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.

What Season Is It?

This year, I’ve been learning a valuable lesson about the power of defining the seasons I am moving through.

At the start of the year, I completed a great digital planner by Alison Hill┬áto map out my year. I’ve already written about choosing my ‘One Word’ for the year through that process. What it also helped me do, though, was map out my own stages, or seasons, for the year. This has been incredibly powerful! Let me tell you why –