By Ray Vazquez on July 13, 2021
Our industry has been facing many of the same issues for decades and we keep hearing the same reasons why that’s the case. “Management is not prioritizing this.” “I’m not getting my headcount.” “I’m not getting my budget.” We hear this again and again. The goal of our Summer Book Series is to help readers self-reflect to discover if these perceived hurdles are truly hindering progress in our industry, or if they’re just excuses resulting from a lack of leadership. Ready to take an honest look at yourself and make a change? Then this series is for you. Let’s dive in and discover what’s possible.
The first book in our series is Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter. Why did we choose this book? Aside from being a very quick and digestible read, it gives a great overview for leading change in an organization. To touch briefly on the plot of the story, Kotter uses a classic business fable about a colony of penguins living on a melting iceberg. He uses the analogy to introduce his eight steps to leading change in an organization. The keys to the steps are building a coalition to help with change initiatives and managing change. Especially when it comes to the penguins that have been on the iceberg forever and don’t believe change is really necessary.
In our industry, people often want to leave their iceberg because they feel like they haven’t been heard or leadership isn’t committed to making change happen. So they get frustrated and leave for another company. More often than not, in a year or two, they have the same complaints they had at their previous company. They leave again, and this cycle tends to happen every few years. A reason for this could be because they’re not approaching their challenges in a way that leverages leadership skills. If this sounds familiar and you self-reflect honestly, the one constant across all the situations you’re in is you. So why does this keep happening? Is it just bad luck? Or is it something deeper? While it may seem that leaving your iceberg is the quickest approach, driving change in your organization could be the more fruitful path. People throughout history have faced similar issues and they were able to overcome them.
In this book, every penguin on the iceberg represents a person or department in your organization. Nothing they say to our protagonist penguin, Fred, is unique. You’ve heard it all before. Leadership can be the catalyst to solving the issues that continue to plague organizations today. It has the power to open up a new world where security is integrated into everyday business, instead of an afterthought that requires a bunch of patches down the road. In each of us lies the ability to make change happen. Regardless of which iceberg you’re currently on.
Join us in our journey of growth and exploration as we explore two more books in the series:
• Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath
• The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Probable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb