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Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions [Kindle Edition]

John Kotter , Holger Rathgeber
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This charming story about a penguin colony in Antarctica illustrates key truths about how deal with the issue of change: handle the challenge well and you can prosper greatly; handle it poorly and you put yourself at risk. The penguins are living happily on their iceberg as they have done for many years. Then one curious penguin discovers a potentially devastating problem threatening their home - and pretty much no one listens to him. The characters in this fable are like people we recognise, even ourselves. Their story is one of resistance to change and heroic action, confusion and insight, seemingly intractable obstacles and the most clever tactics for dealing with those obstacles. It is a story that is occuring in different forms around us today - but the penguins handle change a great deal better than most of us.

Based on John Kotter's pioneering work on how to make smart change happen faster and better, the lessons you can learn from this short and easy-to-read book will serve you well in your job, in your family, and in your community. And these lessons are becoming ever more important as the world around us changes faster and faster.

Product Description


'It promotes the idea of in-depth business it is
important to listen to different strands of thought'
-- Robin Geffen, Financial Times Magazine

Book Description

The huge international bestseller: a simple fable with profound lessons for working and living in an ever changing world.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4593 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; Reprints edition (25 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E3VDMK2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #46,954 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Harvard Business School Professor John Kotter is widely regarded as the world's foremost authority on leadership and change.

His is the premier voice on how the best organizations actually "do" change. Kotter's international bestseller 'Leading Change' - which outlined an actionable, eight-step process for implementing successful transformations - has become the change bible for managers around the world.

Professor Kotter is the author of seventeen books, a collection that has given him more honours and awards than any other writer on the topics of leadership and change. His latest is 'A Sense of Urgency' and in it Kotter shows what a true sense of urgency really is, why it is becoming an exceptionally important asset, and how you can create and sustain it within your organization - starting today.

He has been praised by BusinessWeek, Fortune, The Financial Times, and by managers around the globe as one of our most important voices on leadership and change. In 2009 The Times ranked him amongst the 50 most important business thinkers in the world. Kotter is also author of 'The Heart of Change' and 'John P. Kotter on What Leaders Really Do'.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile and accessible read 13 Oct. 2006
I've just finished reading this short book. It explains Kotter's Eight Step Process for Change that he first described in more conventional form in Leading Change and then Heart of Change. It tells the story of a colony of penguins who eventually commit to abandoning the iceberg they have inhabited for generations.

Whilst it won;t make the Man Booker shortlist next year, I found the fable subtle, realistic and rich enough to keep me reading, and it didn't take long to read the 147 pages of large type, several of which were devoted to some very attractive colour illustrations of points in the story. The story illustrations of Kotter's model were good, and the penguin characters had some familiarity, particularly NoNo the influential saboteur, who did all he could to oppose the change.

This is designed as a more accessible format for the type of manager who would rather freeze on an ice floe than read a research-based management book such as Kotter's original Leading Change. The authors researched how some of the key messages of Kotter's work could be better communicated through story-telling and enhanced by good pictures.

And I think the authors have pulled it off. I can see this book going down well in certain team contexts or change management training courses. Well worth checking out, and it won't take much time to read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
After reading this book you will want to explore Kotters other work:

* Leading Change and

* The Heart of Change.

These give you the depth and breadth that is obviously missing here. I have found other books that I thought had the edge, over Kotters work these include:

*Strategic Organization Change - Pub 2005. It is based around a comprehensive organization model and linked change processes, that leads you to what I think is a more realistic view of how to proceed, that is easier to digest than some aspects of Kotters work which has been around for a while now. (see my other reviews)

*Tool kit for Organizational change, by Thomas Cawsey - Pub 2007. This is the product of 10 years work, the result is a very useful, readable and pragmatic guide to organizational change.(see my other reviews)

Stan Felstead - Interchange Resources - UK.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Think like a hero 6 Mar. 2015
By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
In 1995, John Kotter had an idea. He identified eight reasons why transformational change within organisations can fail. These were then inverted to create eight steps to implement transformational change. They are:

* Establish a Sense of Urgency
* Create the Guiding Coalition
* Develop a Vision and Strategy
* Communicate the Change Vision
* Empower Employees for Broad-Based Action
* Generate Short-Term Wins
* Consolidate Gains and Producing More Change
* Anchor New Approaches in the Culture

These eight steps were grounded in real life examples and, in my own experience, are very sensible steps. I am a Kotter fan.

