Our iceberg is melting by John Kotter
“Once upon a time a colony of penguins was living in the frozen Antarctic on an iceberg near what we call today Cape Washington.” The following summary will explain the key moments of the fable and how they relate to our lives. First, let’s introduce some of the more important penguins – the Leadership Council members. Louis, the head of the Leadership Council, could perhaps be considered the CEO of the penguin colony. Alice is a smart, aggressive member of the council, and is Fred’s loyal confidant. Buddy is a young penguin council member who may not be the brightest bulb in the box, but brings an element of trust among the council members. Fred is the most curious of all of the penguins; although he was an ‘unknown’ penguin in the beginning, he ultimately plays a very important role in the change process. Jordan, also known as the “Professor,” was the brains of the council; he could perhaps be considered the ‘researcher’ of the group. Although the penguins start out simply as individuals, in the end, they are a well working team capable of effectively managing change. Fred, a quite curious penguin, studies the wonderful iceberg that the penguins consider home. He comes across a problem which suggests that their beloved iceberg may be in danger of cracking into tiny pieces. Yet, he does not know what to do. How does he approach the Leadership Council; after all, he is “just another penguin.” He turns to Alice, as she has a reputation of making things happen. Fred presents his case to her and then takes her to see the evidence with her own eyes. Once he ‘sells’ her on his speculations, they begin to plan how they are going to tell the remainder of the council. Louis, the Head Penguin, then calls an assembly. With all of the evidence and examples provided by the team, interest and curiosity sparked which reduced complacency and increased urgency, step one in the eight step process of successful change. In...
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