Our Iceberg Is Melting Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions

John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber; Illustrated by Peter Mueller, Foreword by Spencer Johnson, M.D., author of Who Moved My Cheese?

St. Martin's Press




160 Pages



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Our Iceberg is Melting is a simple fable about doing well in an ever-changing world. Based on the work of Harvard's John Kotter, it is a story that has been used to help many people and organizations.

The fable is about a penguin colony in Antarctica. A group of emperor penguins live as they have for many years. Then one curious bird discovers a potentially devastating problem threatening their home—and pretty much no one listens to him.

The characters in the story, Fred, Alice, Louis, Buddy, the Professor, and NoNo, are like people we recognize—even ourselves. Their tale is one of resistance to change and heroic action; seemingly intractable obstacles; and the most clever tactics for dealing with those obstacles. It is a story that is occurring in different forms all around us today—but the penguins handle the very real challenges a great deal better than most of us.

Our Iceberg is Melting is based on pioneering work that shows how Eight Steps produce needed change in any sort of group. It is a story that can be enjoyed by anyone, while at the same time providing invaluable guidance for a world that just keeps moving faster and faster.


Praise for Our Iceberg Is Melting

"I came across Our Iceberg is Melting in May, ordered and distributed 60 copies in June, evaluated its effect on our change effort, and then ordered 500 more copies in September. This is a gem."—Heidi King, Program Manager, Department of Defense

"As a result of the book and my sharing it with a few people in the organization, we have moved quickly on several fronts. We are galvanized to go ahead instead of further studying, more organizing and so on. It is making a difference for us."—Tom Curley, President and CEO, Associated Press

"This is the easiest to read yet most informative book I have ever seen. Setting one of management's biggest challenges,—'What problem, I don't see a problem,'—in the context of a melting iceberg and a determined penguin, was a stroke of sheer genius."—Michael Dimelow, Director of Product Marketing, TTP Communications PLC

Reviews from Goodreads




  • John P. Kotter on his book Our Iceberg Is Melting

    Watch this video to hear Harvard Business School Professsor John Kotter talk about his book Our Iceberg Is Melting.

  • Our Iceberg Is Melting by John Kotter--Audiobook Excerpt

    Listen to this audiobook excerpt from John Kotter's Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions, read by Oliver Wyman.



  • John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber; Illustrated by Peter Mueller, Foreword by Spencer Johnson, M.D., author of Who Moved My Cheese?

  • John Kotter has been on the faculty at Harvard Business School since 1972. He is the author of eleven award-winning titles and frequently gives speeches and seminars at Harvard and around the world. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    Holger Rathgeber spent his early professional career in Asia. He has worked in industry since the early 1990's and is now with one of the leading medical technology companies, Bectom Dickinson. Raised in Frankfurt, Germany, Rathgeber currently resides in White Plains, New York.

  • John Kotter
    John Kotter


    John Kotter Holger Rathgeber Peter Mueller

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