Our Iceberg Is Melting

Topics: Problem solving, Penguin, Fable Pages: 3 (899 words) Published: October 5, 2011
Our Iceberg is Melting
By John Kotter

‘Our Iceberg Is Melting’ is a story about a penguin colony having to adapt in an ever-changing world. Based on the award–winning work of Harvard’s John Kotter, it is a story that has been used to help thousands of people and organizations. This charming story illustrates key truths about how to deal with the issue of change: handle to challenge well and you can prosper greatly: handle it poorly, and you put yourself at risk. The characters in this fable are like people we recognize, even ourselves. Their story is one of resistance to change and heroic action, confusion and insight, seemingly intractable obstacles and the best tactics for dealing with those obstacles. It is a story that is occurring in different forms around us today, but the penguins handle change a great deal better than most of us.

Fables have been used to illustrate problem solving, among many other things, for hundreds of years. Several years ago, Kenneth Blanchard successfully re-introduced using Aesop’s fables, to teach problem solving techniques with his book, ‘Who moved my cheese’. John Kotter replicated that method of instruction with his fun little book, ‘Our Iceberg Is Melting’. As with the aforementioned work, I believe this one will garner similar acclaim.

Kotter’s engaging story introduces the eight principles of problem solving. This can be used in a variety of venues from businesses, child raising sports, schools, church etc. John Kotter illustrates how the penguins, faced with a dilemma, identified the problem, then created urgency, developed a team-building structure, and stepped outside the box for the first time. Along the way, the story is extremely entertaining and includes a very diverse array of skepticism, cynicism and other challenges that everybody at some point in their life face.

‘Our Iceberg Is Melting’, is a very well illustrated book, easy to read, and can be completed in only a couple of hours. It is...
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