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Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions (2005)

de John Kotter, Holger Rathgeber

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1,1592413,854 (3.37)16
In this business management fable, one penguin notices something problem that could become a big problem for the whole colony, but the other penguins don't want to listen, so he must convince and enlist the help of others to get something done.
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» Mira també 16 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 23 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Full of platitudes, no new insights. Looks like they've read 10 management books about change, and then decided to put these in a short, fancy book. Can't understand why this is such a success book. ( )
  deblemrc | Oct 18, 2021 |
Simplistic book on change management/realization. Good for someone being introduced to change management and organizational development for the first time. ( )
  MugsyNoir | Oct 27, 2017 |
Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter follows the fable based business and self help genre books like those by Spencer Johnson. This one I did not find as entertaining. The theme itself is about change and the fable involves a community of Emporer penguins and how they need to implement and embrace change to move off their iceberg. It's a very short book but really it can be all summed up in the last 3 pages on the 8 step process to implement successful change. If you like these type of simple fable based books then you may want to give it a read. ( )
  realbigcat | Aug 31, 2017 |
Wow, what an inane book. If I could give it zero stars on purpose I would.

This is a fable-based retelling of some business guy's eight simple steps to change management. If you know anything about change management already, you can skip this one. If you don't know anything about change management... search it and read what you find. It'll probably be as sufficient a primer.

While I appreciate the value of using stories to capture people's attention and make an impression when you're trying to convey a message, this story is so poorly written that I can't get over it. Listing the misogynistic tropes it uses would be tedious so I'll just say it's definitely not passing the Bechdel Test. Lesson learned: if you're going to write a piece of fiction with a moral, the fiction part has to actually work and be entertaining or nobody will care about your moral.

I was assigned this reading for a work activity so I got it for free and even then I want the 30 mins of my life I spent reading this book back. ( )
  collingsruth | May 3, 2017 |

I'm not sure what to say about this book. We were given copies of this book by our management team at work in connection with a pending divisional restructure. I think the book was intended to help us adapt to change but I don't really see a parallel between the fabricated and factually flawed fable of penguins on a melting iceberg and what we are facing at work.

The author actually did a good job of covering known facts about Emperor Penguins (e.g. their diving depth, lung capacity, and reliance on numbers for warmth) but he neglected one crucial fact that destroys the premise of his fable. Emperor Penguins are already nomadic; migrating up to 280 km each year to breed. (As found on this website of penguin facts:

Kotter should have also consulted the facts about icebergs. The average life cycle of an iceberg is 3 to 6 years. Given that this species of penguin reaches breeding age at around four years of age, mature penguins wouldn't really have the concept of a long-term or permanent home on such a temporary structure. (As found on the HowStuffWorks website:

That being said, we can proceed as if the tenants of the story are factually based and there is a population of Emperor Penguins who have always lived on the same iceberg and never migrate. Now that iceberg is "melting" (actually, the threat of breaking apart at fault lines would pose the more imminent threat) and the penguins need to agree first on what is happening and then on a course of action.

I certainly didn't like the penguin named NoNo (the naysayer) but I also didn't like one of the apparent heroes (or in this case heroine). Alice was portrayed as the aggressive, go-getter on the council who made things happen. By the end of the story, it becomes clear that without Alice the "new vision" would never have been realized. However, she is impatient and rude; habitually cutting off the professor and not willing to hear his lengthy explanations or theories. She was a fear-monger who sold the concepts of imminent danger and immediate threat to scare people into action. Alice also mounted a propaganda campaign and quickly moved to shut down dissension in the ranks.

I also find it interesting that the author did a "bait and switch" in the story. From the outset, we had a group of complacent penguins who have to deal with the danger of a melting, cracking iceberg (which by the way, was never demonstrated or validated in the story). By the end of the story, the penguins found a safe and suitable replacement habitat but were constantly looking for a better one each year; having developed a group who thrives on constant change.

As a side note, I did not appreciate the misuse of the word "skeptical" in this story. Skeptics were portrayed as doubter and naysayers but that is not an accurate use of the word. When a person is skeptical, they follow wherever the evidence leads. As quoted on the etymology dictionary website, "Skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found." [Miguel de Unamuno, 'Essays and Soliloquies,' 1924]. (As found online at A more appropriate word in this story would have been either "dogmatist" or "denier".

