Managing Change in a Changing World
Part 1 of 2
Lewin's Force Field Analysis
Making decisions and knowing if we’re doing the right thing by implementing change can be extremely difficult.
One way to make introducing and managing change easier is to use a structured decision-making model, like Lewin’s Force Field Analysis Model.
What is Force Field Analysis?
Force Field Analysis, created by Kurt Lewin in the 1940s, is a model used for analysing the forces for and against change.
“The idea behind Force Field Analysis is that situations are maintained by an equilibrium between forces that drive change and others that resist change. For change to happen, the driving forces must be strengthened or the resisting forces weakened”
How Do You Conduct Force Field Analysis?
The beauty of Force Field Analysis is its simplicity. You can conduct it in 5 easy steps:
1. Describe Your Proposed Change
The first step is to create a Force Field Analysis diagram like the one below and write a description of your change in the centre. This should explain what the change is, your vision/goal for the change, and the reasons behind it.
2. Identify the Forces FOR Change
Then, on the left hand side, list as many forces as possible, both internal and external, FOR the change (that work in its favour). For example:
- Machinery, products or processes are outdated
- Team morale or productivity is on the decline
- Targets not being met
- There has been a change in demographic needs
- The environment in which the business operates has changed
3. Identify the Forces AGAINST Change
Next, on the right hand side, list as many forces as possible that are AGAINST the change (that don’t work in its favour). For example:
- Employees fear change and the unknown
- The change may disrupt day-to-day processes
- Staff have a “We’ve always done it this way” mindset
- The change will incur a cost
- We have existing commitments to partner organisations
4. Assign Scores
Once you have identified the forces FOR and AGAINST the change, the next step is to score each force on a scale of 1 (weak) to 5 (strong) according to its level of influence, and then add up the scores on each side to identify if there is stronger force FOR the change or AGAINST the change.
You can also put this information in a visual format like below:
5. Analyse and Make a Decision
Now that you have conducted Force Field Analysis, you need to evaluate the forces FOR and AGAINST the change and either:
- Make a yes or no decision as to whether to proceed with the change
- Identify which ‘FOR’ forces you can strengthen or which ‘AGAINST’ changes you can weaken to make the change work e.g. if staff are concerned about using new technology, you can train them.
Whilst Lewin’s Force Field Analysis Model is extremely effective when used by itself, it can also be used alongside the following models to reinforce the quality of your decision-making:
How Can I Successfully Manage Change?
If you decide to proceed with the proposed change, you need to know how to manage it effectively to help ensure that the change is a success.
Managing change can be difficult, especially considering the amount of change we have all already had to deal with in the last 18 months or so. With this in mind, we have recently written several articles about how you can successfully manage change.
- Your Guide to Spotting and Overcoming Resistance to Change in Your Organisation
- Shedding a Light on the Advantages of Resistance to Change
- Managing Change and Overcoming Resistance with the Change Curve Model
We are also hosting a 45min webinar on Thursday 8th July 2021 all about successfully managing change and overcoming resistance to change.
In a bid to help businesses across the country successfully implement and manage change to get their organisation back on track (or keep it on track) after a challenging year, we are running this webinar for free!
If you’d be interested in attending this webinar, you can sign up by following the link below or clicking here.
We hope to see you on the webinar!
In our next Daily Dot post, we will be looking at how to build a better workplace culture that enables learning, celebrates diversity, and motivates staff to deliver outstanding results.
Until next time…