Monday, September 16, 2013

A Force Field Analysis

I'm always looking for tools that can help teachers and principals think more deeply about an issue. My favorite tools are those that provide for solid analysis and provide an opportunity for people to work together during the analysis.

A Force Field Analysis is just such a tool and it allows a group to identify the factors working for an issue as well as those working again the issue (opposing forces). One of the benefits of the discussion is that it can help you plan for, or reduce, the impact of the opposing forces, and strengthen or reinforce the supporting forces.

Conducting a Force Field Analysis is pretty straightforward.

  • First, state the problem or the desired state in clear, concrete terms. 
  • Discuss and list the factors working for, and those working against, the desired state. 
  • Review and clarify the items to make sure there isn't repetition and overlap. 
  • Once there is agreement on the factors assign a score to each force from 1 (weak) to 5 (strong) or high, medium and low. 
  • Finally, discuss the factors and their scores. This helps to identify next steps. 

The factors working against a plan often become the focus of a plan of action. This level of analysis can  help you, as a leader, set priorities and goals. Additional information about a Force Field Analysis is available here.

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