Developed by American social psychologist Kurt Lewin, the force field analysis is an important technique used for brainstorming the factors/issues that are either driving movement towards a desired objective (helping forces) or blocking movement towards the desired objective (hindering forces), in an attempt to objectively weigh the pros and cons of the desired objective.
Organizations and teams undertake the analysis in a focused attempt aimed at either strengthening the forces that support a particular decision or reducing the impact of the forces that oppose the decision (Turner, 2010). A force field analysis aimed at addressing critical issues toward the attainment of leadership effectiveness is outlined below.
Helping ForcesHindering Forces
Ability to establish an enabling team structure to guide the processBarriers relating to cultural diversity of the team, that is, the team is made up of members from diverse cultural/racial groups
Ability to Establish a compelling direction to be followed by team members, assisted by expert team coaching capabilitiesChange resistance coming from some members within the team
Having a supportive organizational context and culture within the teamLeadership
Sustained lack of mechanisms for emotional convergence among some team members, leading to the progression of differing viewpoints
Ability to work closely together within and across the organizational context of the team to get tasks accomplished quicklyPerceived lack of goal sharing among some members of the team
Capacity to avail the necessary knowledge and expertise towards successful task completionpersistent leadership wrangles progressed by dissatisfied members of the team
Capacity to facilitate effective interaction among team members in a way and manner that will guarantee good problem solving, decision-making and effective coordination of team effortslack of productivity and innovation by some team members
capacity to understand the bigger picture of what is needed, and of sharing in common goals and objectivesLack of cohesion as some team members are not satisfied with their positions in the team
Availability of the resources and training needed for team members to develop the skills and expertise needed for successful completion of tasksLack of adequate attention from management with regard to team’s needs and achievements
Capacity to keep strict timelines on the team’s projects
capacity to elicit feedback from constructive communication
Source: Kayworth & Leidner (2002); Hoffman et al (2011)