The iceberg model has been with me for many years. I came into contact with it during my studies of pedagogy and psychology for the first time. As a student I realized very quickly, that the difficulty of the iceberg is described by two characteristics:
1. The total size of it is entirely unclear at the beginning.
2. The art of conquering the iceberg is not in the ascent, but in the descent or better in the dive.
During my apprenticeship as a Business Coach, I spent many hours diving into the shallows of the model and thus into my personality. Understanding myself worked best when I got into contact with myself. For sure that´s no walk in the park. It´s like swimming with sharks and jumping into the cold. It takes willpower. It hurts. Above all, the deep sense of inner freedom and clarity you feel the next time you emerge is worth it.
The iceberg model has been transmitted countless times since the theory of the personality of Sigmund Freud. Today it is at least as relevant as it was then. The illustration of Torben Rick hits the nail on the head. It shows the iceberg that sinks organizational change.
I'm always amazed by how many people have never heard of this model before. We, who know it, need to unpack and present it every time we can. Moreover, we need to invite everybody, to dive.
Because underwater lies the secret for transformation, for learning and experiencing.
The iceberg version of Torben Rick shows very nicely which attributes lie on the visible side. We all know these attributes from our daily work.
It is often the vision of business models and services that make us at least as successful in a digitally connected world as we are today. Utopias that give our work of today an entitlement for tomorrow.
Strategies and goals describe what we need to do to reach the vision as close as possible.
How we proceed is based on shared values, transparent procedures and guidelines.
We all made our personal experiences in dealing with visions and strategies in our companies. We've heard a lot, if ever. We heard things somewhere, seen them somehow and forgot most of it someday quickly. Very little of the strategy content is established. Touches and fascinates us. Inspires us, makes us feel involved and become a confident ambassador.
Thus, vision, strategy, and change in recent years have become buzz words. Once they are said, many of us deliberately dive. However, not to explore the iceberg where it is fascinating and compelling, but because the change wave has passed after surfacing and we can continue where we left off earlier.
Do you know the moments when we have dived with a few colleagues, and it is starting to become human? When we discover similarities. Rituals and traditions emerge, which we would like to repeat right the next day? If the belief in a common goal is welded together? If values are the basis for an attentive and dignified relationship with each other and not some sexy claims that embellish entrance halls. If trust becomes an unwritten law that we can rely on blindly? When stories inspire and kindle us? When personal experiences touch us emotionally, and we feel connectedness? These are the moments when common strategies emerge that everyone supports because we believe in our vision and are willing to enlight our full potential and do everything for our goal. The only rule that exists is that there are no rules.
All of this usually happens underwater. But when all these moments involve naturally, an official movement build on pride, motivation and passion are starting to evolve. That is when the magic happens. Call it sweet spot or moment in time, when the iceberg is turning 180 degrees.
We need more of these moments because this is where our future takes place.
Transforming a company means accompanying people in their personal development. Only if we develop, our companies will. For this, it takes the willingness and the courage of corporate environments to dive. We have to discover and experience the iceberg below the surface. Once experienced, we can develop new and creative concepts that turn the iceberg upside down.
The way we say we do things needs to become the way, we actually do things. Then the culture of our companies will start to recover and become healthy again.
See you underwater! Let´s turn to this culture sinker around.