A Peacock in the Land of Penguins 4th Edition

A Fable About Creativity and Courage

A Peacock in the Land of Penguins
This is a book for everyone who wishes to contribute their unique gifts to the world."

-Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate

This brand new edition of a classic, international bestseller continues to bring keen insight to an important topic-workforce diversity. Written in a charming, engaging style, it is a contemporary corporate fable-a tale for our times. This special 20th anniversary edition includes many new tips, tools, and strategies for peacocks and penguins alike-as well as an entirely new bonus parable.

Through the story of Perry the Peacock and his fine feathered friends, authors Gallagher and Schmidtbring to life the challenges of birds of different feathers who struggle to be successful in the conformity-minded Land of Penguins. Their travails illuminate the challenges of creating a pluralistic corporate culture in which the talent, energy, and commitment of all employees are fully engaged.

People who have new ideas that differ from business as usual are often ignored or criticized for the very thing that makes them valuable: their originality and creativity. This unique book helps organizations break out of "penguin thinking" in order to tap into and leverage the creativity of diversity. Learn how to cultivate an organizational culture in which new ideas can flourish and innovation can take flight.

Read more and meet author below

Read An Excerpt

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More About This Book

Overview

This is a book for everyone who wishes to contribute their unique gifts to the world."

-Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate

This brand new edition of a classic, international bestseller continues to bring keen insight to an important topic-workforce diversity. Written in a charming, engaging style, it is a contemporary corporate fable-a tale for our times. This special 20th anniversary edition includes many new tips, tools, and strategies for peacocks and penguins alike-as well as an entirely new bonus parable.

Through the story of Perry the Peacock and his fine feathered friends, authors Gallagher and Schmidtbring to life the challenges of birds of different feathers who struggle to be successful in the conformity-minded Land of Penguins. Their travails illuminate the challenges of creating a pluralistic corporate culture in which the talent, energy, and commitment of all employees are fully engaged.

People who have new ideas that differ from business as usual are often ignored or criticized for the very thing that makes them valuable: their originality and creativity. This unique book helps organizations break out of "penguin thinking" in order to tap into and leverage the creativity of diversity. Learn how to cultivate an organizational culture in which new ideas can flourish and innovation can take flight.

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Meet the Authors


Visit Author Page - BJ Gallagher

BJ Gallagher is a dynamic workshop leader and charismatic keynote speaker, as well as a much-published, bestselling author. She conducts seminars for women's groups, as well as professional organizations and corporations. Her topics include: leadership skills for women, male/female communication styles, how to manage your boss, thriving on change, and tapping into the creativity of diversity. BJ writes business books, women's books, and gift books.

BJ's other business books include: Being Buddha at Work: 108 Ancient Truths on Change, Stress, Money and Success (Berrett-Koehler) and YES Lives in the Land of NO: A Tale of Triumph Over Negativity (Berrett-Koehler). Her latest career book is It's Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been (Viva Editions).



Visit Author Page - Warren Schmidt


Warren H. Schmidt is president of Chrysalis, Inc. a management training and consulting company. He is a professor emeritus at both the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. He is coauthor, with BJ Gallagher, of A Peacock in the Land of Penguins: A Tale of Diversity and Discovery.


Schmidt is also coauthor of The Race Without a Finish Line and TQManager, and has written numerous educational and management films, including the Academy-Award-winning Is It Always Right to Be Right?

Dr. Schmidt's teaching, writing, and consulting activities are designed to apply social science knowledge to the problems of managing and working in public and private organizations.

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Reviews

By Charlotte Ashlock , December 19, 2014
Charlotte hasn't added any comment
By Berrett-Koehler Staff , December 30, 2014

Bestseller on diversity.

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Table of Contents



Dedication
A Note from the Authors
Foreword by Ken Blanchard

Part One: A Peacock in the Land of Penguins

The Story

Part Two: Tips and Tools for Feathered Friends
Are you a Peacock (or Other Type of Exotic Bird)?
Survival Strategies for Peacocks Who Want to Stay Put
Tips for Peacocks Who Want to Fly the Coop
Strategies for Birds of a Different Feather
Positive Penguinship: What Peacocks Can Learn from Penguins
There’s a Little bit of Penguin in All of Us

Part Three: Ideas and Examples for Teaching Penguins to Fly
How You Can Tell If You Work in the Land of Penguins
Recognizing the ‘Quack’ (Common Phrases from Penguins)
Tips for Penguins Who Want to Change Themselves
Tips for Penguins Who Want to Change Their Organizations
Preventing Penguin Paralysis
The Care and Feeding of Peacocks: A Penguin’s Guide
Reports from the Field

Part Four: Additional Resources for Peacocks and for Penguins

Training Materials
Merchandise
Keynote Speeches, Training, and Consulting Services
The Story Behind the Story
About the Authors
Acknowledgments

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Excerpt

A Peacock in the Land of Penguins

Foreword

Every once in a while a small book comes along that deals with a profound subject in a simple, elegant way.

A Peacock in the Land of Penguins is such a book. I loved the book when the first edition came out in 1995, and I love this new 20th anniversary edition even more. It’s no surprise that over the past two decades it has become the best-selling diversity book in the world!

A Peacock in the Land of Penguins provides important insights into the issue of creativity and innovation in the workplace — and it does so in a most engaging manner. Through the medium of a fable, this book helps us to see what can happen when we try to express ourselves fully and courageously in an environment created by executives and managers who view the world very differently.

Stories are a great way to convey important messages — they inspire and teach at the same time. People forget facts, figures and theories, but they remember stories. People who know me can tell you how often I use stories in my own conversations, in my speeches, and in my daily life. I love to write great stories, and I love to read great stories.