But for the past 20 years, John Kotter has been dining out on this single idea. I have seen his original model published twice in the Harvard Business Review; Kotter has expanded the idea into a best-selling book (Leading Change, 1996); and has set up the Kotter International to sell the concept to businesses which have, presumably, not read the HBR articles or bought his book.

Ten years after having the big idea, Kotter wrote a fable to illustrate the eight steps with the help of some penguins. It's a cutesy story written in large letters padded out with lots of white space (like snow) and cutesy pictures of penguins. There are humorous asides to the reader, offering a reminder that this is all about business theory and that penguins don't really carry briefcases and attend business meetings.

It is well done, and Kotter offers a good portrayal of the various forms of opposition and resistance that can build up, and how best to overcome it. Kotter seems unsure that readers will spot the brilliance of the fable, so he spells it out at the end in words of one syllable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars who moved my iceberg? 30 Dec. 2014
By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER
A little like 'Who Moved my Cheese, but this time with penguins instead of mice.

This is an easily read fable about a colony of penguins who come to the realisation that their iceberg is at risk of disintegration. The various penguins featured here represent roles played by people during times of change - Nono, the change resister, Alice the action orientated and sometimes impatient manager, the professor who analyses and theorises, and so on.

The eight steps to leading change, covered in Kotter's book 'Leading Change' are covered in this enjoyable and thought provoking short book of under 150 pages. The illustrations made me smile and I can see how this book could be used as an effective training tool.

Well worth reading - especially if you are already familiar with Kotter's eight steps
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5.0 out of 5 stars Adapt or Perish 10 Nov. 2007
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
Although fables have been written and shared for many centuries dating back at least to Aesop (said to have lived as a slave in Samos around 550 B.C.), it has been only in recent years that the business narrative in the form of a fable has become popular, notably with the publication of Who Moved My Cheese? By Spencer Johnson who wrote the Foreword to this volume, co-authored by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber. I was amused when noting its subtitle, "Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions," having seen the Luc Jacquet's documentary film March of the Penguins, co-produced by Bonne Pioche and the National Geographic Society, in which the Emperor Penguins and those who filmed them endured (and most of the penguins survived) temperatures around the French scientific base of Dumont d'Urville in Antarctica that fell to -80° Fahrenheit. How many human enterprises could function under such conditions?

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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars nice but too lengthy at times
nice but too lengthy at times. The concept expressed is clear. Goo for those who are introduced to team work and dynamics
Published 27 days ago by Anna Dref
5.0 out of 5 stars Before it goes bottom up
Have read this to help me in my role as a school governor in the UK. Lots of useful ideas incubating in my head as a result of reading this book. Read more
Published 29 days ago by G. Strack
4.0 out of 5 stars Iceberg Melting is OK
Our Iceberg is Melting is an interesting little tale of how empirical evidence, persuasion, hard work, teamwork, determination and individual brilliance can change a community... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Eugene Delacroix
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This was recommended at a conference and I've now bought copies for the office. Excellent book and amusing too.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs C Weller
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A good basic guide for organisational change.
Published 2 months ago by Coriena Brierley
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful with my studies
Very helpful with my studies
Published 2 months ago by V J Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Good read
Published 2 months ago by Sharon
5.0 out of 5 stars Fable for all in transition
Fabulous accessible look at how we cope differently with transition and yet can still be galvanized to work together towards it.
Published 2 months ago by Helen Mundy
5.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to leadership
A really interesting and thought provoking book for those interested in leadership and management.
Easy to read and wonderfully illustrated, feels more like a children's book,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by MR GETHIN W THOMAS
2.0 out of 5 stars In fact I got so bored with it I did not finish the book
I found this book very hard to get into. In fact I got so bored with it I did not finish the book. It seems to me to be light-hearted though trying to convey important messages... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
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