The Change Management Iceberg

Change management is a hot topic, especially with today’s changing economy. As managers we are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to handle change while communicating with our employees. Of course, we have to understand change ourselves, and one of the best ways to expand our views is by taking a close look at the Change Management Iceberg.

Created by Wilfried Kruger, the Change Management Iceberg encourages managers to begin looking at the entire picture. Most managers focus more on the tip of the iceberg, or what we can see above the surface, while forgetting that most icebergs extend below the surface as well.

At the tip of the iceberg sits “issue management,” or issues pertaining to cost, quality, and time. Below the surface are two additional categories to consider, including they way we manage perceptions and beliefs as well as power and politics management.

Before you can manage the reactions or issues arising from either of those two categories you must remember that change impacts people on every level of the organisation. Those people generally divide themselves into four distinct categories:

• Promoters, or those who support the change;

• Potential promoters, will likely support you but may not be convinced yet;

• Opponents, are verbally against the change;

• Hidden opponents, appear to support change but secretly despise it.

Remembering that there are different categories of people with different belief systems involved in change will help you to better handle their objectives and work towards a positive outcome. Failure to recognize that there are people who are bound to have positive and negative reactions will only result in disaster.

Are you prepared to handle change? Can you identify those in your workgroup and how they might align themselves?

Thanks again,

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 3 December, 2008

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