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Our Iceberg Is Melting Hardcover – Illustrated, September 5, 2006
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John Kotter has been on the faculty at Harvard Business School since 1972. He is the author of eleven award-winning titles and frequently gives speeches and seminars at Harvard and around the world. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Holger Rathgeber spent his early professional career in Asia. He has worked in industry since the early 1990's and is now with one of the leading medical technology companies, Bectom Dickinson. Raised in Frankfurt, Germany, Rathgeber currently resides in White Plains, New York.
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Kotter's engaging story introduces the 8 principles of problem solving. This can be used in a variety of venues from business, church, child raising, sports, etc. Kotter illustrates how the penguins, faced with a tumultuous dilemma, identified the problem, created urgency, developed a team-building structure, and stepped outside the box. Along the way, the story is entertaining and includes a diverse array of skepticism, cynicism and other challenges that we all face.
The book is also very well illustrated and can easily be read in a couple of hours. It is also readable for almost any age level and would probably make a good reading lesson for children as well. They will certainly be entertained, if not captivated by the illustrations and side notes. Well done.
An astute penguin named Fred observes that the iceberg the colony lives on is melting and that they will face potential disaster if it breaks apart in the middle of winter. He proceeds to present his findings to Alice, a member of the leadership council. Once the need for action is realized, there is no small amount of squabbling amongst the council as to next steps.
They eventually determine to let the rest of the colony know of the great risks and solicit ideas for solutions. After arriving at a creative solution through interactions with a seagull, they implement a migratory initiative to seek out new icebergs. The change is not without detractors who question the findings and argue for maintaining the status quo without addressing the risks of the melting iceberg. However, through strong leadership of the head penguin and a small action team, the penguins drove efforts to eventually relocate to a safer home.
The story has multiple examples of personalities seen commonly in organizations. There are those who are interested in arguing for the sake of arguing, the cautious, the hard driving but consensus building leaders, the creative but sometimes ignored penguins, the naysayers, those being academic in mindset but who ask tough questions, and those who just want everyone to be happy, among others.
Kotter and Rathgeber use the story to demonstrate an eight step process of successful change which includes:
1. Create a Sense of Urgency
2. Pull Together a Guiding Team
3.Read more ›
Kotter and Rathgeber offer a fable in which the central character, an Emperor Penguin named Fred, struggles without much success to convince his colony's Leadership Council that his research statistics indicate "the shrinking of the size of their home, the canals, the caves filled with water, the number of fissures, causing by [their iceberg's] melting." If they do not relocate to another iceberg soon....
What happens next is best revealed by Kotter and Rathgeber within their narrative. They are brilliant storytellers who first introduce their lead characters, and create a situation, then identify conflicts that build tension as the plot develops, until its conclusion (sort of). As with George Orwell in Animal Farm, their primary purpose, however, is not to entertain but to instruct.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Kotter and I love his theories. If you are looking for an easy read on change management, this is it. Read morePublished 28 days ago by A. Dean
Started reading this book when all was relevant. Tried to finish it twice now and just can't get through to the end. Lack of interest, I guess. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Arby
If your company is going through change, then you need to read this. Be prepared for what will be coming at you. Be prepared to lead your people through the change.Published 1 month ago by Tony Smith
Had my cranky staff read it for a dose of reality. People really can't deal with change. This is a great tool.Published 1 month ago by V. Horan
Having read Kotter in the past this book brings the value of each of the 8 steps to a fable that makes these steps easier to bring to your problems.Loved it!Published 2 months ago by doug niehus
Essentially, this is who moved my cheese, using clever penguins instead of mice.Published 2 months ago by Johnny Salami