on April 6, 2004
I very much disagree with those reviewers who see this book as some sort of corporate propaganda or justification for Darwinian HR policies. Instead, it is a useful and empowering parable for how to deal with such policies. There is no doubting that the world has changed--Welch-type business tactics and economic globalization have eliminated the prior "corporate loyalty to employee" model (to the extent it ever existed!). As individual workers, we can either accept the changed model and adapt to it, or we can bemoan its arrival and practice denial. "Cheese" preaches flexibility, awareness, and an open mind to change. It does NOT operate from a model of "laboratory rats." It is a parable ANALOGIZING human behavior to that of rats in a maze. When you think about it, life IS often as bewildering as a maze must be to mice. The book is short and simple--but read it and absorb its profound message...and minimize the chances that you'll ever be caught off-guard by events in your life again.
on April 5, 2004
Not all books need to be complicated to be accurate or effective.
If you're a cynic by nature, one would not expect you to like such a simplistic view on making the big decision to MOVE ON.
As for me...... I was given this book as a gift more than 2 years ago, and had not given it a second glance until it caught my eye, all dusty on the bookshelf, and I decided, "What the heck."
After reading it, I realized why it had been given to me, and I regretted not reading it immediately upon receiving it.
In just 2 short hours, it reassured me that it was o.k. to choose to finally walk away from a destructive relationship, even when though it is a parent whom I love, after 5 years of wondering if I was a failure for not sticking it out.
You have a choice in life: sink (because it's what everyone else is doing, and because misery loves company) or swim (to save your life, without feeling guilty about it).
Maybe you prefer a novel written by some Harvard-quality psychiatrist, with lots of complicated scenarios and pharmaceutical prescription suggestions.....
But sometimes, it is even more effective when someone lays it out on the line as clearly and quickly as possible, even when that means using something as simple as mice to illustrate their point.
If you read this book, and didn't "get it".... I sadly visualize you in your little corner of the world, hoarding as much cheese as possible.......... while life moves on without you.
on March 18, 2004
This book is about how people should face change. The usual attitude found in most of us when confronted with change, is first to deny that change is about to happen, followed by resistance to modifying our attitude and behaviour once the change has happened. Yet in most cases this is not the best course of action; clinging to the past deprives one of all the potential possibilities, improvements and benefits that change usually brings along with it.
The book states that change is inevitable. Hence, it encourages the reader not to be averse to change, by being prepared to let go of old habits and accept change as a challenge which, when properly taken, brings about self-improvement and a superior post-change situation.
To achieve its end, the book tells a very well written parable that is both very readable and very enjoyable. The parable is about how two mice and two littlepeople face change; suddenly the easy comfortable life the four of them enjoy comes abruptly to an end; the mice being animals accept the change immediately and do something about it, whereas the littlepeople being humans, take their emotions and their logic into consideration first, with the result that they are slow to adapt to change.
The reader can identify himself with one of the four characters, thus, being able to weigh the pros and cons of his attitude towards change vis-a-vis the character. The book is only 96 pages and so can be taken in one go if one so wishes. Besides, it has the major conclusions depicted as posters on some left-hand-side pages, thus, further aiding assimilation of the message it tries to convey.
All in all, an excellent book, that is extremely useful in every day life situations. It is so relevant to real life that it must be taught at school. Very highly recommended.
on March 16, 2004
"Who Moved My Cheese" by Dr. Spencer Johnson is probably the most well-known and widely read books related to professional and personal insight. This is the quintessential story about change in a person's life, whether it is at work, at home, or somewhere else. I personally believe that it is a book that everyone should read by age 17 and possibly read every 10 years afterwards until the end of his or her life. It is so easy to wrap yourself up in the environment in which you currently inhabit, and when that environment changes, people on a whole usually find it very difficult to accept, much less spring forward without fear to the next challenge. One of my personal favorite sayings from this book is "what would you do if you weren't afraid?" This is the question that all of us need to ask ourselves from time to time. We get so lost and turned around in our own fear that we do not realize that it is affecting our lives. This book is the one source of reason that can hopefully get you to step back and evaluate the situation from a different perspective, and perhaps understand that change should be viewed as a new opportunity presenting itself, not the collapse of everything that you have taken for granted and now cannot live without (like your current supply of cheese).
This book would have been most helpful for me about four years ago when my job was threatened by an upcoming layoff. The time of the layoff was never announced; so many people were proactively finding new jobs outside the company and leaving before "the axe fell". These were the sniffs and scurrys of the group. There were the definite hems, which I can vividly remember complaining and voicing that it was not fair that "their cheese was about to be moved". In the end, almost all of them did in fact have their cheese moved, and they had to go back into the maze, whether they had their running shoes on or not. As for myself, I would like to think that I was more like haw, since I did not immediately sniff or scurry out a new job, but yet did not take myself too seriously and new that if I had to enter the maze once again, I was prepared. I called the six months of waiting for the layoffs "playing chicken with my career". Luckily, my cheese was naturally replenished, and therefore the maze continued to remain a mystery. However, who knows what opportunities present itself when you have the courage and strength to put on your running shoes and face the maze head-on.
