Titanic sank after colliding with an iceberg
Organizational change is like turning a ship
In 1912 the Titanic was the largest ocean passenger liner of its time and was significant for many reasons. It was built in Belfast for trans-Atlantic travel as well as being sanctioned as a carrier of the Royal Mail Service. It was a great innovation for the period it was built.
The Titanic was thought to be an unsinkable vessel. Yet it was not prepared for the ill fate it met on April 15, 1912; this passenger vessel sank after colliding with an iceberg.
Organizational culture is like an iceberg
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
An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice. It has broken off a glacier or an ice shelf and floats freely in open waters. It can become stationary if it becomes frozen into pack ice that came into contact with the seabed.
Because the density of pure ice is much less than that of sea water, it is typical for only one-tenth of the iceberg to actually be above the water.
The fate of the Titanic have some similarity to a seemingly well-planned and structured organization.
It seems quite ironic, that organizations are often not aware, or may choose to ignore the 90% of organizational attributes that are beneath the surface and not seen. Sometimes leaders make decisions only on the 10% that is visible to them!
The iceberg of organizational culture change
Don’t leave the organizational iceberg unattended
Icebergs can be beautiful phenomenon. They can also be considered to be a force to be reasoned with, because of what may lie beneath the surface.
None of the visible elements can ever make real sense without understanding the drivers behind them and these are hidden on the bottom side of the iceberg, the invisible side. It is these invisible elements that are the underlying causes of what manifest on the visible side.
Ignoring corporate culture would be a VERY big mistake. Don’t leave the organizational iceberg unattended!
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Organizational culture is like an iceberg — https://www.torbenrick.eu/t/r/fcj
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