Change Management Iceberg

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Explanation of Change Management Iceberg of Wilfried Krüger.


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The Change Management Iceberg of Wilfried Krüger is a strong visualization of what is arguably the essence of change in organizations: dealing with barriers.

The top of the iceberg

According to Krüger many change managers only consider the top of the iceberg: Cost, Quality and Time ("Issue Management").

Below the surface of the iceberg

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:

1. 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

2. the applied Change strategy

     - revolutionary, dramatic change as in Business Process Reengineering

     - evolutionary, incremental change as in Kaizen

People involved in Change

  • Opponents have both a negative general attitude towards change AND a negative behavior 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.

Dealing with Change

Krüger says the general management has a permanent task and challenge to deal with change. Superficial Issue Management can only achieve results at a level consistent with the acceptance that is below the surface. The base of Change Management is in both the interpersonal and behavioral dimension and the normative and cultural dimension, and is subject to Power and Politics management, and to the management of Perceptions and Beliefs.

change management iceberg

Article: Wilfried Krüger - Implementation: the Core Task of Change Management, CEMS Business Review, Vol. 1, 1996

Book: Michael A. Beitler - Strategic Organizational change -

Book: Linda Ackerman Anderson, Dean Anderson - The Change Leader's Roadmap -

Change Management Iceberg Forum
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  Create Involvement and Communicate the Strategic Need to Change
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  Avoiding Resistance to Change
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  Checking Team Alignment: T4
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  Who Moved my Cheese?
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  Overcoming Resistance? The Rapid Results Method by Schaffer
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  The Role of Conflicting Interests in Change Management
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  Dealing with Change is Not Always Problematic
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  Human Factors in Change Management
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  What are the Future Trends in Managing Organizational Change?
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  The Usefulness of Iceberg to Management?
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  Hidden Resistance to Change
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  Transparancy Needed in Change Management
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  Is it Possible to Manage Change If the Right Approaches Are NOT Used?
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Best Practices - Change Management Iceberg Premium
  How to Make Employees LOVE Change?
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  What Leadership Style Reduces Resistance?
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  Reasons and Motives to Resist Change
I'm trying to collect a list of all motives for resistance to change by employees.
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  What Punishment for Unwilling Employees?
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  Bad Change Management Examples
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  What are the Reasons for Change?
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Expert Tips - Change Management Iceberg Premium

I'll never use the term 'Resistance to Change' again

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Usage (application): Resistance to Change is a Defensive Attitude...

Addressing Concerns Against Change and their Remedies

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Personal Networks of Successful Change Agents

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Leadership Strategies for Change

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Understanding Why Resistance Occurs

The concept of bases of social power is very important for organizations in the context ...
Usage (application): Why Acknowledging the Power of Employees is Important

Key Success Factors when you're Designing your Change Management Program

In their article "Making Change Happen, and Making It Stick" (published in the online edition of strategy+business, December 20, 2010), Ashley Harshak...
Usage (application): Best Practices, Change Management, Organizational Change

What Change Agents Should I Use?

When choosing between internal or external change agents, organizations should consider following advantages and disadvantages of each o...
Usage (application): Change Management, Organizational Change, Turnaround Management

The Need to Communicate the REASONS for Change

1072 survey contributors commented on how improve their chances of thriving, by communicating in ways that build trust and engage people. For these co...
Usage (application): Change Management

Critical Leadership Skills

In order to tackle all six stages of concern mentioned by Ken Blanchard in the article “Mastering the Art of Change” (Training Journal, January 2010),...
Usage (application): Tackling the Six Stages of Concern

Role of Recruiting in Organization Culture So Hard? The ASA Model (Schneider)

Why is changing an organization culture so difficult? Because, once it is established, a culture has the tendency to strengthen itself, become more ho...
Usage (application): Organization Culture, Culture Change, Corporate Culture, Change Management, Recruitment

