Valpeo Blog

Holiday Book Recommendations: our must-reads for the new year

Are you hoping to find some time for a good book at the beginning of the new year? Or are you still looking for a great gift? If so, you could probably use some well-thought-out tips. Our partners share their recommendations for what books to read. Discover Tais Kellner’s must read.

Our Iceberg Is Melting - John Kotter & Holger Rathgeber

1. Why is this book a must-read?

The basis of all fables is to teach important life lessons. As children, we are imparted truth in a fun, light-hearted and accessible manner through being read and reading fables.

Our Iceberg Is Melting applies the fable technique to tell a story of the comprehensive and far-reaching effects of change. Through the fable, we are being taught the necessary steps in making changes, both in your personal and professional life.

In a world that is constantly changing, the only constant is change. So, you better learn to deal with it. Different people react differently to change. Consequently, every now and then we need to adapt our approach depending on the person in front of us. Nevertheless, there are a couple of steps that can be followed in any change situation in order to go through it in a positive way.

Keep in mind, this is a short story that tackles the concept of change in a fairly simple and slightly reductive manner.

2. What is the key message of the book?

Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions is a business fable that follows a colony of penguins in Antarctica, who learn to work together to deal with a dangerous change to their habitat.

The book was written by award-winning management consultant John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber, and became a New York Times bestseller. Both authors have been studying change for years in many contexts and recognize the enduring challenge and the fact that there are many ways to help a group deal with change. Moreover, they believe in the power of fables, because they can be remembered for a long time and thus are a great tool for conveying messages.

Early on in the book, it becomes clear that the challenges the penguins face are not so different from challenges we sometimes face at work (or at home). Every penguin in the book embodies personal traits and behaviour that we too might encounter in our colleagues ourselves.

So the first question the book poses the reader is: which penguin are you most like? Secondly, it tries to instill in the reader the importance of every single person and the significance of teamwork in a change process.

When you objectively assess your own situation, you will be able to apply the 8 steps from the book to attain positive change.

  1. Create a sense of urgency
  2. Bring together the leadership team
  3. Develop the vision and strategy for change
  4. Communicate to make people understand and believe
  5. Give others the power to act
  6. Produce short-term victories
  7. Persevere
  8. Create a new culture

3. Who should read this book?

Anyone dealing with change should read this book. Safe to say, that’s a broad audience.
Thanks to its accessible and charming storytelling, it becomes a book for just anybody. Whether you’re a software engineer or a marketeer, a CEO or a homemaker, a student or a retiree.

Because in the end, we all live on an iceberg that is melting: we all face change one way or another. Sometimes it can be very demanding and overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Change management is teamwork! And this book offers you some key steps to guide you along the journey.

Discover more book recommendations here