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Our Iceberg Is Melting - Book Review

1 December 2009
Dr. Moria Levy
book cover

John Kotter is undoubtedly familiar to many, recognized as the guru of change management worldwide in recent decades. Based on the book he co-authored with Holger Rathgeber, Kotter's well-established method is a staple in universities and management schools. The narrative unfolds in an imaginary world of penguins, illustrating a crucial change needed after one penguin discovers their glacier is melting. The story, both beautiful and innocent, adeptly clarifies Kotter and Rathgeber's method in a delightful manner. The book has achieved bestseller status on esteemed lists like the New York Times, News Street Journal, USA Today, and Businessweek, thanks to its precise, light, and significant exploration of the subject.


The book introduces the concept of "who moved my cheese" more pleasantly and clearly, avoiding excessive populism. I won't spoil the enchanting legend of the penguins; that discovery awaits you in the book itself. Instead, I present the eight steps for leading change by diameter, encouraging you to delve into the book for a comprehensive understanding. Woven into the imaginary narrative are insights about life, including the tale of a penguin delivering a busy PowerPoint presentation, the constant adversaries (like Mr. NoNo), and the overindulgent penguins neglecting exercise.


A noteworthy detail is that the book's inspiration and story come from Holger Rathberger, who sought an engaging way to learn the method. Rathberger recalled the penguins on the cover of Kotter's original 1996 book, which focused on Leading Change.


The Eight Stages of Change Management According to Diameter:

  1. Create a sense of urgency to address the issue.

  2. Build an action team.

  3. Formulate a vision and strategy for change.

  4. Communicate the change and its necessity; obtain people's consent.

  5. Empower others to act.

  6. Create initial successes.

  7. Don't give up – manage objections to change (many arise at this stage).

  8. Establish a new culture where the implemented change is integral.


Enjoy this engaging read and successful transformation!

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