8 Steps to Successful Change

I just read a really good new book. Today. Twice. It’s about a 45-minute read.

It’s by John Kotter of Harvard Business School (with Holger Rathgeber), and it’s called Our Iceberg is Melting. In it they use a fable based on the Emporer Penguins of Antarctica to communicate the change-management principles outlined in Kotter’s previous book, Leading Change. I’ve just ordered that on Amazon, and look forward to reading it, too. I understand it will give some of the research and background for the 8-step process outlined in Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions:

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

They also talk about how thinking differently can help change behavior and lead to better results, but feeling differently can change behavior MORE and lead to even better results.

The authors have a companion web site that has helpful information, too.

The site, and the book’s dust jacket, also have several testimonials that are interesting, such as this one:

“As a result of the book and my sharing it with a few people in the organization, we have moved quickly on several fronts. We are galvanized to go ahead instead of further studying, more organizing, and so on. It is making a difference for us.”
— Tom Curley, President and CEO, Associated Press

Apparently the AP doesn’t have the aversion to change that the former editor of the LA Times, does. I guess he would be NoNo. If ever there was a melting iceberg, it would be the newspaper business.

Several other organizations are using the fable to lead change efforts, having many if not all employees read the book and using it as a launching pad for discussion. I know I will be reading this again and recommending it to others as we confront our own melting icebergs at work.

Getting Things Done is about personal change. Our Iceberg Is Melting is about how organizations can change successfully. I think there will be lots of synergy, if you’ll pardon the buzzword, between the two.

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