Our Iceberg Is Melting : Changing and Succeeding under Any Conditions

Our Iceberg Is Melting : Changing and Succeeding under Any Conditions

4.1 68
by John Kotter, Holger Rathgeber

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Gardners Books
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Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 68 reviews.
tBunnyMan More than 1 year ago
The message and idea's behind this book are potent and important. However the presentation of the book is painful to digest. The focus of a "Leadership Fable" is to try and present important management concepts in a real world situation, also adding an amusing twist to the whole learning ordeal. I feel this book fails miserably at that. Judged as a work of fiction I would hesitate to use this for torture for risk of cruel & unusual punishment. It's obvious this book was written after having had read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and "The Giving Tree" to his child one too many times before bed. Every character is a cartoonish caracture with obscenely obtuse behavioral patterns. For example, the "brains" of the operation behaves more like an autistic child than an intelligent council member. Lencioni's books are far better at telling a story using real people in a way that doesn't incessantly insult the intelligence of the reader. I'd read this to my child when he is old enough but I was shocked this was required reading for my management training program.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an educator, amidst the many changes, I found this extremely motivating and reconfirmed the fact that only working together with everyone on board can changes happen and be effective.
Robert Burton More than 1 year ago
great story to illustrate change in the workplace. excellent book
Kevinaom More than 1 year ago
Professor Kotter continues to amaze me at how clearly he articulates the need for change and the steps to execute change. This book tells the story in an innovative way by using a fable of sorts. "Create a shared desire / need for change", the "power of the quick win", "Don't be complacent and always have urgency" are just a few of the items brought to light in this book. The question we all must ask is that if this is such "common sense" (I hear that all the time in business) then why do so few companies do this (i.e., change) well? An example of a company which executed it at least once is IBM (move from hardware to services) but those types of examples are few and far between. The next question is even if you can pick a company that changed dramatically once, why do so few of those companies make it a "culture of change". In the IBM example, will their services model keep up with "cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS)? Probably will but again, even when companies get it right once they rarely get it right two three or four times. Of course we all know now that business IS the business of change. In a "copycat" economy, if you are going to stay in front and not get bogged down in a commodity style price war you have to keep changing. If nothing else, reading from Professor Kotter's books keeps your mind thinking of change.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a very good book to use in order to take a look at your organization or learning community. I am an educator and our department was given this book for our book study. It reads a little slow, but it gets you to take a good look at the issues by using penquins.
D-Style More than 1 year ago
Great book, kept you on you sit, did not won't to put it down.
tlhosig More than 1 year ago
Written as a fable this is a very quick read with a lot of information - read it twice for the impact of the lessons that are being taught. There are a number of personalities in the book who will seem familiar and that helps to make it "real". I used it for a presentation in a master's level leadership course and the Executive Director of a nonprofit I am involved with has used it to help the staff through some challenging times recently.
jwott More than 1 year ago
John Kotter has proven again that he knows how to take a complex subject like change and put it into an easily understandable tail.
jrsedivy More than 1 year ago
"Our Iceberg Is Melting" is a fable which deals with the subjects of change management, human behavior, and team building in similar form as "Who Moved My Cheese". Some interesting insights may be drawn concerning human behavior - specifically how people react to change, differing personalities, and the challenges that one may encounter when working in a small team environment. There are at least a couple disturbing techniques (at least in my opinion) that encourage crowd behavior and lessen independent thinking. Not my cup of tea but may be a good fit for someone seeking guidance in a corporate environment.
Bic47 More than 1 year ago
This book stresses the ability (and necessity) of changing one's functioning in one's life to changng circumstances in which one's finds him/herself. This adaptability is critical for one to maintain his/her lifestyle or place in the community, in business (owner or employee), or family (parent, child, sibling, etc). It is very worthwhile in that it presents coping behaviors one needs to incorporate in order to meet the challenges one may face on a daily (or otherwise) basis.
Jason_Ball More than 1 year ago
In the current economy, it's easy to feel as if things are slipping away from underneath your feet. For many industries, they probably are. Either way, we can all use a good wake up call for thinking about change, and taking a proactive approach at making things better. Our Iceberg is Melting does just that.

