Change by staying the same

March 19, 2008

Force field analysis, derived from what Lewin termed ‘field theory’, is often bandied around as a tool to support a change initiative. If you browse the various resources available you’ll discover that analysing the forces for and against the change creates a couple of options: reduce the strength of forces opposing or increase the forces pushing.

Seems to me there’s another option, although you tend not to see it very often, which is to alter or remove the force pushing for the change. Maybe it’s another indicator that change is seen as a process that begins only when the ‘decide’ stage of OODA has been completed.

To put it another way – if you look up “goal setting” on google you’ll see that there is a lot of emphasis on establishing whether or not the goal is SMART. Its much harder to find any information on how to arrive at the substance of the goal – which is a bit like making sure the wallpaper is aligned vertically and stuck down nicely and not bothering about pattern, colour, texture and how it fits with your living space.

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