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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Moved My Cheese?
I don't know that I've ever read a book that so accurately depicts the fears and anxieties associated with change. The book itself is witty and somewhat humorous, yet it's deep enough to provoke intense reflection and self evaluation if you allow it to. The storyline itself includes four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them...
Published on June 6 2004 by anthony

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A piece of cheese
Contrary to what many negative reviews said about it, this book does not compare us to mice, but to dwarfs; after all, the hero of the parable is Haw, a dwarf that learned to "adapt and enjoy the change".
Hem and Haw are two dwarfs looking for cheese in a maze, and eventually they find a place that seems to replenish itself with cheese from one day to the next. Haw...
Published on Jan. 21 2004 by Bernardo


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Moved My Cheese?, June 6 2004
By 
anthony (Omaha, NE USA) - See all my reviews
I don't know that I've ever read a book that so accurately depicts the fears and anxieties associated with change. The book itself is witty and somewhat humorous, yet it's deep enough to provoke intense reflection and self evaluation if you allow it to. The storyline itself includes four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. Two of the characters are mice named Sniff and Scurry. The other two are little people the size of mice who act a lot like real people do. Their names are Hem and Haw. The most thought provoking aspect of this book is that it allows each individual to draw conclusions based on their own individual situations relative to "the maze" and "the cheese". "The cheese" is a metaphor for what you want to have in life. "The maze" is symbolic for where you look for what you want in life. In this story, all of the characters are faced with unexpected change. As time passes, one of the characters deals with it successfully and writes what he has learned from his experiences on the wall. In short the message appears to be that when you see the "writing on the wall" you need to know how to deal with change. We all may have a different "maze" in life and may pursue different "cheese" in life,yet, the moral of the story is just the same. Noticing small changes early helps you adapt to the bigger changes later.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A piece of cheese, Jan. 21 2004
By 
Bernardo (rio de janeiro, rio de janeiro Brazil) - See all my reviews
Contrary to what many negative reviews said about it, this book does not compare us to mice, but to dwarfs; after all, the hero of the parable is Haw, a dwarf that learned to "adapt and enjoy the change".
Hem and Haw are two dwarfs looking for cheese in a maze, and eventually they find a place that seems to replenish itself with cheese from one day to the next. Haw starts agreeing with his pal Hem, who is confortable where he is, and both do not understand when the cheese disappears and get frustrated and a little confused. Then Haw asks himself how could he be any worse if he just went looking for another piece of cheese through the labyrinth again. Little by little he starts convincing himself that to invite change, to not be afraid of change, to visualize your goal (the new chunk of cheese), and to be fueled not by fear but by hope of achieving what you want is the best thing one can do. Hem stays behind, moaning and moping, complaining of the unfairness of the situation, that he deserved the cheese, that he won't like any new brand of cheese that Haw may find - that is, if he finds it at all. Of course Haw finds a new place with not one, but many types of cheese, but by now he has learned not to trust permanence, and actually enjoy change. He even tries to convince Hem to give up the expectation that the old cheese will reappear, and to come along with him to this new section of the maze that has all this cheese, but alas, Hem does not change, and stays where he is.
What the book does not state, in any part of it, is that changes may be a bad thing.
Any normal human being knows that. Sometimes even when we adapt, and try our best to accept that things change, we still get failures. And sometimes things should not be adapted, because that will make the situation worse than it is. Sometimes is best to stay put, sometimes is best to see that things are changing, and adapt intelligently. Should that be obvious? Apparently there is a whole book about change that states from beginning to end that change is a good thing, period, and that book sells I don't know how many millions.
I dont know why I'm writing this review, since there's already 1131 reviews posted, and I doubt if this is going to be of further help. Also I've never written any reviews, but this book was so bad that I felt impelled to say something. If you've read so far it means you know how to read a text longer than two sentences. It should permit you to skim this 92 pages of poorly written prose, few-words-per-sentence sentences, all-around easy to read and easy to understand piece of s... without much trouble, but then again, if you want to avoid the trouble, read paragraph two for a synopsis and go browsing for better books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oy., July 19 2003
The fact that a certain manager at a former workplace of mine -- far better at schmoozing than telling the truth, not having grown emotionally or intellectually since the age of about 14, and known to have, uh, a little trouble with alcohol -- loooooved this book made me suspect it from the start. If I remember correctly, I gave it a brief flip-through because I couldn't stomach an in-depth reading.
Unlike many of the one-star reviewers, I'm a libertarian, and I do believe that we all need to be ready to adapt to radical changes in how we earn our livings. Like it or not, the anti-globalists and the Luddites aren't going to turn back the tides of freer trade and ever-improving technology. I myself got laid off last month, and although at times I've been downhearted and panicky (my skills could use some major upgrading), I am trying to look at it as an opportunity, not a catastrophe, especially because my most recent job was in an industry with a dwindling future.
