Effective ways of displaying information
Effective ways of displaying information

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Effective ways of displaying information

2.1.1 The diagram

Suppose that a manager is planning or exploring the possibility of a change (in working practices, for example). The manager can represent the current situation as a horizontal line. The driving forces, those forces or reasons that are supportive of a change, can be represented as downward-pointing arrows that are seeking to push the line. The restraining forces, those forces or reasons that are likely to resist the change, can then be represented by upward-pointing arrows that are supporting the line (the current situation) and are seeking to keep it where it is.

A general force-field diagram is shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9
Figure 9: A general force-field diagram

The thickness of an arrow can be used to show the strength of a force. The length of an arrow can be used to show how difficult it would be to modify the force. However, these conventions are not hard and fast. You can adopt them or you can use your own. It is usual to explain your conventions in a note below your diagram.


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