Icebergs, Polar Bears, and Change Management
Vanishing icebergs and distressed Polar bears have come to symbolize
the effects of our changing climate. The iceberg has also been used as a
metaphor for change in organizations.
The “Change Management Iceberg” developed by Wilfred Kruger offers an
explanation of why many organizational change efforts fail. Above the
waterline are the three areas of concern of most managers–doing things
faster, better, or cheaper. Below the waterline are the hidden areas of
resistance which cause organizations fail!
So where are the areas of main resistance? About 20% of employees will go with the change. About 60% sit on the fence and wait to see what happens, and about 20% of employees will be resistant. Perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, power, and politics all play into resistance. But this is hard to pinpoint (after all it is below the water line). So how do you deal with the areas of resistance? 3 words COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION!
Here are five key messages to give focus on:
- Explain the conditions that have brought about the need for change
- Explain the detail of the change and how it will affect the employee
- Include a practical demonstration or teach the employee how to succeed in the new environment
- Ask the employee how s/he feels about the proposals; identify his/her major hang-ups and recognize any new problems
- Ask for his/her suggestions for overcoming the problems and implementing the change using a joint problem solving approach