That said, all the trees that died to make "Who Moved My Cheese?" would have been better put to use as toilet paper. An author who truly cared about helping others adjust to change would make concrete suggestions on how to do so. Indeed, there are any number of books out there on how to change careers, relationships, self-image, etc. Of course, many of them are hack jobs, but others offer concrete suggestions, sound strategies, and morale-boosters that actually have some intellectual heft to them.
This book, on the other hand, is an exercise in managerial self-congratulation at its most condescending to subordinates. I was disgusted, but not really surprised, to learn that people were receiving it in their layoff packages. Scott ("Dilbert") Adams could hardly come up with a crueler twist on corporate perversity.
Many readers have given this book five stars. Then again, the same holds for those ever-so-deep (think Jack Handey) tomes in the "Chicken Shi--" sorry, "Soup for the Soul" series. I guess a lot of people not only don't mind being spoon-fed the ridiculously obvious and trite, even after it's been dumbed down so that it could be understood by 4-year-olds and then repackaged as priceless wisdom, but will afterwards lick their lips and say, "Thank you, sir, may I have another?"
Any well-written fantasy novel grounded in moral realities -- many recommend Tolkien's books; I myself strongly suggest Diana L. Paxson's trilogy based on the ancient Germanic tale of Sigfried and Brünhilde, starting with "The Wolf and the Raven" -- would get across the message that most of life is the fighting of adversity, and do it with far more haunting, enchanting grace, than a thousand books the likes of "Who Moved My Cheese?"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Guaranteed to be a best seller (CEOs have deep pockets), June 10 2003
By 
P. Kingsriter "R.N. Guy" (Lakeville, MN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
"If this wasn't so rediculous, it'd be even funnier." -- Who Moved My Cheese
This audiobook was given to me, along with a number of other coping-with-trying-times resources, by one of my many middle managers in the midst of a merger. With an open mind I gave it a shot. What did I have to loose, except my job?
This book is an over-simplistic metaphor for unexpected change that is beyond one's control, in which "cheese" is a symbol of something you want, ie: happiness, security, financial resources. The message the authors attempt to convey is that your future, success, security, and ultimately happiness is within your control. While this may be PARTLY true, the tone of the childlike story is so condescending (an unintended byproduct of the tale's simplification, I suspect), one could easily get the feeling it was penned by the committee representing CEOs Happily Unopposed to Bad Behavior (CHUBB).
The book amplifies feelings of rejection and betrayal by the faceless "Cheese Removers". It raises many questions like, "What if I was counting on that cheese for future use", but offers no answer other than you've got to go out and find more "cheese" for yourself, even though everything you had was just taken from you for no apparent reason. To me (and many others) this was not an inspiring read. It was painful.
This book was destined to be a best seller because, no doubt, it can be ordered by the box-load by those anticipating removing others' cheese. Sure, the message is a fine one, it's the delivery that flat-out stinks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Change happens? No kidding., March 13 2003
By 
chefdevergue (Spokane, WA United States) - See all my reviews
It amazes me how stating the obvious can lead to a hugely successful book. Hey, life is full of changes --- well, how about that? It isn't like this is a huge revelation to most people. We have all had our highs and lows; such is the human condition.
What makes me regard this book as a pile of garbage is the idea that managers can somehow lull their hapless employees into some sort of reflective passivity just before dropping some bomb on them. I know that my first reaction, when my manager plopped this pile on my desk, was one of cynicism more than anything else. Trying to soften the blow, eh? If you are a manager looking to frighten or irritate employees, then this is the book for you.
Also, the idea that "change" is something to be accepted as inevitable and part of the ebb and flow of life offends me. Should the Nazis have handed this book out at Auschwitz to the inmates as they entered the camp? "Arbeit Macht Frei" equals "Who Moved My Cheese" as far as I am concerned. Change may be inevitable, but it doesn't mean that sometimes you shouldn't fight like hell to keep change in its place.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Everything That's Wrong with Corporate Education, Jan. 13 2003
By 
I spent seven years in the corporate/workforce training field, and never reached lower points than my run-ins with this unfortunately popular piece of tripe. My job was to train employees in the use of extremely complex software systems ï¿ training that required deep analytical thinking by the employees. I was never more distressed than to teach a high-impact software class to a group of people who had been exposed to ï¿Who Moved My Cheeseï¿ in the recent past by another trainer. Any company that thinks this book is useful in the training or motivation of employees epitomizes everything that is wrong with corporate education today. This book does contain a useful premise in how employees have to deal with change and competition in the workplace. However, distilling these important matters into the inane parable of mice in a maze is a device meant for grade school students. Parables are used to teach complicated topics to kids. But using a parable to teach an important but non-complex topic to freethinking adults who are smart enough to get a job at a corporation is as nonsensical as it is insulting to their intelligence. Any company that subjects their employees to this dribble (plus the dreaded ï¿group activitiesï¿ that go with it) is too concerned with weak trends and not concerned enough about encouraging independent and intelligent thought among their employees. If you work for a company that makes you read this book, consider working elsewhere because they obviously donï¿t think youï¿re very smart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I received this Memo from a friend - this is his take on it., June 18 2002
By 
"andrew_strain" (Orchard Park, NY USA) - See all my reviews
To: Scurry
From: Special Operations Orientation Committee
Re: Missing cheese
It has come to our attention that substantial quantities of corporate cheese have been moved unaccountably from our treasury, jeopardizing the eating habits to which our courageous leaders are accustomed. Contrary to the baseless rumors that have been circulating through the colony, the aforesaid cheese was tangibly present in the vault before its disappearance.
