The iceberg of change
Original content by ChangeDriver™
Sometimes change is simple, but often it’s like an iceberg – there is much more to it than meets the eye.
The Titanic was the largest vessel in the world when she entered service in 1912. The ship’s builders and owners claimed she was unsinkable. Everyone on board – crew and passengers – also believed it, so they didn’t properly prepare for the possibilities. Risks were down-played as was any risk mitigation.
On her maiden voyage, the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank. Over 1000 people – crew and passengers who all believed the liner was unsinkable – went down with the ship.
The size of the Titanic turned out to be a double-edged sword. It was a major contributor to her disastrous sinking. The ship designers knew the ship inside and out – technically. However, the owners did not emphasize safety and only had enough lifeboats on board for 1/2 of the passengers. They prepared for the safety of only 1,178 passengers!
The fallacy didn’t stop there. A series of misconceptions – based on the belief that Titanic was unsinkable – led to catastrophic outcomes. Many passengers did not take the emergency warning seriously. They believed the myth – perpetuated by the owners from design through to launch – that Titanic was unsinkable.
Lifeboats half-full of passengers left the sinking ship because many passengers chose to remain onboard thinking they were safe. This happened in spite of on-board warnings from the ship’s designers that Titanic was doomed and would inevitably sink after hitting the iceberg.
Change has many moving parts. You could be facing unforeseen economic, social or technological changes that could sink you. Are you prepared for the known and unknown inside and outside your organization or business? How can you prepare for waves of coming change?