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Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson • change management • false sense of security

Book cover of Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson - change management

Who moved my cheese is a charming and entertaining book that uses a fable to show how to handle change or even lead the change management process which can be stressful in work and life. It’s a pretty popular book and I wouldn’t be surprised if you knew this book. Having said that, I believe the book is worth coming back as it’s a really quick read. Anyway, the fable in the book is about four characters who live in a maze, two mice named Sniff and Scurry and two little people, named Hem and Haw, who were as small as mice. They all love cheese, and once they found it at cheese station they got very comfortable and expected the cheese will always be there. They took the cheese for granted and, eventually, moved their homes next to the station. Unfortunately, it has created a false sense of security as they assumed that their hard work and finding the cheese justified an endless supply of it. Suddenly, when the cheese disappears Scurry and Sniff enthusiastically head out into the maze in order to find new cheese. On the other hand, Hem and Haw feel cheated and complain they waste their time and energy hoping the old cheese will return. After a while, Haw realises the old cheese won’t return so he heads out into the maze in search for new cheese. Along with his journey, he writes what he learns on the walls hoping that Hem will follow him. Eventually, he discovers the new cheese and sees that Scurry and Sniff have already found it.

As you might guess the plot is a metaphor for what you want to have in life. It could be a fulfilling job, a relationship, money, business success or health. The very core message of the book is that the world is in a constant change so we must embrace it.  The main principle is that the quicker we adapt to change the more satisfied we will be. Based on Hall’s notes made on the walls we learn how he has changed his attitude towards change and, eventually, built satisfaction from the process of finding the new cheese. Moreover, these notes are great recaps for each, tiny chapter as they are ordered the same way we deal with change – (1) Fear of the unknown; (2) joy of adventure; (3) satisfaction from the new.

Last but not least, at the end of the book, there is an open discussion  about change management amongst classmates who gathered in a room. They all agree that the story could be applied to some of their own experiences in work and life.

Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life
by Spencer Johnson

Final rating:

Interesting story
Complexity of ideas
Flourish language

Book details:

Size: 96 pages
Published: 2002


Other information and reviews of this book on Goodreads:

Other useful links:
Spencer Johnson on Wikipedia:
Ken Blanchard on Wikipedia:
Other book talking about motivation, procrastination and change management:  The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

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