Monday, July 16, 2007

Penquins can help too

The cheese has been moved and now the glaciers are melting. The NYT's today reports on the rewriting of a classic business book on organizational change as a fable Our Iceberg is Melting, starring a Penguin named Fred who must organize his colony against the titular threat. Angel Jennings reports:

With bright colorful illustrations and large text, “Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions” looks at first glance more like a children’s book than something a chief executive might read. But the book is attracting readers and creating a penguin movement in boardrooms around the world, Mr. Kotter said.

The good news? Kotter is pictured taking notes on the back of his pug Cleo at Squam lake. Now that sounds more like it.

Full disclosure: I'm not very objective on the subject. My very first experience in business, my very first week on my first job was a three day (at like 16 hours/day) team-building meeting called a "Breakthrough" session in a windowless ballroom in a Cincinnati hotel. It was run by a group of black-t-shirted inspirational speakers, who encouraged us to "let he energy flow" and get on the "positive train." I don't recall much else, except the Vangelis music, the passing of the "talking stick" and the black sweatpants I was given for my participation, which my wife and I still refer to as my my breakthrough pants. Which is all an elaborate way to say that I'm still a little gun-shy about organizational change books or events of any kind. When it comes to dealing with change, I still prefer to sit back and take notes off the back of my pug.

But if anyone else has off-site horror stories, please share. It feels like it's an under-documented experience.

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