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Who moved my Cheese-A book review
The books is a motivational and an amazing story about Dealing with Change in Life and in the workplace.
Published on September 8, 1998, the book is a motivational business story. It describes the changes in one’s work and life, and the four typical reactions to those changes.
It tells the story of two mice and two “Littlepeople”, in their hunt for cheese. The book became a New York Times business bestseller upon its release, and remained on the list for almost five years. The book also spent over 200 weeks on Publishers Weekly’s hardcover nonfiction list. It has sold more than 26 million copies worldwide in 37 languages and remains one of the best-selling business books.
It features four characters: two mice, “Sniff” and “Scurry,” and two Littlepeople, human metaphor, “Hem” and “Haw.” the four characters live in a maze, a (he maize representas one’s environmen). the four were looking for cheese,. Cheese is a representation of happiness and success.
The mice and humans, paired off Initially without cheese, each group, and traveled the lengthy corridors searching for cheese. One day both groups stumbled upon a cheese-filled corridor at “Cheese Station C.” Content with their find, the humans establish routines around their daily intake of cheese, slowly becoming arrogant in the process.
One day, the two rats, Sniff and Scurry arrived at “Cheese Station C” to find no cheese left. But they are not surprised. The noticed that the cheese supply has dwindled, the rats have mentally prepared themselves prior for the inevitable task of finding more cheese.
They left “Cheese Station C” behind, and begin a new hunt for new cheese. Later that day, the little humans, Hem and Haw arrived at Cheese Station C only to find the same thing, no cheese. The two became very angry and annoyed
Hem enquired angrily, “Who moved my cheese?” because the humans have expected the cheese to be in constant constant, and were therefore totally unprepared for the sudden disappearance of the cheese .They got angry at the unfairness of the situation.While Haw suggests a search for a new cheese, Hem was engrossed in his disappointment and dismisses the idea.
One the other hand,, Sniff and Scurry found a new “Cheese Station N,”, However, back at the Cheese Station C, Hem and Haw still angry about the lack of cheese blamed each other for their situation.
Haw again proposes to Hem a search for a new cheese. However, Hem is comfortable with his old routine and still afraid of the unknown. He knocked the idea off again. The two still remain without cheese and still in denial.
One day, Haw decided move on after coming t terms with his main fears. He stopped taking himself too seriously. He entered the maze, after chiseling n the wall of Cheese Station C f”If You Do Not Change, You Can Become Extinct” for his friend to think and ponder.
He chiseled again “What Would You Do If You Weren’t afraid?” on the wall.
Having waited too long, Haw discovered some bits cf cheese that nourished him and he continued his search. He realized that the cheese has not suddenly vanished, but has dwindled from continual eating. Haw began worrying about the unknown again. He brushed aside his fears. Haw began to smile again. He now has a new mindset which allows him to again enjoy life and see things differently. Haw realized that “When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.”
After moving past another empty cheese station, Haw decided to go back to his friend with the few bits of new cheese he has managed to find.
To his greater dismay,Hem refused the new cheese..
Using the experience gathered along the way, Haw heads back into the maze, inspired by bits of new cheese he found along the way. Haw decided to leave trail of writings on the wall (“The Handwriting On the Wall”).
These clarified his thinking and give him hope that Hem will find be guided by them during his search for new cheese.
Still while traveling, Haw came across Cheese Station N, abundant with cheese, including some varieties that are strange to him. He realized that he has found what he was looking for (the Cheese).
After eating, Haw reflects on his past experience. He thought of returning to see his old friend. But he later decided to let his friend, Hem find his own way. Haw found the largest wall in Cheese Station N, and wrote:
• Change Happens
• They Keep Moving The Cheese
• Anticipate Change
• Get Ready For The Cheese To Move
• Monitor Change
• Smell The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old
• Adapt To Change Quickly
• The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese
• Change
• Move With The Cheese
• Enjoy Change!
• Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese!
• Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again
• They Keep Moving The Cheese.
Haw now on a daily basis inspects the Cheese Station N and explores different parts of the maze regularly to avoid any complacency from setting in.
One day, Haw heard a movement in the maze one day, He realized someone is approaching the station. Haw hoped that is likely his friend who has found the way.
LESSONS LEARNT
• In an attempt to make employees quickly and unconditionally tune into the change process management distribute this book to employees during various phases of organisational growth (structural reorganization, or during cost-cutting measures) such as in the covid-19 era. Many people could not adjust to the new normal. Some did but slowly. Others were fast in adapting to the change process.
• Humans have tendencies to ‘over-analyze’ and complain. When something sporadic happens to us like losing a job, we like to over analyse, complain as if all hell will let loose. The best thing one needs to do is to go re-adjust and adapt quickly to the change instead of complaining.
• Some organisations have “smelt” the rat or “sniffed” the Covid-19, they were able to adopt digital technology. When the pandemic stroke, they were able to absorb the shock and quickly adapted to the situation. Those that did not anticipate the change, were slow to deal with the situation.
• On the human level, the book showcases four personality types: The Stabiliser (Sniff), he focuses on the how and analysises; The Producer (Scurry), he focuses on the What and allows autonomy; the Unifier (Hem), focuses on the Who and the Innovator (Haw) ho focuses on “why not” that we come across daily in our lives and in the workplace
• While many were complaining and blaming the situation on China or the US, many have taken advantage of the opportunity and started new business (manufacturing sanitisers; face masks etc).
• In life,we all have choices, to either be happy or sad
• We should learn to let go of old patterns or ways of doing think, and seek new ways

Edited question