Energy for change



None of us likes having no choice. The sense of things simply being done to us causes us to resist and resent, which wastes energy and vitality. So, how can organisational change projects harness the energy of creative collaboration?  ‘Building and Aligning Energy for Change’ (1) addresses this question.


The energy of our teams and staff is a powerful resource in organisational life, perhaps even more valuable than time. It needs to be directed wisely, not squandered.  Energy is harnessed when we align with the internal motivations that people bring to their workplace, co-creating a shared purpose. 

Tapping into energy appropriately improves the capacity of a team to achieve its goals. If we think holistically about the energy of our teams: on physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual levels, we can create a workplace that is full of vitality.

Drawing on internal motivations is far more energy efficient than working to externally dictated targets, rules and regulations.  So bureaucratic approaches to work should be kept to the bare essentials. 

Force Field Analysis

Kurt Lewin, writing in the 1940s, described his concept of a force field, in which the driving forces were those moving towards a particular change, and the resisting forces were those preventing the change.

In conversations with teams about planned change, taking note of the resistances we encounter gives us important data. What we learn might cause us to redesign aspects of the change initiative, as well as to discover how we might ease a transition.

What Kurt Lewin discovered was that rather than PUSHING through a change by increasing the driving forces – which would simply increase resistance (and resentment) – change happens more easily by minimising the resisting forces. 

Analysing the forces that are for and against a change, helps us decide which is the easiest resisting force to minimise. By listening to our colleagues and teams, we might learn just that, helping us release their energy from resisting to aligning with the change.

1. Building and Aligning Energy for Change (2012) York Health Economics Consortium and Landmark Consulting. 



© Contextualyse Ltd. 2016