision-making for change management programmes in organisations across the globe. You have probably done it without realising. Force-field analysis can be particularly effective detecting the forces for and against change as well as identifying their source and strengths.

Here are 5 easy steps to get force-field analysis rolling in your office:

1. Gather your group together. Force-field analysis works best with a relatively small but substantial number of voices. About 6-8 is perfect.

2. Agree the scope of your plan. This might be a single policy issue or a much broader business objective, whatever is right for you.

3. Get the flip chart out. Force-field analysis allows participants to raise concerns and identify any potential problems with planned solutions or goal statements. It is best to display these results visually in a very big and bold way, like this:

4. Identify the forces for and against change. List those forces in support of change to the left of your plan, driving change forward. List those against to the right, holding change back. Feel free to score each force for its size and strength.

5. Discuss your findings. During this process, a rich debate should ensue. Dedicate time to the more difficult issues and weigh up some different solutions. Once you have a list of forces for and against change, you can move forward with your goal, ideally better able to plan and implement change.

To read more about facilitation tools, check out our Infographic: Process Tools for Effective Meeting Facilitation

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