The Formula for Change

Have you ever wondered what needs to be in place in order for change to happen? Why can you sometimes change easily and sometimes it is so difficult!  Perhaps this will shed some light on it for you……

The formula for change(D x V x F > R) proposes that the combination of dissatisfaction with the present, vision for the future and the possibility of immediate action must be stronger than the resistance being felt in order for meaningful change to occur.

The Formula for Change was created by Richard Beckhard and David Gleicher, refined by Kathie Dannemiller and is sometimes called Gleicher’s Formula. This formula provides a model to assess the capacity for personal or business change.

Dissatisfaction – This is the ‘Why’ or the motivational factor in the formula.  Few among us like change.  We fear and dislike it even more when the change is imposed on us.  In most cases the level of dissatisfaction needed to support significant change efforts must be quite high. People do not take on change unless there is a very strong reason to do so. On the other hand we are more often motivated by dissatisfaction and/or pain.

Vision –  The Vision is the ‘What’ factor of the formula – how you would like to be in the future.  It should represent something that you will like to be a part of and want to make happen.  The contrast between the way things are now and the way they could be with change can generate enthusiasm to replace the fear and dissatisfaction. People who do not know where they are going will, in their confusion, become another resisting force to be dealt with.

First Steps – What concrete steps can be taken towards the vision? How do you climb Mount Everest? It is as simple as take the first step and then another.  Sometimes the first step is not clear or we don’t know what it is. So even though the Dissatisfaction and Vision are high, nothing will happen until we know how to get started.

Resistance – is what prevents change from occurring. It can also be that we are in our comfort zone and resist wanting to go beyond it.


So for change to occur the “weight” of the (D x V) + FS must greater than the “weight” of the resistance that holds us back!