# Force Field Analysis - Explained

What is a Force Field Analysis?

# What is  Force Field Analysis?

Force Field Analysis, created by Kurt Lewin, states that any issue is held in balance by the interaction of two opposing sets of forces.

• Driving forces - Those seeking to promote change
• Restraining forces - Those attempting to maintain the status quo.

Lewin viewed organizations as systems in which the present situation was  a dynamic balance ("Equilibrium") of forces working in opposite directions.

In order for any change to occur, the driving forces must exceed the restraining forces, thus shifting the equilibrium.

## What is the Force Field Diagram?

The Force Field Diagram is a model built on this idea that forces are both driving and restraining change. These forces include:

• persons,
• habits,
• customs, and
• attitudes.

A Force Field Diagram can be used at any level (personal, project, organizational, network) to visualize the forces that may work in favor and against change initiatives.

Usually, a planned change issue is described at the top. Below this, there are two columns.

The driving forces are listed in the left column, and the restraining forces in the right-hand column.

Arrows are drawn towards the middle. Longer arrows indicate stronger forces.

The idea is to understand, and to make explicit, all the forces acting on a given issue.

## Steps in a Force Field Analysis?

1. Describe the current situation.
2. Describe the desired situation.
3. Identify where the current situation will go if no action is taken.
4. List all the forces driving change toward the desired situation.
5. List all the forces resisting change toward the desired situation.
6. Discuss and interrogate all of the forces: are they valid? Can they be changed? Which are the critical ones?
7. Allocate a score to each of the forces using a numerical scale e.g. 1 is extremely weak and 10 is extremely strong.
8. Chart the forces. List the driving forces on the left. And list the restraining forces on the right.
9. Determine whether change is viable and progress can occur.
10. Discuss how the change can be affected by decreasing the strength of the restraining forces or by increasing the strength of driving forces.
11. Remember that increasing the driving forces or decreasing the restraining forces may increase or decrease other forces or even create new ones.