Assessing the Risks of Change and the Organization’s Capacity for Change

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Six Crucial Mind Shifts for Strategy Execution / Implementation

Speculand (2009) suggests six mind shifts that people should consider when they're implementing new strategies in organizations. These are outlined an...
Usage (application): Change Management, Strategic Change, Resistance to CHange, Strategy Implementation

Strategic Change: Why, What, When, Who and How

If we need to change strategically, we need to think about why, what, when, who and how:
- Why do we want to change? - the constraints imp...
Usage (application): Preparing Strategic Change

The 7C Framework for Successful Personal and Professional Change

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Usage (application): Personal Change, Professional Change, Personal Transition, Professional Transition, Embracing Change

The Role of the CEO in Strategic Change Initiation

In management literature the role of the CEO in formulating and implementing strategic change has often been emphasized.
An interesting view to s...
Usage (application): Communicating Strategic Change

Resources - Change Management Iceberg Premium

22 Best Practices in Change Management

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1. Proces...
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The Nature and Complexity of Organizational Change

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Usage (application): Change Management, Organizational Change

Dealing with Strong Resisters

Dr. John Kotter gives remarkable advice on dealing with "No, No, People" (strong resisters in change initiatives).
According to Kotter in a major...
Usage (application): Dealing with Resistance to Change, Change Management, Training, Workshop

Avoiding Resistance: Communicate Organizational Change to Affected Audiences

This presentation elaborates on the process of communicating change towards those affected by the change. The presentation includes the following sect...
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2. What is the difference between ...
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Dealing with Resistance to Change

This presentation focuses on resistance to change and ways to overcome or prevent it. The presentation has good graphics and includes the following se...
Usage (application): Change Management, Resistance to Change

Resistance to Change and Its Management

This presentation focuses on a specific dimension of change management, namely the management of resistance to change of individuals. The presentation...
Usage (application): Change Management, Resistance to Change, Change Resistance

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2. Change accordin...
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Change Management in an Information Technology / IT Context

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Usage (application): Change Management, Information Systems Planning, Information Systems Architecture, Information Systems Implementation

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In today's world market conditions, customers demands...
Usage (application): Initial Understanding of How to Manage Change Successfully

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Usage (application): Organizational Change; Change Management; Stress Management

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Usage (application): Change Management, Success of Organizational Change, Organizational Learning

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Usage (application): Employee Engagement, Organizational Commitment, Amployee Attitude

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What he really said was that it isn't the strongest...
Usage (application): Change Management, Need to Change, Change Management

Article by Krüger 1

Part 1 of the article by Wilfried Krüger in De Wit and Meyer's Strategy: Proces, Content, Context. Used with permission....
Usage (application): Change Management

Role of Leadership in Change Management

Clear presentation about the tasks of leaders in change management by N.H. Amer. First there is an outline of the personality a good change agent shou...
Usage (application): Change Management, Leadership

Change Management Iceberg Diagram

Download and edit the 12manage PowerPoint model for limited personal, educational and business use. Republishing in intranets, websites, books, magaz...
Usage (application): Resistance to Change

Article by Krüger 2

Part 2 of the article by Wilfried Krüger in De Wit and Meyer's Strategy: Proces, Content, Context. Used with permission....
Usage (application): Change Management


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Compare with the Change Management Iceberg: Change Model Beckhard  |  Changing Organization Cultures  |  Forget Borrow Learn  |  Change Phases  |  Appreciative Inquiry  |  Positive Deviance  |  DICE Framework  |  Force Field Analysis  |  Core Group Theory  |  Bases of Social Power  |  MSP  |  PMMM  |  Planned Behavior  |  Business Process Reengineering  |  Kaizen  |  Dimensions of Change  |  Seven Habits  | Levels of Culture  |  Culture Types  |  RACI

Return to Management Hub: Change & Organization  |  Communication & Skills  |  Human Resources  |  Leadership  |  Program & Project Management

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