Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding under Any Conditions

  • 06 Apr 2020
  • By Helen Phillips
  • Read in 3 Minutes

Tags: business advice, Leadership, Personal Development

Our Iceberg is Melting:  Changing and Succeeding under Any Conditions

A delightful fable which contains a powerful message about how to handle change well.

This delightful fable is about a colony of Emperor Penguins living on an iceberg in Antarctica.  As far back as anyone could remember, they had always lived on that iceberg.  They were surrounded by seas rich in food, and sheltered from the winter storms by walls of snow.

An iceberg that suddenly collapsed would be a disaster for the penguins. Fred, who is an unusually curious and observant penguin, has spotted worrying signs that the iceberg is melting, and at first, most of the colony sneer at him.  Initially in denial, the penguins challenge the validity of Fred’s statistics.  They want to form a committee to look at the problem, and to protect the colony from unpleasant news.  Supported by Alice, one of the lead penguins, Fred convinces the leadership team of the need to take urgent action, and together, they lead the colony through the process of finding a new home.

What’s the message?

Based on the highly respected books by John Kotter – “Leading Change” and “Heart of Change”, this fable contains a powerful message about the fear of change and the need to motivate people to face the future and take action.  Handle the challenge of change well, and you can prosper greatly. Handle it poorly, and you put yourself and others at risk

The book draws on the theory of learning through stories and visual stimuli, and from current thinking on how the mind works.

The fable takes the reader through Kotter’s eight steps to successful organisational change.  It is written in a format that could be read by anyone, and used in any type of organisation that is facing change.  Before long, you will find yourself drawn in to the story, you will identify with the heroes, and see yourself as a champion for change.

The second part of the book is a practical guide as to how to use it – there is so much packed into just a short tale.

When to use this book

If you use this book, you will have more fun, and suffer fewer of the problems that can be created by a changing world.  You will make your organisation more successful, and put everyone less at risk.  If you read, reflect and discuss it with other members of your team, the results will be even more powerful.


Kotter, John. Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions. Pan Macmillan.

ISBN 978-1-4472-5746-2

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