This book will put you into the correct frame of mind when any monumental change such as layoffs or reorganizations at work, marriage or even when a baby is on the way. Since it takes so little time to read, and can be read by anyone at any level of education, it is the perfect book that teaches a simple but crucial lesson in a manner that is easy to understand. The lessons related to change and especially fear are critical in the civilization in which we currently find ourselves in. Under this criteria, I would consider it the essential fable for our modern times.
on March 14, 2004
"Who Moved My Cheese"
Spencer Johnson provides both insight and hindsight in his book "Who moved my cheese. The book is simply written and points shared are invaluable. Working for State government for 23 years, I have learned some of this book's points from personal experience. Policy is constantly changing because our leadership is also constantly changing due to elections. As a Program Manager, I have supervised staff that possesses some of the same mindsets as the characters in the book. Successful organizations are the ones that are able to be proactive and anticipate change. Whether personal or professional change will happen. Budget cuts and limited resources is a time to see who has the skills to survive and the vision to adopt to change. I have learned to anticipate change as Johnson's states as one of his premises. 911 caught all of America off guard. So recently, Bioterrorism Preparedness has become an important part of Public Health focus on anticipating threats and responding accordingly. When I began working for Public Health we were totally funded by Grant-in-aid and county funding. Change caused Public Health or at least our district to move quickly to fee for services, billing Medicaid and Medicare, and even writing grant applications. I highly recommend this book to first time managers and any adult who needs insight on preparing for and adapting to change. Any person who has trouble "moving beyond their fears" should definitely read this book. I have read it 5 times and each time I am more enlightened. Life is complex but most of life's problems have simple solutions. "Who Moved My Cheese" provides us with a lot of those simple solutions.
on March 13, 2004
Before reading Who Moved My Cheese I felt like a mouse in a maze trying to find my cheese, but everybody kept moving it on me. Dealing with that was hard and difficult.
When I first heard about this book, I was put off. Sounded lik a stupid title...until I looked at who wrote the book and read the foreward by Kenneth Blanchard. I had read many of Kenneth Blanchards books and felt that if he put his seal on it and was impressed enough to write the foreward, it must be great.
I was even more impressed when I heard that Exxon, General Motors, Goodyear, Kodak, Marriott, Whirlpool, Zerox and many other major companies had people recommending Who Moved My Cheese.
Today it is not enough to be good, you have to become great. You cannot used what worked yesterday. We are in a constant state of change. When I realized that by reading this book, my whole personal and professional life changed--I made a 180-degree turnaround.
I am now recommending Who Moved My Cheese to everyone in my organization. Outstanding book. A must read.
on March 11, 2004
Who Moved My Cheese is an A-musing and powerful book. Written in the form of a parable, Who Moved My Cheese reveals profound truths about change.
"Cheese" is used as a metaphor for what you want to have in life. Could be a better relationship, a better job, your own business, more money, peace of mind, better health, or spiritual peace of mind.
The story is about four characters who live in a maze and the maze is where you look for what you want, the company you work for (or want to work for), the family or community you live in or the industry you want to start your business in.
This is an amusing and entertaining story about four characters. In the story, the characters are faced with unexpected change. One succeeds and writes about it on the wall---the handwriting is on the walls.
And for those of us who read and understood the meaning of the story in this book also discovered how to deal with change...successfully. Therefore enjoying more success and less stress in your work and in your life.
This book is ideal for all ages. Kids love it and get it easier than many of the adults.
on March 3, 2004
When I first read this book, I felt like I just wasted my money. Why? Because after seeing this book on the NY Times best-seller list for months, I figured that this most be SOME BOOK on how to deal with change.
But after reading it I was shocked! There is nothing outstanding about this book! How did this get to the top of the list and how did it stay there?
The answer hit me when about a week later I had to deal with change (some trivial change) and I was holding myself back. I remembered the tale in the story. I didn't want to be that wimpy mouse that resisted change and I bet you don't want to be him either. However most of us resist change. We get into our comfort zone and we like to stay there. But to be successful we need to grow. And to GROW we need to stretch. And stretching means to go OUT of our comfort zone and explore new territories.
As a life coach I frequently talk to people about dealing with change. Many a time, I find myself telling them - did you ever hear of Who Moved My Cheese?
Maybe this books message-too embrace change-is something that we need to hear, and therefore it became a best seller. What do you think?
Zev Saftlas, Author of Motivation That Works: How to Get Motivated and Stay Motivated
on February 21, 2004
You can make money or you can make excuses, you can't make both. The reality of the matter is that we are in a ever changing world. The more we can bend, flex and adjust to that change, the better off we will all be.Many businesses have fallen by the wayside because they couldn't adjust to change. They were not adaptable.Many employees are out of work because they cld not adapt or adjust.Some people prefer to blame others. They say that "It's not fair." Or "It's not my fault." EXCUSE ME! You need to become autonymous---take total responsibility. Become self reliant. It's not your employer. It's not your coworkers. It's not the economy. It's you and I. We must take responsbiity. Become self reliant.The reality is that it is all up to you. You can adapt and adjust or be left behind. It is all up to you. This book explains the importance of change.BASED ON THE NUMBER OF 1 STAR REVIEWS, OBVIOUSLY SOME PEOPLE PREFER TO BE IRRESPONSIBLE AND BLAME OTHERS.Your choice. I prefer to be self directed and self reliant and take responsibility.HOW ABOUT YOU?Good book. Highly recommended.
on February 13, 2004
Great little book! This book is a parable realating to personal change (which so many people dred) that can lead to greater happiness and prosperity. If you don't find your cheese, or enough of it, in one place, then look in another. This book communicates a message in a one sit read that other books can't accomplish in several hundred pages.
On many of the negative reviews --- Some reviewers out there say that this book attempts thought control, is communist, is a way big corporations brainwash people. --- what a bunch of nonsense --- seeking out change and not going with the flow (masses) is brainwashing? Seeking to be more prosperous is communist? Seeking change to better yourself only helps big business? Just take these negative reviewers for what they are --- mindless followers looking for their next handout and their next life decision to be made by someone other than themself. These are the people who won't hold themselves accountable for the (obviously poor) choices they have made in their lives.