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The Tip of The Iceberg

This weekend I was very blessed to be able to make a quick visit to the northeast region of Newfoundland with my mother. Twillingate, Newfoundland is known as Iceberg Alley and my mother and I were reminded of why upon our arrival.

Coming into view as we neared our destination were at least three icebergs sitting offshore. Their presence was breathtaking- they were like white mountains rising out of the ocean. Mum and I had signed up for a tour that took us much closer to the icebergs.

Before we left shore, the crew took us through a safety demonstration and warned that the waters might be a little rough. Out on the ocean we noted the power of the sea, and were reminded of the importance of respecting it and the icebergs.  The experience surrounded us with the power of nature, and, for me, it illuminated the idiom, “the tip of the iceberg.”

Many business and leadership books remind readers that culture is like an iceberg. While the tip represents what we can ‘see’ in an organization, the norms and traditions of a culture are deep and often below the surface. If they are ignored when enacting change, the consequences can be dire. However, if these norms and traditions are respected while navigating change, much is possible.

As our boat circled each of the icebergs in the less-than-calm waters, I reflected on the complexity of change, the power of culture, and the importance of always being mindful of our School’s history and purpose.  Despite the occasionally rough waters, Mum and I finished our tour with a sense of enthusiasm and wonder.

As we work to ensure our girls’ success during and after their time at SCS, we must be like the tour crew with whom my Mum and I travelled, not hesitant to make the journey but mindful of the complexities along the way. Wonder awaits.

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