As you know, our brilliant leaders require copious amounts of cheese to keep their brains at peak activity. Now, more than ever, we need them to maintain their dazzling track record of entrepreneurial foresight and initiative. Not to worry! We plan to move cheese from several off-balance-sheet enterprises to the corporate vault in order to fund our generous leaders' emergency compensation packages. This will only partially make up for the losses our self-sacrificing leaders have sustained on expiring cheese warrants. Cheese-backed debentures in the aforesaid off-balance-sheet enterprises will be serviced by assets that we are confident will materialize from dairy operations in an upcoming stack of reverse blind-pool mergers, as well as strategic divestitures. Our ingenious leaders never fail to amaze!
We believe this would be an appropriate time for you to scurry on to a new colony. Unfortunately, due to the current shortage, we are not in a position to offer you any severance cheese. However, all departing mice will receive a parting gift from the overstock of rotting fish carcasses that have remained unsold in our warehouse. You can thank our prescient leaders for building up that inventory for this special occasion!
Bon voyage, Scurry!
Your friends at SPOOC
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So Who Did Move the Cheese?, Feb. 11 2002
By 
Penner (Brattleboro, VT USA) - See all my reviews
The effectiveness and relevance of this moronic pamphlet can be analyzed merely by critiquing the complexity (or lack thereof) of its metaphor, without even bothering to address its insulting message. To wit: Where did the maze come from? Does it have an exit? What are the two mice and the two mouse-sized people doing there? Never mind where the cheese IS, where does it BELONG? And finally, who, after all, DID move the cheese? This book never actually answers its own title.
The idea that a work of this nature is being lauded and employed by executives of Fortune 100 companies is frankly horrifying. As other reviewers here have noted, resistance to change is equated with inflexibility, fear and closed-mindedness. Apparently in the modern world of business there is no room for individual opinion, thoughtful consideration, or healthy skepticism.
If you read this book prepare to have your intelligence insulted, your motives questioned and your faith in the good sense of your betters dashed. And if you take its message to heart, then god help you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's like Machiaveli -- only completely stupid., May 17 2001
Heraclitus was more succinct in his assertion that nothing is permanent except change.
This is the essence -- no -- the entire substance of this poorly written, highly over-rated and overpriced piece of corporate dogma. This book is a particularly insipid parable in which workers are compared to mice. In a particularly dehumanizing fasion, the mice are more adept at managing their lives than the human workers.
I found this book to be extremely simplistic, pathetically myopic and highly offensive. Anyone who posesses the basic intelligence of the average houseplant should find the main concepts in this book to be intuitively obvious.
Printed in large, easy to read type with enormous margins, no big words and a picture of cheese on every other page, Who Moved My Cheese is an easy read for any four year old who has mastered the art of Hooked on Phonics.
This is quite possibly the single worst book on career management ever written. Please save your money for something worthwhile.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There�s no accounting for taste, May 15 2001
By 
Mr. Stuart Robert Harris "Vivir Con Arte" (Norwalk CT 06850) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The world is full of surprises. People whom I respect have found "Who moved my cheese?" entertaining and useful. Beats me, but there you go. So out of respect for them and any other friends who get off on this book, I'm honor-bound to say that you too may find it worth your while even if you are an intelligent adult of reasonable discernment. I respect you no less for it.
But I feel equally honor-bound to say that I personally found this book awful beyond belief. Tedious, shallow, repetitive, blindingly obvious and without even a hint of an "aha" insight. Having been suckered into parting with the... $... for a half-hour yawn, I'm wondering "Who moved my brain?"
It's supposed to be an allegory about the need to embrace change. I suspect that much of its sales success has been driven by corporate bulk orders from managers preparing to soften up their minions for the economic downturn. A kind of caring precursor to "Time to quit squeaking and start looking for a new job, buddy."
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Who Moved My Cheese?
Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson (Paperback - 1999)
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