John Kotter & Holger Ratgeber
Change. As an entrepreneur and future employee, I will have to be able to do quick changes and react to the environment I´m in and I will have to be able to stand behind my decisions and take responsibility. Sometimes it´s hard to get all the people to agree with you even though you might have the most concrete facts behind you.
This book tells about change and how to implement it in a larger group in a form of a story where we follow the life of penguin society. One individual from society Fred has a concern that is threatening the whole society but can´t get the society to listen so he finds help to get the people to listen he´s the message.
At the start of the book, Fred is a less popular penguin in society and doesn’t have that many friends he´s comfortable on his own and enjoys his life like that but something is on his mind. He has discovered that the huge iceberg they are living on is melting and the iceberg is in danger to break. He decides to take action and starts to think about what he can do.
We have these situations also in our lives too we notice that something is wrong but we might not be heard so we need to think can we ensure someone else to effect also the people that aren´t listening to us. After thinking for a while he gets an idea that he could go talk to Alice. Alice is on the board of penguin society so she could affect the leader of the society who could affect most people in the society. So Fred takes action and goes to talk to Alice and tells them he´s a concern. Alice is shocked and wants Fred to show her the problems he has noticed in the ice lake. Alice is shocked about it but knows that something has to be done. So she makes a proposition to Fred that he would go in front of the board and tells himself about the problem because he knows the best about the problem.
We will face also situations like this we will face people that will undermine our propositions no matter what but we will also meet people that will support us even in the hardest situations. Fred decides to do a scale model of the ice lake and demonstrates to the board what is happening with the help of the scale model. After showing the concern Fred has the whole board is quiet some of the board are in shock some don’t even understand what Fred just said and some doubts what Fred just said. But the leader wants that Fred shows them the actual place where is this happening. So they form a group and go under the lake to take a look at the concerning signs Fred saw. After this swim, some people from the board start to get really concerned even a bit frightened. Louis the leader penguin decides to take action and calms everyone down and forms a special group to handle this situation.
This special group would figure out the next steps and how to continue from here. In this group, there are few completely different skills: theory, straightforwardness, carefulness, leadership, and practical skills. This is important to acknowledge also in the business world when you create a group with a more precise goal every individual will be more efficient.
After this Louis starts to think about how to tell this to society in a way the society won’t panic. When Fred, Alice, and Louis talk about the problem people react in many different ways frightened, scared frustrated angry and the list just goes on. People start to talk with each other and there are signs of panic in the community. The leader Louis speaks up and admits that he doesn´t know yet what to do but he ensures that they will do everything with the board to figure out a solution to this problem.
Leaders will face this kind of like situations at some point and leaders need to be okay with the fact that they might not always have answers to everything the attitude is the most important thing. After the speech, Louis and the group start to think about possible solutions together and start to wander around the iceberg. When they work together they notice that when they team up they can do things a lot more efficiently and their skills fulfill one another. This is an important thing to acknowledge when forming a group this way you will make your team as efficient as possible.
Together they get an idea that they will form an inquiry team that will go look for new possible icebergs to live on. They need strong enthusiastic penguins to this and start an application process. Also, they start to spread the message around the community that changing the iceberg is a positive thing. And start to educate about it to kids also. They get the inquiry team formed and they start to search for the next iceberg they could live on next. Now the community faces a new problem there´s a tradition in the society that the penguins won´t hunt for anybody else than for themselves and their family and the inquiries don’t have time to hunt for food for themselves. When doing new things that are diverging from the habits of the society you might face some problems because some people love the old and traditional like we hear a lot this sentence: “When I was young” People love the old and safe way to do things and sometimes it is hard to get them to change their habits even though it would have a positive outcome on them. The group listens to the younger generation and gets an awesome proposition. An event for the whole community where the entrance cost is two fish and the fishes will be given to the inquiries after the event.
After a long struggle, the inquiries finally find a new iceberg that is suitable for the community to live on. Again Louis calls the board and this time also Fred is added to the board. They make a plan about moving there together carefully because they have young kids and elders with them. After a while they make an announcement to the penguin society that they start to move into a new iceberg that is safer for the society and has better hunting places witch means more food. Again there are people that are holding back but Louis sticks to the plan they made with the board. Despite the suspicious people, the change goes well and the penguin society is safe again.
This book was done differently from the other books and I found it really entertaining. It was easy to read and didn´t take that much to read. The message of the book was clear and it had a point all the time. The story was done in a clear way and because of it was easy to follow. Overall a good book.