Happy Feat: Self-Help Author Helps Self, With Penguins

The New York Times reports today on the newfound success of Harvard Business School professor John P. Kotter's 1996 book, Leading Change, which looks to us like it's one of those self-help books for the boardroom set.

All he had to do was rewrite the thing and fill it with pictures of penguins:

Last year, Mr. Kotter rewrote his 1996 book about organizational change, “Leading Change,” for a new generation of business readers. But this time, he recast it as a fable about a talking penguin named Fred who mobilizes the entire penguin colony against the threat of its melting iceberg.

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 results? The original title has sold more than a million copies in the last decade. Not bad! But the new, Iceberg version of the book has sold 224,000 copies since September and is creating a "penguin movement" in boardrooms all over the world.

Ugh.