Our Iceberg Is Melting is a fable written by John Kotter about a group of penguins dealing with changes to their home. The penguins are forced to adjust to the change of their ice melting away or face certain doom. This book is an metaphor for organizational change, also for how leaders and managers around the world should be aware of change, deal with change, and accept change. Mr. Spencer Johnson M.D., who wrote books about change himself including Who Moved My Cheese , says “Working with John Kotter, at the Harvard Business School, I learned that he knows more about changing organizations that anyone, anywhere…. Using his Eight Steps is the best way to ensure a successful organizational change.” As you read Our Iceberg Is Melting, you read about the different challenges that face organizations when dealing with change as you see the difficulties the penguins dealt with themselves. The fable begins like any other story, “once upon a time”. Then we learn the location of the story and the characters one by one. The story takes place in the frozen Antarctic, where a colony of penguins lives. The iceberg they lived on had been around for many years and provided the penguins with a rich supply of food from the sea, and safety from the weather. While the other penguins did penguin like activities, one penguin named Fred was watching how his home was changing. It was said that Fred was a very observant bird. Fred noticed that the iceberg was melting away, and that it could collapse one day cause disaster for the penguins. Fred enlists the help of Alice, a more respected penguin in the colony, for help to explain to the other penguins what is happing to their home ice. After convincing Alice of the danger, Fred and Alice bring the problem to the Penguin Leadership Council; most of the council believes something has to be done, while others don’t believe they are in any danger.
At this time the fable introduces a few more characters including NoNo, Louis, and Buddy. NoNo is the weatherman or weather penguin of the colony, Louis is the head penguin, and Buddy is a friend of Fred’s. NoNo is a penguin that does not believe what Fred is saying about the iceberg melting and wants no actions to be done. NoNo knows that any action to do be done means change, and NoNo doesn’t want change in the colony. Alice and Fred had convinced Louis, Buddy and most of the other penguins that something has to be done and they begin to work on a solution to their problem. The solution was an idea they got some a seagull one day, the seagull was scouting new places to live for his colony of seagulls. The penguins thought they can scout new places to live and move on from their melting ice.
The group of penguins knew they had to get the message out to the whole colony about the idea of moving to a new iceberg to live. Alice, Fred, Buddy, and Louis decided to have a meeting with all the penguins in the colony to tell of the decision to leave. Most of the colony agreed with the plan but NoNo and a small group of penguins did not want to leave the iceberg. Alice wanted to get the message out so they made slogans, and signs to promote the big move. The penguins sent out scouts to search for new land to live, when the penguins came back they were welcome with a hero’s return. After a second round of scouts went off the search for better land, the whole colony moved to where they found better ice. The penguin colony lived on happily after that, but never forgot the lesson learned from their past experiences.
After reading the book I had a mixing reaction. Because I read Who Moved My Cheese, which is a similar book to this one, I was waiting for the challenge that the penguins had to overcome. And what I mean by that is not the first idea the penguins came up with to work. In Who Moved My Cheese the main character dealt with other issues besides the cheese being lost, they faced fear of moving on, fear of every finding another…