A core formula for change

B = f(p x e)

One of Lewin’s most significant conceptual inputs into the change process is this formula: individual behavior (B) is a function (f) of personal factors (p), multiplied by the impact of the current social environment (e). This model explains why some training-oriented change efforts aimed at the individual often fail. Like the alcoholic treated alone and then sent back to an unchanged family system, change efforts that do not take into account making changes in the human environment (‘the field’ in Gestalt terms) will not last long. This is because personal factors are multiplied by environmental factors. Ron Lippitt quoted this Lewin saying to me more than once, ‘I have found it easier to change the group than to change one individual in the group.’

From my friend, Dr. Scherer.  This is from the history of OD chapter in our “Practicing Organization Development” Third edition

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