Another parable I strongly recommend is Squawk! - How to Stop Making Noise and Start Getting Results.
mike-v More than 1 year ago
So on a day when I was setting up the business section in the new store, hating life and my job in general, I saw this book sitting on the shelf. I read the title and thought to my self "Hey...MY iceberg is melting! In fact, it's already gone." I was so interested that, rather than wait until the store is open, I drove to the library after work and checked it out.

It's like 120 pages, with giant print, and full of pictures--you can read it in a long night easily. It's a story of a colony of fake penguins who discover their iceberg is melting and they have to do something about it. I was a little disappointed [hence the -1 star:] that the message is geared more towards large organizations than individuals, but the bottom line is almost the same.

I didn't even really need to read this book--I just had to see the title--to realize that my own personal "iceberg" was in danger of melting. It's helped me realize I need to keep looking for that next opportunity. And to think I never thought I would fall for one of these cheesy business books! :-)
M_L_Gooch_SPHR More than 1 year ago
My daughter gave me a copy of this book. As a corporate human resources director, she believed I would enjoy the subject. I can truly say that she underestimated the enjoyment I derived from these penguins.

This book is a must read for anyone that manages people with all of their quirks and baggage. While the book is largely common sense, it opens your eyes to various tools to stimulate discussion and engage in effective communication.

There is no better way to teach a topic than to build an interesting story around the topic. This empowers the subject in a way that straightforward narrative and lecture style can never achieve. Keep writing John Kotter. It is a great book. Michael L. Gooch
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kotter's book is unlike any business parable I've seen (except for one, I'll get to that in a minute). It uses animals (penguins on an iceberg) as a metaphor for the challenging environment in which corporations operate today and their resistance to organizational change. Unlike the over simplified WHO MOVED MY CHEESE, these animals have far more human characteristics that pose challenges like those you face in your work and they'll remind you of people you know. Hard to fully explain how it works so well, but, believe me, it works. Highly recommended. The only other book I've seen do this so well is SQUAWK!: HOW TO STOP MAKING NOISE AND START GETTING RESULTS, which uses a seagull manager to illustrate the problem managers are having these days with swooping in at the last minute, squawking up a storm and dumping orders riddled with formulaic advice upon their people. Highly recommended as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read John Kotter's previous work on leading change so I was curious as to whether his concepts could be effectively conveyed in fable form. To my delight, I discovered that Kotter put his own findings about the power of stories to work to create an engaging story that conveys his principles about organizational change more powerfully. By reading this book, my staff and colleagues remember the steps and continue to be guided by them as we transform our work group and help to transform our company. I highly recommend this book!
Anonymous 12 months ago
Made no sense to talk about a bunch of penquins on a melting iceberg. If someones ship is sinking, their job or business is failing, or any number of assorted persoal disasters is looming, just talk about it directly. What is the matter with people for heaven's sake? What's penquins got to do with it?
JDBrink More than 1 year ago
My first impression of this book was that the authors/publishers *really* wanted to be able to sell this as an expensive hardback, so they spread out the page count as much as possible.  And while this is no work of literature and its authors are definitely businessmen rather than poetic writers, I have to admit that I became more enamored with (hmm, that's way too strong a word, but I guess it'll do) the book as I went on.  I read/skimmed this entire thing in about an hour, and only because I was required to for a course at work.  And despite my early feelings as described above, the tale of the penguins and the purpose behind the "fable" grew on me.  It really is a nice way of illustrating the author's structure of integrating change, if it is a bit drawn out.  And it certainly keeps the reader's attention longer than an official business report of statistics would. Overall, an innovative and effective way to relay what might normally be a boring business book.  (Though it could really be a very thin paperback.)  3.5 stars.
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Nightstar can we talk?
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