This is the story of Perry the Peacock — a bright, talented, colorful bird — who comes to live in the Land of Penguins. He soon runs into problems because the penguins have established a chilly organizational climate that is formal, bureaucratic, and governed by a vast array of written and unwritten rules. Although his talent is recognized, his different and unusual style makes the penguins feel uneasy. The very thing Perry was recruited for — his distinctive flair and creativity — is viewed as a problem by the penguins once he is inside the organization.

Perry’s experience reflects that of many “birds of a different feather” in today’s organizations. While executives and managers today say they want new ideas and new thinking from their people, their actions indicate otherwise. New ideas are disruptive, they’re messy, they challenge the status quo, they require taking chances and increased risk, and they push everyone out of their comfort zones. So people who are different — people with new views on how to make the organization successful — are often discouraged from expressing them, much to the detriment of both the individual and the organization.

This delightful corporate fable follows the adventures of Perry and other exotic birds as they try to make their way in the Land of Penguins. Their story is both entertaining and enlightening. This is a tale of the perils and possibilities of being unique and creative in a world that values comfort, safety, and the predictability of conformity.

If you’re interested in new ideas for making yourself and your organization successful, read this classic tale. Creating a workplace where new ideas and innovation can flourish — and where different perspectives are welcome — is a top priority for managers and employees alike. There are important insights for all of us!

Ken Blanchard

Coauthor of The One Minute Manager®

Part I

The Story:
A Peacock in the Land of Penguins

Perry The Peacock

There once was a time,
in the not so distant past,
when penguins ruled many lands
in the Sea of Organizations.

These penguins were not always wise,
they were not always popular,
but they were always in charge.

Penguins Warren Schmidt

Most organizations looked the same:

Top executives
and managers
wore their distinctive penguin suits,
while worker birds
of many kinds
wore colors and outfits
that reflected their work
and their lifestyles.

Birds who aspired to move up
in their organizations
were encouraged to become
as penguin-like as possible —
to shorten their steps
and learn the penguin stride,
to wear penguin suits,
and follow
the example of their leaders.

Penguins Blackboard Warren Schmidt

Penguin Diagram Warren Schmidt

Employee Development Departments
offered
extensive training programs
on
appropriate penguin-like behavior.

The rules
and norms
were clear
from Day One.

Penguins advised in subtle
(and not so subtle) ways:

“This is the way we do things here.”

“If you want to be successful,
be like us.”

Some of the birds
who wanted to move up
in the pecking order
became very good
at taking on the penguin look
and penguin behaviors.

But even they
found that
they never quite
made it
into key positions.

It was assumed by all
that penguins
were natural leaders —
orderly, loyal, and good team players.

Penguins could be trusted
to put
the organization’s interests
ahead
of personal and family concerns.

Four Penguins Warren Schmidt

Birds Flying Warren Schmidt

Other birds
were thought to be
more flighty
and less dependable.

Of course,
this was never stated
out loud
or in writing.

Because,
like every organization,
penguins wanted to be seen
as fair-minded and
ready to promote
on the basis of
talent,
hard work,
and contribution.

Three Penguins Warren Schmidt

But everyone really knew —

The penguins
had always been in charge,
and
the penguins
would always be in charge
.

The elder penguins
would take
younger penguins
under their wings
and coach them
on
how to be successful.

They would invite them
to play golf
and go jogging.

They would sit together
in the executive dining room
and talk about sports.

Penguin Table Warren Schmidt

It was clear to everyone
who the important penguins were
.

It was also clear
that the penguins
felt most comfortable
around each other
.

Life was harmonious
in the Land of Penguins,
as long as everyone played
by the penguins’ rules.

The other birds
in the organization
knew how to act
to make the penguins
feel comfortable
and secure.

But there came a time
when things began to change
in the Land of Penguins …

Senior penguins
would visit
other lands,
where they encountered
interesting birds
who impressed them
with their
management talent,
experience, and accomplishments.

“These birds are not penguins,”
the elders thought,
“but perhaps
they could become penguins,
if we brought them to our land
and trained them
in our penguin ways.”

“Surely
these impressive and unusual birds
could adapt to life
in the Land of Penguins,
and the talent
they bring
would make us
even more successful.”

“Our climate is different —
chilly and cold.
And our terrain is unique —
icy and barren.

“But we have thrived there
and so perhaps
will these new birds.

“If they are
as smart as we think
they are, they can adjust
to our weather and our ways.”

And this was how
Perry the Peacock
came to live
in the Land of Penguins …

Now
Perry was clearly
not a penguin.

In fact,
he was the antithesis of penguinity —

Perry was a peacock —
a bright, colorful, and noisy bird.

Perry was a very talented peacock,
who had accomplished
some very impressive things
in his own land.

He could write well
and was excellent
at managing his budgets.
He was creative and imaginative,
and at the same time,
practical and sensible.

He had many friends and admirers
in his own land,
and was very popular and well-liked.

Senior managers
in the Land of Penguins
were intrigued
when they met Perry the Peacock.

They knew that he was different —
but they were impressed
with what he had achieved in his career,
and they were fascinated
with the possibilities
that he represented.

They felt that Perry
had real Penguin Potential.

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Endorsements




"Every once in a while a small book comes along that deals with a profound subject in a very simple, elegant way. A Peacock in the Land of Penguins is such a book."

—Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager and Empowerment Takes More Than a Minute

"Is there anyone among us who has not felt the pain and frustration of not being appreciated for who they really are? A Peacock in the Land of Penguins, a powerful message, simply told, speaks to the spirit in each of us that yearns to fly high and free."

—Laurie Beth Jones, author of Jesus, CEO and The Path

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