Who Moved My Cheese?

David Hadley

With many situations we understand that at times there is the need for change even though we may want to resist. However, just because we understand this, doesn’t necessarily make it any easier. The burning question then is how we make change as painless as possible and a positive experience for ourselves and those involved.

Sure we can resist any change, we can stamp our feet, argue we should not change for changes sake, or argue there is nothing wrong with the old ways. But eventually unless you change it may lead to the end.

Some time ago I read a book on change. The book “Who Moved My Cheese (1998, Johnson)” has been on the business best sellers list and there is numerous clips available on YouTube to review.

The story involves 4 characters who live in a maze and go out each day in search of cheese. All is well as they find a cheese station with a mountain of cheese. Two of the characters, Sniff and Scurry, notice that the cheese is dwindling away, so they go and search other areas. The other two Hem and Haw are quite content to remain with the existing supply of cheese. Then one day Hem and Haw notice there is no more cheese left. Hem and Haw feel they are victim of a theft or fraud and believe that the cheese will be back very soon. They have become comfortable and are now too afraid to move forward.

Sniff and Scurry on the other hand in their search of the maze have found more supplies of cheese and accepted that they have had to change their ways to survive.  They knew that you cannot keep relying on the old cheese, eventually you have to find new cheese.

For many of us we already understand the need for change. But that doesn’t make it any easier. In the book, the message of change is that we must not see it as an end, but must learn to see it as a beginning.

Who Moved My Cheese has identified 7 guiding principles to assist with change:

  • Change Happens,
  • Anticipate change,
  • Monitor Change,
  • Adapt to change quickly,
  • Enjoy Change,
  • Be Ready to Change Quickly.

I am sure we have all at some stage had to deal with change both in business and personally that we did not necessarily want. And as stated on p.76 of “Who Moved My Cheese”, simply move with the cheese and accept it!”.