19th January 2004 - Who moved my cheese?

If in a matter of hours I read "Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life" by Spencer Johnson. This short book is an impressively relevant fable for anyone who is dealing with change, and in contemporary times who are not?

In this fable mice and little people need to locate cheese in a maze, the mice are reacting rather instinctively to a change in cheese location; whereas the people are full of wonder and reluctant to accept that the cheese is simply not in the same place as it was the day before. This means that the people are much slower to adapt to change; however once they do they are able to benefit a lot more from the cheese than the mice are. The morale is to be able to continually monitor one’s situation and understand the continuous changes that are happening in the environment. Once change is detected it should be accepted and reacted to. This is hardly rocket science, but the failure to see and address to change is very real and very human.

Johnson gives the following simple advice to ensure that one never loses sight of the "cheese":

- Change Happens; keep moving the cheese

- Anticipate Change; getting ready for the cheese to move

- Monitor Change; smell the cheese often so you know when it is getting old

- Apply 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 & Again; keep moving the cheese

I was personally impressed with the dense and relevant knowledge of this book; and I would recommend this book as a primer for any activity which is going to address change.

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Updated 2004-01-20

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