Leadership: Force Field Analysis

It’s the weekend and you a reflecting on the week to come and you realise that the future (short, medium and long) is dependent on a few select decisions you have to make. What is the process you think about? What goes through your mind when choosing a Pomodoro sauce or a passata base?

Do we as leaders apply the same process to change management and initiatives in our organisations? Is there an explicit process involved? The force field analysis model was devised in the 1940s by Kurt Lewin.

Fundamentally this is a more useful method of writing pros and cons list.

Start with your pros of the left and cons to the right but consider the forces involved in the process.


Forces for (Pro) Forces against (Cons)

Forces driving the change


Forces promoting change


Forces blocking the change


Forces resisting the change


Now rank each pro and con out of ten add up the score and evaluate whether the change is worth investing into. This is a great activity it really get you thinking about the force and people involved in an organisation, who will be your change agents? and how do you deal with the resistance from others?

The diagram below is an example.



I have written about change management its implementation and planning here. The problem with all leadership work is that it can become oversimplified and reduced to rhetoric and in doing so it loses its value.

Lewin describes change following three stages unfreeze, change and then refreeze. The analogy is pretty simple. However, change is complex and I will come back to this later but for now, the force field analysis is how you decide that if it’s the right idea to unfreeze.


Further Reading and References

Picture credit: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_06.htm

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