The Iceberg that Sinks Organizational Change

The Iceberg that Sinks Organizational Change

How does the iceberg impact organizational change?

Some aspects of organizational culture are visible on the surface, like the tip of an iceberg, while others are implicit and submerged within the organization. Because these ingrained assumptions are tacit and below the surface, they are not easy to see or deal with, although they affect everything the organization does.

Most of an icebergs bulk lies below the surface. Ships that ignore the ice below the water are in mortal danger. Likewise, organizational change efforts may flounder because of a lack of organizational focus.

The iceberg that sinks organizational change

The change management iceberg is visualizing the essence of change in organizations: Dealing with organizational barriers. It is better to be mindful of things below the surface!

The iceberg that sinks organizational change


Before embarking on change make sure to understand the organizational culture! Don’t leave it unattended:


It’s like trying to build a house without a foundation – it’ll look good for a short while, until the walls fall down!


Changing an organization’s culture


Changing an organization’s culture is one of the most difficult leadership challenges. That’s because an organization’s culture comprises an interlocking set of goals, roles, processes, values, communications practices, attitudes and assumptions.


Organizational change — Be mindful of things below the surface.

About the Author: Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland