PaperBackSwap Blog

Holiday Business Book Review – Our Iceberg Is Melting


Our Iceberg Is Melting by John Kotter with Holger Rathgeber


Review by Brenna B. (demiducky25)


When recently asked to submit a review for holiday related books, I searched my bookshelf to see if there was anything holiday related that I hadn’t already read yet.  This book had penguins on the cover.  Penguins live in the Antarctic, albeit the opposite pole from Santa but it still cold there.  However,  I LOVE penguins and if the holiday décor in my house has anything to say about it, penguins have a lot to do with Christmas (there are about 10 toy penguins sprinkled throughout the living room and porch and probably a bunch of penguin ornaments on the tree as well).  As a business book, it is not about the holidays per se; however, the general message of the book, changing and succeeding under any conditions, can certainly be applied to the often-times stressful holiday season where the weather, family dynamics, and work overload can frequently come to a head.

At 137 pages (many with cute illustrated pictures) this is a very short book, and the majority of it is a fable about a colony of penguins that have to figure out what to do when they find out the iceberg they live on is melting.  At first, most of the penguins refuse to believe this until Fred, a very observant penguin, provides irrefutable proof that something needs to be done.  He becomes part of a team with a number of penguins with different personalities, and together they need to figure out how to come together to make a plan that will work for their colony.  The team consists of:

-Louis: the head of the Leadership Council

-Alice: a no-nonsense member of the Leadership Council

-the Professor: a highly knowledgeable penguin (lacking in people skills…errr…penguin skills) who thinks that everyone is beneath him due to his vast intellect

-Buddy: a very well liked, though not very bright young penguin

The foil of this story is NoNo, a member of the Leadership Council who refuses to see that the iceberg is melting and does everything possible to cause disorder in the colony.

Throughout the fable the 8 key points for effectively enacting chance in an organization are illustrated:

1)      Create a sense of urgency

2)      Pull together the guiding team

3)      Develop the change vision and strategy

4)      Communicate for understanding and “buy in”

5)      Empower others to act

6)      Produce short-term wins

7)      Don’t let up

8)      Create a new culture

I’ve read very few business oriented books (not having majored in anything business related), but I can’t imagine that most are as relatable and as fun to read as this one.  Yes, it does get a bit repetitive since the authors feel like they are beating you over the head with their points a number of times throughout the story, but it certainly wasn’t a dry read!  Most of us can probably find ways to apply the 8 step process to successfully change areas of our lives.  During this holiday season, take a look at your life, try to identify your “iceberg” and see if you can apply the steps the penguins followed to deal with their melting iceberg.  All in all, I give this book 3 ½ out of 5 stars.


Tags: , ,

4 Responses to “Holiday Business Book Review – Our Iceberg Is Melting”

  1. Sianeka N Hollywood, CA says:

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention: although it seems a well-covered business premise, this seems like a fresh and uplifting approach to help people deal with the need for change in their lives!

  2. James L. (JimiJam) says:

    What an adorable approach to a business book! I love the attention penguins have been getting over the past few years, and this book sounds like such a brilliant addition to that trend. Excellent choice for a winter review!

  3. XXX catin says:

    Très captivant : selon moi ce post intéresserait ma

Leave a Reply