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Book 1, Week 1 of March 2020: Our iceberg is melting by John Kotter

Now is the time to embrace change. #covid19 calls for adaptability and responsiveness to change. As a leader, you need skills to implement change seamlessly and swiftly.

In this VUCAP – volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous, and pandemic — world, the only constant changes. To help you think faster and embrace these new times, I recommend you read, Our Iceberg is Melting, Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions, by John Kotter. You can buy a copy of the book from Amazon.

Like the other change management classic, Who Moved My Cheese, book by Dr. Spencer Johnson, Our Iceberg is Melting is written in a story format and will surely keep you hooked until you get to the end. No wonder the book’s foreword is written by Spencer Johnson!

John Kotter’s Book, Our Iceberg is Melting provides 8-steps model for change management. These steps are summarized in figure 1.

Figure 1: John Kotter’s 8-steps model.

The book is a well-written fable. The story starts with a group of penguins in Antarctica, two months to the Antarctica summer.  The group of Penguins lives on an old big Iceberg by the sea with lots of food, which has been there for many, many years. All penguins know this iceberg as their home, for as long as they can remember.

One of the penguins living on the iceberg is Fred, who has always been observant. Just sitting and standing by the sea to see the changes around. And one day, he notices that the Iceberg where the penguins live is melting and that it is likely to break apart. Fred wants to share the bad news but remembers how one of their friends when he tried to inform the elders about something like that, he was badly treated. Fred then contacts one of the leaders, he thinks he can listen.

This is a good fable; I recommend you read on your own to appreciate it.

At the end of the book, you will learn the eight steps model to implement change as summarized in figure 1.

This coronavirus times calls for pragmatic leadership. Reading this book will help you gain the skills to implement the required change at your organization. You must change the way you do things to survive. New working methods must be introduced. Some staff must be laid off as their iceberg is melting and people must up their skills. This book will empower you with the skills you need to win.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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