Summary: Our Iceberg is Melting
Foreword by Spenser Johnson: One the surface, the story of this book appears to be a fable that is relatively easy to grasp, but it does subtly impart an invaluable lesson on change. The book covers John Kotter’s Eight Steps to bring about successful organizational change and can be equally useful for a high-school student as it is for a CEO of a multi-national organization. Welcome Note by John Kotter: People do not often understand the need for change. Businesses, school systemsand even nations do not know understand what to do, how to make it happen and how to make it stick. This book shows the traps in which people often fall while facing the challenge of change - using a fable. A fable is used in here because fables are so powerful tool of learning because they can turn a serious and threatening subject into something fun and easy to decipher and remember. Summary
Once upon a time a colony of Emperor Penguins used to reside in the frozen Antarctic in on an iceberg near what we know today as Cape Washington. The penguins have always lived there and but of-course loved their home very much were assured of its being their home forever. Since they lived in a harsh cold environment they needed each other to huddle together and fight of the cold. Probably this need made them a big happy family. In this big happy family there were two hundred sixty-eight penguins and out of them all, was one Fred. Fred was a curious and observant penguin who spent more time observing sea and the iceberg than fishing like others. Though he was a social bird with a wife and a son, but unlike others he spent more time by himself. He used to take notes of his observations and had a briefcase stuffed full of observations, ideas and conclusions. All the stuff from his briefcase gave him disturbing information – The iceberg is melting and might break apart soon!! Melting and breaking apart of the iceberg would spell death of his fellow penguins as the colony was not prepared to counter this eminent danger. Fred knew he should do something very quickly, but he could not dictate terms for what others should do. He was not an important penguin and had seen what happened of Harold when he tried to warn other penguins about the danger. His warnings were ignored and he was almost ostracized. With all this going in his mind, Fred started feeling lonely. The colony was governed by a Leadership Council which had ten members led by a Head Penguin. Out of the ten members was Alice, who was a tough, go-getter but approachable to other penguins. Fred went to Alice and told her about the melting iceberg. On the first thought Alice thought he is having some personal problem with his wife or has eaten some mercury infected squid. Still partly because of curiosity and partly because of her open mind, Alice agreed to swims below the iceberg with Fred. Once under the water they saw fissures and a canal on the side wall of the iceberg which led to a cave filled with water. As the temperature falls, this water would freeze and thus dramatically increase in volume breaking the iceberg into pieces. Alice was shocked and told Fred that she’ll talk to fellow leaders and will find a way. She also warned Fred that some of the birds would not want to see any problem and will resent him. Fred was left with a mixed feeling of relief and sadness and the awful Antarctic winter was just two months away. After realizing the danger, Alice somehow got a nod from Louis, the head Penguin, for having Fred present his finding to the leadership counsel. Fred chose a noble approach of explaining the issue with a real model of iceberg instead of presenting the stats and concluded that the iceberg is melting. As he presented his observations an old penguin from the leadership council called NoNo who was responsible for weather forecasting, interrupted and said “It is just a mere speculation. It may happen or it may not. Can you guarantee it to be 100%...
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