The Change Management Iceberg

July 7, 2010 at 5:34 am Leave a comment

The Change Management Iceberg of Wilfried Krüger is a strong visualization of what is arguably the essence of change in organizations: dealing with barriers. According to Krüger many change managers only consider the top of the iceberg: Cost, Quality and Time (“Issue Management”).

However, below the surface of the water there are two more dimensions of change and implementation management:

– Management of Perceptions and Beliefs, and

– Power and Politics Management.

What kind of barriers arise, and what kind of Implementation Management is consequently needed, depends on:

– the kind of change

– hard things “only” (information systems, processes)  just scratches the surface,

– soft things also (values, mindsets and capabilities) is much more profound

– the applied change strategy

– revolutionary, dramatic change as in business process engineering

– evolutionary, incremental change as inKaizen

Below the surface of the Change Mangement Iceberg:

– Opponents have both a negative general attitude towards change and a negative behaviour towards this particular personal change. They need to be controlled by management of Perceptions and Beliefs to change their minds as far as possible.

– Promoters on the other hand have both a positive generic attitude towards change and are positive about this particular change for them personally. They take advantage of the change and will therefore support it.

– Hidden Opponents have a negative generic attitude towards change although they seem to be supporting the change on a superficial level (“Opportunists”). Here management of Perceptions and Beliefs supported by information (Issue Management. ) is needed to change their attitude.

– Potential Promoters have a generic positive attitude towards change, however for certain reasons they are not convinced (yet) about this particular change. Power and Politics management seems to be appropriate in this case.

According to Krüger dealing with change is a permanent task and challenge for general management. Superficial Issue Management an only achieve results at a level consistent with the Acceptance that is below the surface. The base of the CM is rooted in both the interpersonal and behavioural dimension and the normative and cultural dimension, and is subject to Power and Politics management and to the management of Perceptions and Beliefs.


Entry filed under: Change Management, Change Management Iceberg, Change-Making. Tags: , , , .

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