In the end, I don't think this story is an accurate reflection of what we are facing at work and I would have appreciated more serious and more scholarly books on the subject. The best thing about Kotter's book was that it was short and easy to read but that was also its downfall. This is the kind of book that you might give to people who are uneducated, ignorant, and not very literate.

I have no doubt that there are books that better deal with the issues of globalization, outsourcing, and restructuring. I will try to find and read some of those and would also welcome any recommendations. I would prefer material that is not dumbed down to the masses and ideally, that would be backed with reliable research and data.
( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 23 (següent | mostra-les totes)
As I have had a little bit of downtime in my first couple weeks here at Pearson I have used my time to abide by Pearson’s motto, always learning, and I have successfully completed my first book. The book I choose to read was a short fable called “Our Iceberg is Melting, changing and succeeding under any conditions” by John Kotter. The book told the story of a penguin named Fred who noticed that the iceberg his penguin colony was living on had some serious melting problems. Fred was not part of the highest penguin counsel and by some, was not taken seriously in his finding.

The book goes on about the leadership and change strategies that were used by Fred, Alice, and Louis to successfully change the traditions of the colony and move everyone to safety.
The steps were based off of the 8 steps that are laid out in Kotter’s more famous book, “Leading Change”. The Head Penguin of the colony Louis executed this 8 step plan by listening to Fred’s findings then creating a sense of urgency in the colony to deal with the problem at hand. He then worked to form a carefully selected group in charge of working through the change, even if that meant not including long standing members of the penguin counsel and including members who were less well known but had complimentary skill sets. Louis then sat down with his committee to create a vision of what was to be done, and clearly communicated that vision to the entire colony, in ways that even the dumbest penguin would understand and accept. The committee then sat down to work, the goal was to remove any complexities in the plan so that it was practical. When the original buzz started to wear off and some penguins were not excited about the vision anymore they created an event to show that the plan would have a quick success and never let up once the buzz was back. Finally, they ensured that the changes would not be overcome by stubborn, long standing traditions, held within the colony.

This process worked with the penguins and fortunately translates across species. Human behavior was exemplified by the situations in the book and the process proved to work against most, if not all, adversity that the counsel faced. It is always good to keep in mind as well that every member of a team has their own strengths; it’s like the quote, “Everyone’s a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life thinking that it’s stupid.” –Albert Einstein. Identifying, but more importantly utilizing everyone’s strengths can lead to great things.

As far as a recommendation for the book I would say it is a MUST READ. The lesson is easy to understand, but powerful in nature. It is a quick read it took less than two hours to get through 132 pages. But most importantly it will bring you to evaluate your position and ask yourself the right questions, such as “If my iceberg melting?”
-Matt Anderson
afegit per pem-org-quality | editaPearson Book Shelf, Matt Anderson (Apr 8, 2013)

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (6 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
John Kotterautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Rathgeber, Holgerautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Johnson, SpencerPròlegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Mueller, PeterIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Has d'iniciar sessió per poder modificar les dades del coneixement compartit.
Si et cal més ajuda, mira la pàgina d'ajuda del coneixement compartit.
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Informació del coneixement compartit en alemany. Modifica-la per localitzar-la a la teva llengua.
Es war einmal eine Pinguinkolonie, die in der klirrend kalten Antarktis auf einem Eisberg lebte - nicht weit von dem Ort, den wir heute als Cape Washington kennen.
Veränderungen erfolgreich bewältigen: Fabeln können lustig sein, doch wie bei unserer Pinguingeschichte besteht ihr tiefergehende Wirkung darin, dem Leser zu klügerem Handeln zu verhelfen.
Das Anliegen dieses Buches: Im Jahre 1996 schrieb John Kotter Leading Change, das von Executive General zum Managementbuch des Jahres gekürt und in den folgenden zehn Jahren der führende Bestseller zum Thema "Veränderungen" innerhalb von Unternehmen wurde.
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Informació del coneixement compartit en alemany. Modifica-la per localitzar-la a la teva llengua.
(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
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Referències a aquesta obra en fonts externes.

Wikipedia en anglès


In this business management fable, one penguin notices something problem that could become a big problem for the whole colony, but the other penguins don't want to listen, so he must convince and enlist the help of others to get something done.

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Mitjana: (3.37)
1 8
1.5 3
2 20
2.5 5
3 48
3.5 10
4 44
4.5 1
5 27

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