Who Moved My Cheese?


Some books are just timeless staples that will forever be on bookshelves. This is also true of business books. In my personal opinion, one of those books is “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson. More than 24 million copies of this book has been sold over the years and I could see another 24 million copies being sold in the future.

The forward of the book is written by another well known business book author by the name of Kenneth Blanchard. This endorsement in itself should be reason enough to read this book as far as I am concerned, but selling more than 24 million copies doesn’t hurt either. Since I write book reviews it should come as no surprise that I talk to people about business books and keep up with best sellers on the internet and in the New York Times. However, I haven’t heard much about “Who Moved My Cheese?” in many years and I felt it was time to bring it back out in the open again.

This book follows a couple of little furry critters and small people through their maze of life. They are appropriately named Hem, Haw, Sniff, and Scurry. Sniff and Scurry are mice and Hem and Haw are people the size of mice. Most people will quickly put together the maze represents the obstacles and paths in everyone’s life. This book is a very quick and easy read, but brings home a strong point justifying what is typically the $20 hard cover price. Written as a parable you can read it on a relatively short flight.

As we follow our furry little characters we see them going through the daily routines collecting and eating cheese. They are individuals so develop their own way of doing things even though they end up in the same place each day to enjoy the kind of cheese they each individually crave. At the beginning of the book their individual routines seem mundane and boring. However, this situation soon changes when one day after performing their individual routines they are not rewarded with their cheese.

Each of our characters represents a particular reaction that many people would have after working so hard only to find that their cheese is not where they thought it would be. Their individuality becomes apparent as they all have different ways of responding to their situation and one never adapts and recovers at all. The book clearly demonstrates the personal nature of change, but it also drives home the fact that change is inevitable and must be accepted for true continued progress in life.

It has been said many different ways from hockey analogies that talk of skating to where the puck is headed to this book that drives home the concept of moving with the cheese. People inherently resist change but change is a fact of life even though it can be painful. Time and time again the world has been moved by stories of individuals overcoming great adversity. When change pushes through the door without knocking and confronts you abruptly, people must be prepared to quickly adapt to the new environment and look for the opportunities that have been presented instead of mourning for times lost. Who knows, life just may turn out better.

To your business success.

Categories : Business Books


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