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Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions Hardcover – Unabridged, 1 Sep 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; Unabridged edition (1 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747562121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230014206
  • ASIN: 0230014208
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Review

'It promotes the idea of in-depth thinking...in 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Mayfield on 13 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover
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 By Stan Felstead - Interchange Resources on 13 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
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 By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Mar. 2015
Format: Hardcover
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 By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Dec. 2014
Format: Hardcover
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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By Robert Morris TOP 100 REVIEWER on 10 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover
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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