The book of the week was Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter. Interesting book written about organizations going through change. I'm not sure why I was attracted to this book, but it may have something to do with the fact I was in Missouri for the last week and a half with temperatures over 100 degrees everyday... and this book had icebergs on the cover. In any case, the book was very good. It is a lot like the book Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson in the way it gives a fable to illustrate how to change an organization.
Change is a very important concept. Understanding it and knowing when to do it are very important as well. It is human nature to resist change. It's in our nature to want to keep the status quo and continue on with what your doing. However, as we all know, especially in recent years, we cannot plan on everything staying the same forever. If you turn a blind eye to what is happening around you you'll eventually have to pay the consequence... your iceberg will sink.
This book was focused around a colony of penguins and one particular penguin recognized the signs of the iceberg starting to melt. The rest of the book was about him getting everyone on board with what he recognized and making the change needed so all the penguins didn't go under with the iceberg. After much prodding, the majority of the colony was on board with accepting the change needed. There were some penguins that were always negative and we have all experienced other people that are like that. They just worked around these penguins and made changes anyway. Eventually the penguins moved to a different iceberg and than another until they found the perfect one. The first change was a challenge but moving to another iceberg after that was much easier.
The focus of the book was on The Eight Step Process of Successful Change...
Set the Stage
1. Create a Sense of Urgency- Help others see the need for change and the importance of acting immediately.
2. Pull Together the Guiding Team- Have a powerful group guiding the change- leadership, credibility, communication, authority, analytical- these are all important qualities to get into the team.
Deciding What to Do
3. Develop the Change Vision and Strategy- Clarify how the future will be different from the past and how you can make the future a reality.
Making it Happen
4. Communicate for Understanding and Buy In- Make sure as many others as possible understand and accept the vision and strategy.
5. Empower Others to Act- Remove as many barriers as possible so that those who want to make the vision a reality can do so.
6. Produce Short-term Wins- Create some visible, unambiguous successes as soon as possible.
7. Don't Let Up- Press harder and faster after the first successes. Be relentless with initiating change after change until the vision is a reality.
Make it Stick
8. Create a New Culture- Hold on to the new ways of behaving, and make sure they succeed, until they have become strong enough to replace old traditions.
These 8 steps are great! Study them and use them to create change... The book was short and covered the material in a very effective way. If you have any interest in making changes to an organization you are a part of this book would probably be a big help. As always, if you have any questions on the book don't hesitate to ask. I would be more than happy to help anyone that wants it.