Force Field Analysis

The name comes from the technique’s ability to identify forces contributing to or hindering a solution to a problem, and can stimulate creative thinking in three ways:

a) To define what you are working towards (vision)

b) To identify strengths you can maximize and

c) To identify weaknesses you can minimize.

Procedure:

1. At the center of the sheet, write a statement of the problem you wish to solve.

2. Just below, at the left of the sheet, describe what the situation would be like in the worst case scenario – i.e. catastrophe.

3. On the same line, at the right of the sheet, describe the ideal, or optimal, situation.

4. The center position represents your current situation. On the right, describe the ‘forces’, tugging right now, to move the situation towards the ideal. Then describe on the left side the ’forces’ moving toward catastrophe.

5. The next step is to identify approaches that would improve the situation. Because the typical situation resembles a tug-of-war, use the following three approaches to move the center line in the direction of the more desirable outcome:

* Identify things that would strengthen an already positive force.

* Identify things that would weaken an already negative force.

* Add new positive forces.

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