Monday, February 26, 2007

Penguins as Teachers - Our Iceberg is Melting

I just finished a cute book called Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber. And, here’s my reaction. :)))))))))) Read All Smiles. It’s a book on Change Management, in the form of a fable based on penguins (which is one of my favourite birds). And, it’s very relevant to KM. Because, KM is a change initiative! And, also, because KM advocates change through storytelling! The book presents delightfully commonsensical points about change and how to adapt to it. Some aspects which the book brings out which all of us have learned time and again are – need for vision, communication, leadership, champions, empowerment of the workforce, quick wins, and perseverance. But three more things I want to record here for I feel the need to single them out are:

1. Need to bring in a sense of urgency – I’ve thought about the need for bringing in a sense of importance, but not so much about urgency. This would definitely work, but I guess the caveat here is that the communication shouldn’t intimidate people so much that they stop thinking clearly
2. Need for a group of champions – This one is obvious, but I’ve never grouped the skills the way the authors of this book have – The skills mentioned are leadership, credibility, urgency, communication and analytical skills. Though the authors indirectly point out the role of creativity in change initiatives in the course of the story, it’s been left out in the final section where the skills required are summarized. Something to ponder– Does your KM team have all of these skills?
3. Need for sustaining a culture of change – This one’s important. We typically tend to heave a sigh of relief once we’ve made some progress, but this book brings out the clear need to keep on moving.

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