Our Iceberg Is Melting

Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions

by Holger Rathgeber , John P. Kotter

Number of pages: 147

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

BBB Library: Operations Management

ISBN: 9780312361983

About the Authors

Holger Rathgeber : Holger Rathgeber is a modern global manager.


John P. Kotter : Regarded by many as the authority on leadership and change, Dr.


Editorial Review

Change is a pain. Humans are naturally attracted to tedious and repetitive norms of life. As such, they always fear the unusual and dread novelty. Moreover, they feel highly anxious and worried if they find it necessary to change the course of their lives, especially if they are not sure of the viability of the forthcoming change, which makes them resist it powerfully. They are subjected to the severe pressures which accompany change, particularly in their professional life. These pressures materialize, for instance, in globalization, governmental initiatives, unemployment, the relentless innovations in information technology systems, political disruption as well as rat-race and competition.

Book Reviews

"Enter Harvard professor John Kotter, his collaborator Holger Rathgeber, and a fable about a penguin colony in Antarctica called Our Iceberg is Melting." Cooler Insights

"It took less than two hours to read, so that might be a benefit for some organisations trying to create a common approach to managing change. I found it less engaging than “Who Moved my Cheese” another story based book about change from Spencer Johnson, so if you’ve read either I’d certainly go for Johnson’s book." Biz Group

"The characters in this book are, surprisingly penguins and the premise is a threat to the lifestyle of the penguins because their current habitat, the iceberg where they live is melting. The book goes through how the penguins discovered the problem which highlights a need for change and how they then go through the change process using Kotter's eight principles for change." Training Zone

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Wisdom to Share

Create a New Culture: Hold on to the new ways of behaving and make sure they succeed until they become strong enough to replace old traditions.

Create some visible, unambiguous successes as soon as possible.

Press harder and faster after the first successes. Be relentless with initiating change after change until the vision is a reality.

Make sure there is a powerful group guiding the change—one with the leadership skills, credibility, communications ability, authority, analytical skills and a sense of urgency.

Clarify how the future will be different from the past, and how you can make that future a reality.

As time went on, the colony thrived. It grew and grew. It became more skilled at handling new dangers, at least in part from what it had learned from the melting adventure.

You might think our story is over. But it isn’t quite. Some birds began to talk about how they had now found the perfect iceberg.

The move was chaotic at times. At one point, a few penguins were lost and there was a panic. But those birds found their way back to the others, and for the most part, all went as one could hope.

Tradition dies a hard death. Culture changes with as much difficulty in penguin colonies as in human colonies.

Handle the challenge of change well, and you can prosper greatly. Handle it poorly, and you put yourself and others at risk.