Thursday, February 19, 2015

[Book Review] Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter


A while ago I did a book review of a booked titled "The Nature of Risk" by David X. Martin. This book follows a very similar style of story telling, weaving in important concepts into a simple story.

Essentially this book tackles how to effectively implement changes. I imagine that it would be filed under management and motivation, but I think that the concepts can really be applied to all fields.

The concepts is not directly applicable to investing. However, the concepts are applicable to our systems and processes that we use when investing. Are we set in our old ways of thinking? Have we come met a new and better way of doing it? How do we incorporate this change and transit from where we are to where we want to be?
  1. Create an urgent need to be addressed
  2. Have a team take charge of the change
  3. Know your destination and how you will get there
  4. Explain the change and get people invested
  5. Empower other people to help
  6. Have mini-goals along the way to keep morale up
  7. Push through until the end and don't lose momentum
  8. Make sure the change you just made sticks
This book took me less than 2 hours to read and digest. The font is large and there are very occasional comics and illustrations to make the book less dull.

Although it seems short, since this is a story about talking penguins, the author has specifically crafted a story meant to focus on the key steps to effectively implementing change and the reasons behind the steps. All other non-essential information has been stripped away. I admit, it does feel a bit sterile with some humour attempted along the way, but I think this book does what it is supposed to do very well: illustrate how change can be successfully implemented.

I wouldn't say that this is a must-read. The whole process and all the steps are in fact very intuitive. However, it is nice to have a specific order and task to finish the process, which this book gives very clearly.

If you are struggling with leadership and motivating other people, I think this is a very good book. However, I imagine that most leaders actually already intuitively do most of these steps. I would love to have the brief steps with me when I am planning a change. Even though I might think I know what I am doing most of the time, it doesn't hurt to have a checklist, does it?

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