Thursday, 30 June 2011

Book Review: Who Moved My Cheese?, by Spencer Johnson (1999)


A short book and an easy read, Who Moved My Cheese? is a basic primer for dealing with change. It serves its purpose at the most basic level, and is useful for those with limited capacity to figure out that change is the only constant, and that those who don't effectively deal with change are left behind.

In about 50 pages, the story of the mice Sniff and Scurry and the Littlepeople Hem and Haw is told. All four live in a maze, and seek cheese for nourishment and satisfaction. They find a large cache of cheese and are satisfied for a long time. When their cheese disappears, Sniff and Scurry operate on instinct and quickly set out in the maze to find another supply. Hem and Haw are left behind, unable to overcome the shock, anger and despair of seemingly suddenly losing their established cheese supply. Gradually, Haw comes to terms with his new situation and ventures forth to find new cheese, articulating lessons learned along the way. Hem never seems to find the will to change, and is left alone.

The story is bookended by an introduction and a discussion, presented in the form of a conversation among former classmates at a school reunion. If the cheese story represents spoonfeeding the obvious, the introduction and the discussion artificially move the jaw up and down to ensure that chewing and swallowing are taking place.

Who Moved My Cheese? is not an unnecessary book; but those who find its content fresh and eye-opening likely have a lot more work to do on the journey to success.

Published in hardcover by G.P. Putnam's Sons.
94 pages.






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