Force Field is a problem solving model which allows participants to weigh the â€œdrivingâ€ (positive) forces against the â€œrestrainingâ€ (negative) forces of a problem. This type of problem solving occurs in industry and is a systematic and factual way to approach a business solution. The more details, facts and substantiation that are reviewed in the forces area will better help to prioritize the impact of the forces. For example, Macyâ€™s is desperately trying to win over the Millennial market. A general statement would be; a driving force is that the Millennials have a large buying powerâ€. A more detailed and specific statement would be that â€œa driving force is that Millennials have a $65 billion buying powerâ€. The second statement gives us a clear definition of how much of a buying power they have in the marketplace. Much of the research used can be gathered from WWD, Hoovers, credible articles or benchmarking reports (use your library resources or ask a librarian). For this exercise, your team will solve a business problem of the ones noted below. Before we get started, here are a few tips:
1. All members of the team should individually read the Force Field Problem Solving Model (workbook) and lecture notes (HINT: there are two great examples in the lecture notes).
2. The team should select a business problem from the options below.
3. The problem should be solved using the 5-Step Format in the workbook.
a.Step 1: simply state the problem.
b.Step 2: decide on a solution objective (this should be specific). See the lecture notes.
c.Step 3: Brainstorm driving and restraining forces (this needs to be done on the discussion forum). For initially brainstorming, there should not be any judgements used on the â€œqualityâ€ of the idea. See brain storming techniques in the lecture notes.
d.Step 4: Evaluate and prioritize each force and illustrate these in the â€œForce Field Chartâ€ showing the degree to which the force is either strengthened or weakened (impossible, difficult, easy).
e.Step 5: IMPORTANT The teams only need to show the action item of ONE DRIVING AND ONE RESTRAINING FORCE. The action item shows how the force will be strengthened or weakened. For example, in the Macyâ€™s example, a driving force is that Macyâ€™s currently has 19 private label brands targeted at specific markets. The action item would be â€œMacyâ€™s can develop a private label line specifically geared toward the Millennial market to compete against Zaraâ€™s and H&Mâ€. Or a restraining force would be that Macyâ€™s lacks technology advancements that are relevant to Millennials. An action item would be that Macyâ€™s could invest money to create an app that resonates with Millennials like a â€œselfie-show us what your wearing appâ€ or hiring student bloggers to talk about fashions at Macyâ€™s or a social media buzz group for Millennials.
This discussion forum takes quite a bit of time so START EARLY. Some aspects may be assigned out to team members, however, the following is required in the discussion forum:
- The discussion on the topic selection and solution objective.
- The brainstorming ideas from all team members.
- The final chart of the driving and restraining forces (clearly legible) and one per team.
- The final post should be from one member showing step 5 in detail with the action points of ONE DRIVING AND ONE RESTRAINING FORCE. Please include how you came to this decision in the group.
By using this model, you can solve business problems with best possible solutions with fully understanding the problemâ€™s driving and restraining forces.
Using this model in your final project is a great framework to help put structure to the project
Business Problems (select one):
1. A hip-young urban store called â€œFast and Funâ€ typically hires Millennials to work at the store and is having an issue with keeping the employees engaged. Part of the issue is the amount of part time employees that work at the store.
2. Leiaâ€™s, a fast fashion company, is getting a lot of negative press on the issue of â€œfast fashion being an environmental issueâ€ where clothes are constantly being thrown out for a new style. This type of consumerism is creating a negative impact on the environment. The sales have started to be impacted and have shown a decline of 2%.
3. Ben and Rexxâ€™s on-line hipster store for young teen boys is having an issue with negative customer reviews and recommendations for the on-line business which is effecting some products and selling of those products have reduced 20%.
4. Create your own problem (HINT: use your final project which will help get you started on a topic).