Understand Change and Uncover Hidden Opportunities with Force Field Maps

Filed Under Mindjet

Michael Deutch

January 13, 2009

Change management consultant Stephen Billings wrote recently, “It’s time to stop thinking of resistance as a force opposing the change you want to see.” One way to alter the perception of resistance is to map it out using the Force Field analysis developed by one of the founders of modern psychology, Kurt Lewin.

Lewin’s Force Field analysis can be visualized using an easily understood and simple to use mind map. The map can be used to list, discuss and evalute the various forces for or against a proposed change. It provides the the ‘big picture’ perspective and allows you to evaluate the impact of change by weighing the pros and cons of the situation. With a team, it encourages discussion and agreement on the relative priorities of factors on both sides of the equation.

Download the MindManager Force Field Map

Other ways to use the Force Field MindManager map include:

  • List pro’s and con’s.
  • List actions and reactions.
  • List strengths and weaknesses.
  • Compare ideal situations and reality.
  • In negotiation, compare the perceptions of opposing parties.
  • List “what we know” in the left column, and “what we don’t know” in the right.

Social media expert, Jay Deragon, explores how the force field analysis can be applied to to uncover hidden opportunities in the social media space by closing the expectation gap between the social network operators and user’s desires. He concludes, “The difference is one of thinking abundantly with possibilities or with scarcity and control of the current environment.”

What changes are happening in your life and work that can be viewed more clearly using this mapping technique?

4 Responses to “Understand Change and Uncover Hidden Opportunities with Force Field Maps”

  1. Adam Clayman


    Thanks for the post – this is interesting. I just finished a fascinating book called Thinking in Systems by Dana Meadows. This force field maps seems to me like a distillation, or rather, another take a systems approach to solving a problem. Perhaps there are some synergies to be explored between mind mapping and systems mapping via products like STELLA/iThink (http://www.iseesystems.com/)


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