If you liked “Who moved my cheese”, you would probably enjoy “Our Iceberg Is Melting” as well. The author’s explain how change can be effected in an organization via the story of a group of penguins that is forced to relocate because their current iceberg of residence is melting. The story is about how a group of “leader” penguins determine if relocation is needed, and once the answer is determined to be a YES, form a team to come up with the plan to effect the change – which includes selling the need for the change (relocation) to larger penguin population, forming sub-teams to figure out the new location and associated logistics, motivating the teams on a constant basis to not lose focus and then aiding in the relocation. Once this is done the first time, the need to keep moving and find stable iceberg on a constant basis is enforced into the population, implying that the only thing that is constant is change itself.I did not feel that there was anything particularly eye-opening/new insights with respect to “Change Management” itself. It involves the typical –
- Leaders need to determine if the particular change is actually needed. Collect and analyze appropriate data before buying into it
- Once you think it is needed, form an appropriate team that can look at the facts and come up with a plan to effect the change
- Lead (and do not necessarily coerce) the team to come up with the plan. Prod the teams at appropriate times to keep them focused at the task at hand. (This can be delegated as needed).
- Next is the important task of selling the change to general population or team(s) affected. Change is always tough to digest and the purpose needs to be explained in a manner that appeals and makes sense to the population. If necessary dispose “change agents” to specific populations to communicate the change on a constant basis in a consistent manner.
- Once there is buy-in from the general population, then the change needs to be effected by appropriate teams. All the while, the need for the change and the pain associated with it may have to be explained/re-enforced multiple times.
- Of course, you would have to constantly evaluate how the plan is going and make adjustments as needed (not mentioned in the book)
- Finally, prepare the population for future change(s)
Of course, there will be variations to the above process depending on the organization.
There were 2 important lessons related to “Change Management” that was re-enforced for me from this book. It is a very tentative/shy and inquisitive but not a leader penguin that determines something is wrong in the environment they are living and that iceberg in fact could be melting. The shy penguin brings this information up to one of the leader penguins that is known to be receptive to new information and does not pooh-pooh them. Here is what I got out of it –
- One (and leaders in particular) has to have their eyes and ears open to suggestions from anyone in the organization.
- If you feel that change is needed and is not in a position to affect it directly, understand the organization hierarchy, culture and personalities and use it as necessary to percolate information/data up the management chain. Always go with data that can be digested in an easy manner by the leaders which is easier said that done.