What is Beckhard and Harris’ Change Equation?

Beckhard and Harris’ change equation is a change model that can effectively support actions towards powerful and successful change.

According to this model, dissatisfaction with the status quo, compelling vision and practical first steps must be greater than resistance for change to occur.

The Model uses the equation of C= DxVxF>R serves as the model equation. “C” refers to change, which is affected by several factors. “D” refers to the degree of dissatisfaction with the status quo or employees’ discontent with the situation. Employees satisfied with the current situation will not be as motivated to change.

“V” refers to the vision of change. This should be understandable, amiable, and attractive. All employees must share this honestly and in detail to encourage a positive attitude for a future state to move forward.

“F” describes the practice’s first steps or actions at the beginning phases of the change process to work towards the future state. The initial actions relate to fundamentals in the process of materializing the vision. Engaging employees in this phase can lead to more effective change.

“R” corresponds to resistance. Resistance can be the biggest limitation to creating successful change. If “D”, “V”, or “F” elements are equal to or near zero, the outcome will also be zero or near zero, meaning the probability for change to occur is notably reduced

The equation offers an analytical lens through which to view change. This is more about evaluating the relative forces affecting the adjustment’s effects than math.

According to Beckhard and Harris, effective change initiatives recognize that the transition to the desired future state necessitates special-purpose structures (e.g., task forces), processes (problem identification), and governance roles that will likely cease to exist once the objective has been attained.


This is the formula’s ‘Why,’ or motivating element. Change is something that few of us enjoy. We fear and detest change much more when it is forced upon us. In most situations, a high level of discontent is required to support significant reform attempts. People resist change unless they have a compelling cause to do so. On the other side, discontent and suffering are more frequent motivators.


The vision is the formula’s ‘What’ element — how you want to be in the future. It should reflect something you’d like to be a part of and help bring to fruition. The contrast between how things are here and how they may be with change can help to replace anxiety and unhappiness with exhilaration. People who are unsure of where they are headed will just be another resistant force that must be dealt with.


Resistance to change is what keeps things from changing. We may also be stuck in our comfort zone and don’t want to leave it.

First Steps

What specific actions may be made to achieve the vision? How do you go to the summit of Mount Everest? It’s as easy as taking the first step and then the next. The initial step is sometimes unclear, or we don’t know what it is. So, despite the high levels of dissatisfaction and vision, nothing will happen unless we figure out how to get started.

As a result, the “weight” of the (D x V) + FS must be higher than the “weight” of the resistance that holds us back for change to occur!

The Beckhard-Harris change model outlines the circumstances that must be met for change to take place when organizations and individuals evolve according to the model.

There is DISSATISFACTION(D) with the current state (of whatever the change is focused on), so there is a clear and common VISION(V) of the desired outcome. There is an acceptable FIRST STEPS(F) Blueprint for achieving its vision, and the product of DxVxF is greater than the existing RESISTANCE to change among those whose support is needed for proper implementation.

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