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Our Iceberg Is Melting – by John Kotter Book Review

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While Holger Rathgeber has no Wikipedia stub. Louis was wise. With the technological advances incurring constant change. examples of how the best companies or organizations adopted to change are explained. was to live like a nomad and look for another iceberg to live. Fred’s vision. As the Head Penguin. other team members were the very logical Professor. But the colony was hostile to the idea of moving away from the iceberg . the colony will die. Together. The group of penguins had a Leadership Council called the Group of Ten which was led by Louis. aggressive in making things happen. John Kotter. Content Our Iceberg is Melting is a fable about a colony of 268 Emperor Penguins in Antarctica near Cape Washington. Fred. and the non-intellectual yet very social and boyishly handsome Buddy. they made the perfect team – each with their own strengths and weaknesses. NoNo was immediately the first to think Fred was crazy. the man behind Kotter International is a Harvard Business School professor and author of many books in change management and leadership. NoNo was spreading propaganda that added more problems to the team’s dilemma. and treats every penguin equally – to report that the iceberg they’ve lived on for centuries is melting.Our Iceberg Is Melting Author Dr. As the #1 leadership guru in America. When the iceberg will melt or crack in the coming winter storm. and respected by all except NoNo who was the naysayer of the Council. One day. a curious and observant penguin named Fred went to Alice – another member of the council who was practical. In many of his books. one of the world’s largest medical technology companies. As Fred and Alice urgently put forth the issue before the council members. he is a modern global manager for Becton Dickinson. patient. inspired by the seagulls. Including Alice. When Louis formed a team to solve the melting iceberg problem. and Louis. Becton Dickinson is a good example of organizations that cope well with change. all his 15 books are included in Amazon’s top 1% of sales.

5) removed as many obstacles to action as was practical. 3) found the sensible vision of a better future. . Despite NoNo’s terror plots and massive campaign against the idea. 2) put a carefully selected group in charge of guiding the change. The story is analogous to the common situation where people don't want to face up to difficult problems at home or at work. After the Heroes Day. an empowered little penguin named Sally Ann and other youngsters planned a Heroes Day music fest with 2 fishes as ticket per adult penguin. After the first change. the hype in favor of the nomadic way of living increased. the team is confronted by their cultural problem: the scouts need food after the iceberg expedition. After they sent the first team of scouts to find icebergs that matched their living conditions and came back with positive data. the colony didn’t let the recent move make them complacent. It became successful and they moved to the new iceberg before the winter storm. they pressed on for something better and didn’t let up. They were also afraid of swimming too far from the iceberg for fear of being eaten by other sea creatures. but the penguins traditionally fish to feed only their families – not their friends. the colony slowly began to concede to the team’s suggestion when the team put up posters for constant communication. Later on. It was a short-term win. when they found a better iceberg and suggested another move. Later on in the story. With the accumulated ‘fish tickets’.which they’ve lived on for centuries. nor scouts. they 1) created a sense of urgency in the colony to deal with the difficult problem. they were able to feed the scouts. Once a small group of penguins came to understand that their iceberg actually was melting. a lot of penguins signed up to be scouts and data gathering were on high. 4) communicated that vision so others would understand and accept it. Luckily. they adopted the nomadic way of life and created a new culture. Still. The move to another iceberg was successful thanks to the 8-Step Process of Successful Change. neighbors.

Remove as many barriers as possible so that those who want to make the vision a reality can do so. 6. Make it Happen 4. authority. Produce Short-Term Wins. and a sense of urgency. Decide What to Do 3. 2. ensured that the changes would not be overcome by stubborn. 7) never let up until the new way of life was firmly established. Make sure as many others as possible understand and accept the vision and the strategy. Develop the Change Vision and Strategy. Pull Together the Guiding Team. unambiguous successes as soon as possible. Create some visible. analytical skills. credibility. Make sure there is a powerful group guiding the change-one with leadership skills. . hard-to-die traditions. Clarify how the future will be different from the past. 5. Help others see the need for change and the importance of acting immediately.6) created some sort of success quickly. The Eight Step Process of Successful Change Set the Stage 1. Communicate for Understanding and Buy In. and. Create a Sense of Urgency. Empower Others to Act. communications ability. 8) finally. and how you can make that future a reality.

A change in feelings can lead to a significant change in behavior. Present the information logically to change people's thinking. Press harder and faster after the first successes. in turn. The Role of Thinking and Feeling Thinking differently can help change behavior and lead to better results.7. The experiences change how people feel about a situation. and make sure they succeed. a business strategy that makes increasingly little sense. despite adverse conditions. Changed thinking. compelling. Don't Let Up. Melting icebergs come in dozens of forms: product lines that are aging. Hold on to the new ways of behaving.    The story tells an important lesson that when leadership. Feeling differently can change behavior MORE and lead to even better results. Ask yourself whether you are living on the proverbial melting iceberg or an iceberg that could melt. and. Be relentless with initiating change after change until the vision is a reality. schools that are becoming irrelevant.    Collect data. it is amazing what can happen. visual experiences. Make It Stick 8. can change behavior. middle management. a new strategy whose implementation is sinking into the ocean. until they become strong enough to replace old traditions. Who in your organization can champion change? Who are the nay-sayers? And what can your role be? . services that are decreasing in quality. analyze it. and "front-line" employees are all on the same page with regards to change. Create surprising. Create a New Culture. if possible.