What Penguins Can Teach Us About Creating A Successful New Year

“Once upon a time a colony of penguins was living in the frozen Antarctic on an iceberg near what we call today Cape Washington…”

So begins John P. Kotter‘s classic organisational-change fable, ‘Our Iceberg is Melting‘, in which the Emperor penguins Fred, Alice, Louis, Buddy, the Professor, and No-No (we all know that guy, right?) must confront the challenge they are facing, and learn to successfully change as a result.

Widely considered to be THE change guru in the world today, Kotter is perhaps most famous for his eight step process for leading change, which he first put forth in his classic book, ‘Leading Change’. In ‘Our Iceberg is Melting’, Kotter took those same eight steps and placed them in the context of a simple story, to great effect – it, too, became an instant classic, selling more than a million copies over the last decade.

Businesses and organisations around the world have utilised the principles modelled by Kotter’s plucky penguins in order to execute change and reach their goals, and so too can we, as we face a New Year and all that we might hope to achieve within it.

Top 10 Reads of 2016

It’s that time of year again! If you’re looking for ideas on what to read in 2017, here’s a round-up of the books that stood out to me this year. If you’re looking for tips on how to read more in 2017, check out this earlier post onĀ ‘4 Easy Ways to Read More’.

There were a few stand-outs for me this year in my reading list, including my first ever read of the Harry Potter series (what?! How could I have never read them before? I know…), and a successful second attempt at reading Thomas Piketty’s 700-page book on economics and inequality, ‘Capital in the 21st Century’, which I had tried and failed to finish when it came out a couple of years ago. I’m so glad I gave it a second try, because it turned out to be SO fascinating. I also started reading a few of the titles on the list of ‘A Year of Reading the World’, which gives suggestions for books translated into English from each nation in the world.

Here are the top 10 books that I found most impacting, significant or enjoyable, along with the rest of my reading list for the year –

A Deliberate Christmas

Christmas is one of those funny things, isn’t it? It holds so much promise and idealism for focusing on what really matters, and yet it can so easily become a catalyst for becoming anxious over things that don’t.

So how can we be deliberate about what prioritising the genuinely valuable over the simply costly this Christmas season?