Book Review - Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber
I've been doing this "work" thing long enough to know that when a boss suggests a particular book to read, you may want to pay attention and pick up a copy. That's how the book Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber ended up on my radar screen. Granted, I probably would have been inclined to read it anyway, as it's on a topic that seems to define my life. Written in a style that brings to mind Who Moved My Cheese?, Iceberg is a quick read that uses a fable to make its point about how to be open to changes in all areas of your life.
The authors use a waddle of penguins (yes, I had to look that up!) to tell a story about change. One penguin who goes by the name of Fred is an observant sort, and starts to realize that the iceberg they live on is in danger of collapsing. When he tries to bring that to the attention of others, he's written off as alarmist, strange, or just plain wrong. He finally gets someone in the leadership pack to see and understand the situation, and together they have to convince the others that there 1) is a problem, and 2) is a need to change in order to survive. As you might expect, the waddle goes through all the typical behaviors such as denial, acceptance, resistance, and so forth. But though hard work and careful choices, they learn to change and adapt to a different (and perhaps better) way of life.
Kotter structures the story around his eight step process for successful change:
Set the Stage
1. Create a Sense of Urgency
2. Pull Together the Guiding Team
Decide What to Do
3. Develop the Change Vision and Strategy
Make it Happen
4. Communicate for Understanding
5. Empower Others to Act
6. Produce Short-Term Wins
7. Don't Let up
Make It Stick
8. Create a New Culture
Admittedly, the story used to present the process is simple and perhaps overly cute. But it's a whole lot more memorable and easier to apply than just having the eight steps written out so you can read and memorize them. For many readers who are facing change that they didn't necessarily choose, this would be a good choice. They can get their minds wrapped around the change process, and perhaps identify with the different characters in order to help them navigate the path ahead. Personally, I think Our Iceberg Is Melting is one of the more approachable books on change for the average person trying to make sense of it all.
Obtained From: Library