The Iceberg of Ignorance

Health & Wellbeing Safety Culture

The Iceberg of Ignorance was a term first used by Sidney Yoshida in the 1980’s. He studied several medium size organisations in Japan’s manufacturing sector. The study found that there was a disconnect in the organisational hierarchy. On average frontline operational problems were recognised by:

  • Executives 4%
  • Frontline Workers 100%

Even though this study was conducted 30 years ago it still holds relevance today.

The ‘Iceberg’ principles have also been studied in more recent research by The Yunus Centre Griffith and Auckland Co-Design Lab 2022. Refer to our blog to read more about some of the invisible patterns and responses.

Our recent Health and Safety Index benchmark results highlight the importance of invisible conditions, practices and behaviours that are often not seen by senior managers. Our benchmark data shown on Figure 1.1 below a mismatch between Senior Management and Employees when asked:

“Senior managers visit our workplace and have meaningful safety conversations with my team.”

Health and Safety Index Benchmarks: Blind Spots and Levers for Action

Figure 1.1

How do your senior managers seek feedback from your organisation?

For more information on discovering blind spots in your organisation, contact us.

[email protected] 1300 909 649

Get in touch

Got questions? Want to speak to a member of the HSI team? Contact us today, we’d love to hear from you.

Mark Wright and the HSI team

M: +61 417 570 143

E: [email protected]

Until next time,


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