Monday, August 31, 2009

4 parts to a Change Agent story – How you manage and respond to change is the difference between success and disruption

This book review of Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter was submitted by our account executive Brandy Gonsoulin.

John Kotter’s acclaimed change agent book uses an easy-to-read fable to illustrate the timely and sensitive topic. Using a penguin colony faced with news that their iceberg is melting, he demonstrates the team struggle and creates scenarios similar to the ones we non-penguins encounter daily in our quest or resistance to change – and shows how a collective, driven and organized process can bring results. How individuals manage and respond to change is the difference between success and disruption.

Most literature on change deals with a logical process. In Kotter’s case, there are four parts:
  1. setting the stage
  2. deciding what to do
  3. making it happen, and
  4. making it stick.
Read by itself, the effect on the reader is minimal. Read through the lens of a heroic story makes it easy for the educated mind to drop its analytical reasoning and put change in the context of the human element.

Whether or not you have a melting iceberg, the roadblocks the colony faces and triumph of innovative thinking creates a story that we all want to be a part of as we navigate our organizational changes. If penguins can be successful in change, why can’t we?

Read more book reviews and other news about our company in the latest issue of Accelerate.

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