How to analyse and manage stakeholders by applying iceberg model

The key to this methodology lies in investigating all the processes and making visible what seems invisible. The resolution of internal problems in companies also means a process of internal transformation and the collaborators must feel part of it. Knowledge of internal problems leads to better stakeholder management.

When a problem arises in the operations of a company, executives rack their brains trying to find an explanation, but sometimes it is only necessary to make visible and delve into those hidden patterns that give substance to the situation, as happens with the composition of icebergs in the oceans.

These events are a consequence of patterns that the organization or its structures have, which are replicated and generate problems. In the process we need to ask many questions because there are usually many problems that are invisible, because we are used to it: we see it as something everyday and we don’t stop to think that’s wrong.

The iceberg model can work under three precepts: determine why the problem is generated, analyze what are the underlying structures that support this type of patterns that were identified and, in the end, check what are the mentalities that create the issues you have already identified.

How long are you going to wait to apply yourself to tame the future of your company?

The resolution of the detected problems and the planning of a future for the company depends on the ability to begin to see and analyze each process. It starts by seeing ourselves, because that makes us understand how we are, looking at a phenomenon makes it change and that has to be a team effort to perceive and reimagine.

Solving internal problems in companies also means a process of internal transformation. Therefore, the need to make each individual ‘owner’ part of this phase of problem solving. A common mistake is to call external consultants, adopting strategies from outside and then downloading them to collaborators, which implies a square process where there is no feeling of ownership in the teams.

The  iceberg of skills

Did you know that according to the iceberg theory of skills, we show only 20% of what we are? Analyzing the hidden part is key to identifying and evaluating the skills of our team. Based on McClelland’s definition of competencies, Spencer and Spencer created this iceberg model to represent all of their components. The six skills are:



Social role

Self image



As you can see, the skills and knowledge are located in the part of the iceberg that is above the water level, which is easy to see. Both characteristics represent only 20% of a person’s abilities and are relatively easy to determine.

Instead, social role, self-image, character, and motivation are positioned in the part of the iceberg below the water level, hidden from the human eye. These represent 80% of a person’s capabilities, but are much more difficult to assess than skill and knowledge. The 6 factors are essential, they will all affect the way you relate to work, but we are going to delve little by little into how to discover and enhance talents.

Create your own Iceberg of skills. Is it easy for you to create a stakeholder analysis? Could you make your own team? What do you discover about each member? Do you think that with this information you can redistribute talent management and optimize processes?

When we talk about talent of stakeholders as an approach in analyzing and managing them, we refer to the capacities they have, other than knowledge, and that by working on them can become strengths. It is that special intellectual capacity or aptitude that a person has to learn things easily or to develop an activity with great skill. Help your stakeholders rediscover their innate talents and you will be able to manage them better!

Zaman Lashari
Zaman Lashari
Articles: 701

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