Forcefield Analysis [Process Guide]

A forcefield analysis helps to think about forces affecting the movement including, but not limited to external groups, internal division, psychological powers and blocks. Through discussion with others, the force field analysis can help us tease out differences of perspectives within our group. It can thus produce a rich analysis of potential places of growth for the campaign.

How it’s done

Step 1
Clearly identify the problem or campaign vision.

Step 2
Identify forces contributing to the success and forces against success. (helpful to place in the following table format where everyone can see)

Note: When Change Agency facilitators support campaigners to learn and apply this tool, we encourage folks to first brainstorm forces then arrange them into clusters, grouping together forces under headings such as political and parliamentary factors, economic factors, and community and movement factors.

Step 3
Rate the impact/strength of each force (+10 to +1 or -10 to -1 as relative impact of force on movement.)
Discussion is an opportunity for sharing insights with each other

Step 4
Think collectively about how to maximize the forces for success and how to minimize the forces against success. What are tactics (currently being used and especially those not being used) that can maximize our success.

Source: Created by George Lakey, Training for Change

Macro Strategy Exercise (Tug of War)
Here’s a kinesthetic way to introduce forcefield analysis, based on Kurt Lewin’s Force Field Analysis

How it’s done
This exercise is designed to embolden the imagination and enlarge possibilities, politicize everyone regarding macroforces in a dynamic way and to explore how your group and allies can influence the forces “out there”.

The basic format is a tug of war, with rope which has multiple ends knotted in middle. Small teams are created, half of which identify a negative force in your group’s environment and half identify a positive force. These can be negative and positive forces acting right now and likely to act in the near future. As each team identifies a force, it takes its place on positive or negative side of tug of war.

Then, action!

After one side wins, teams huddle; negative force teams ask selves how their power could be under-mined; positive force teams ask selves how their power could be enhanced.

Each team writes its conclusions.

All teams report to the whole the two most important ways (of enhancing or undermining).

Harvest learnings via newsprint.

Source: Created by George Lakey, Training for Change

These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. You are free to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt this work under these conditions: Attribution to the Change Agency and the original author/publisher (listed under ‘Source’); only using this work for non-commercial purposes; share alike (if you alter, transform, or build upon this work, distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one).