Weekly Book Review No. 24

Book Review

Weekly Book Review No. 24

This little book has been around for a few years and is so inconspicuous that one could easily underestimate it. But that would be a huge mistake. On less than 200 pages, John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber explain to the reader everything he or she needs to know about change management. Packed into an entertaining and light-hearted story about a penguin colony...

They are a dime a dozen, specialised literature on project and change management. They gather dust on the bookshelves of the project leaders, executives and managers of this world. Why? They are boring. The small but fine booklet presented here is a welcome change.

Our Iceberg is melting tells the story of a penguin colony that is doomed. Their iceberg is melting! But no one wants to admit that. And so, with this wonderful and entertaining fable, the two authors tell a story that should somehow sound familiar to every business person. Namely:

- how difficult it is to win people over to a change, however unstoppable and imperative it may be, and,

- that it is not the analyses and arguments that promise success, but rather the feelings and the concrete experiences of the people involved that matter most.

Hand on heart. How often have you experienced this second aspect being neglected (not by you, of course!) in change projects?

In concrete terms, Kotter and Rathgeber summarise the essential conditions for successful change in eight steps:

1. create a sense of urgency.

2. assemble a leadership team

3. develop a goal and a strategy for change.

4. solicit understanding and acceptance

5. remove obstacles

6. ensure short-term successes (quick wins).

7. keep the momentum going

8. develop a new culture.


I recommend this book to all leaders, project managers, change managers, management consultants and anyone who wants to know more about people and their reasons for moving.

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