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 -

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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

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