The FLUX Model - by John Duncan

Category: Coaching Notes

There are several models we use in coaching that provide a structure for our coaching sessions. These models are useful as aids to ensure that the coach provides the coachee with the opportunity to get the most from the session.

I mainly work with corporate clients, and sometimes feel that there is a need for a different approach - an approach where clients can visualise the journey that their staff (as individuals or teams) are about to undertake with the introduction of coaching.

It is equally important that the coachees also understand the route map and the potential challenges along the way, which with the help of a good coach they will overcome.

Ultimately when a corporate client engages a coach the goal is to effect a change in performance. Myles Downey describes the relationship that performance has with an individual or team’s innate capability compared to the current situation as:


I have found this to be a fantastically powerful and useful tool to help improve performance by first identifying the causes of interference then working with the client to eliminate them or reduce their impact.

But in my view the model has two limitations:

  1. The focus appears to be on interference, giving an implicit suggestion that potential is somehow immutable and therefore incapable of improvement.

  2. It also does not provide a compass for the direction that an overarching programme of change management should take.

My experience has shown that while the starting point and final destination will be different for each individual in the change programme, the process they will follow will broadly be the same.

Comparisons with the World of Physics

The simple elegance of the approach - and my own scientific background - led me to compare Downey’s model to a universal relationship in physics that governs the flow of just about everything. The best-known form of it is probably Ohm’s Law in electricity and it is expressed simply as:


I propose that since we, as humans, are governed by the same laws of physics as the rest of nature, then this relationship also applies to us. Therefore, each given individual requires a flow of energy to effect a change in performance. We can describe the rate of change like this:


Put another way, we can improve performance by increasing the driving force or by reducing the resistance to change. If we can do both then the result is a multiple of the two results – unlike the earlier relationship, which is merely additive. For example, we can double the driving force and halve the resistance, leading to a fourfold improvement in performance.

The only problem with this model is that it is too long to slip into an easy acronym or mnemonic - essential for the success of any good model! So, I offer you the FLUX Model for Performance Improvement, aimed at letting the individual’s energy

  • FLOW to

  • LIBERATE and



Thus described, the model hasn’t really yielded the route map that I have said earlier is so important to demonstrate to the corporate client the clear value of undertaking the coaching journey.

Applying the FLUX Model

The following table provides the primary elements of the roadmap for the corporate client:

Element of Model Impact Method used / Tool
Flow Reducing the Resistance to Change

  • Challenging Limiting Beliefs

  • Building Self Esteem

Liberate Reducing the Resistance to Change

  • Acknowledging Change

  • Recognising Choice

Unleash Increasing the Driving Force for Change

  • Goal Setting

  • Action Implementation

eXcellence Increasing the Driving Force for Change

  • Establishing New Habits

  • Reinforcement

For the more visual among us, this can also be expressed as a diagram, with the coachee at the heart of the process. (For a larger image, click on the diagram)

FLUX Model

FLUX offers a structure and format of techniques and tools together with a guide to the sequence in which they will be applied to get the best results for the coachee. I think that the application of the model is largely of benefit in corporate coaching, where the contracting party is looking for specific measured outcomes in return for the investment the company is making.

John Duncan specialises in transition management and executive coaching. He is a director of Huxley Strategic Choice and an associate of Brefi Group. This article was first published in The Coach magazine, April / May 2006.