Who Moved My Cheese?

Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr Spencer Johnson, published by Vermilion, has the virtue of being probably the shortest book on change ever written! I have read quite a few so that gives it brownie points in my view. Seriously, you could probably read this in a lunch hour and it has pictures!

It’s a simple little parable, suitable for anyone at any age. That said, it rarely leaves anyone neutral, it’s a love it or hate it book!

When I first read it I fell into the latter category, but over the years I have come to appreciate it so much more. When I’m running my change seminars I take along a selection of books on change; many of them are very inaccessible, by which I mean heavy going and you’d need to be really keen to get to the end! They get looked at, sometimes someone will even take down the details, but it’s the cheese book that people get hooked on and find some meaning in.

It’s basically about two mice…oh and two tiny humans. Sniff and Scurry are mice, who just get on with life which means chasing the cheese. Hem and Haw are “little people”, tiny humans who have an entirely different relationship with cheese. It’s not simply food to them; it’s their self-image. Their lives and values are built around the cheese they’ve found. Most of us reading the story will see the cheese as something related to our livelihoods–our jobs, our career paths, the organisation or industry we work in–although it can represent anything, from health to relationships. The point of the story is that we have to be alert to changes in the cheese and be prepared to go running off in search of new sources of cheese when the cheese we have runs out. It is quite basic but it’s amazing how often it really hits the spot for people.

You can get it from your local library, encourage your work to get a few copies, your local book shop, or on line via Amazon.

You can read about my book review policy here.

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Posted on May 20th, 2010 by

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