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Embrace the change

Who moved my cheese?🧀

March 01, 2021 - 502 words - 3 mins Found a typo? Edit me
books change management leadership


The book Who moved my cheese? presents a tale inside the main story that consists of 4 characters: two mice, Sniff and Scurry, and two little persons, Hem and Haw.

Published in 1998, and I just read it at the beginning of 2021. Better late than never. Actually, thanks to my brother Jesús, who recommended it to me.

They live in a Maze (that represents one’s environment) and in order to survive they need to go out of their comfort zone and look for cheese (which represents happiness and success).

The tale starts when both groups end up at “Cheese Station C”, full of cheese. The humans established routines while the mouses kept their instincts active.

One day the mousses arrive at the “Cheese Station C” and find no cheese left. So they go out to find more cheese somewhere else. On the contrary, when Hem and Haw see that there is no cheese left, they start complaining. Hem, angry and annoyed, demands “Who moved my cheese?!”. Both humans counted on the cheese supply would be endless constant, so they weren’t prepared for that unexpected. The main difference here is how Haw and Hem react to this situation.

Hem denies moving away from the “Cheese Station C”, so he keeps going there every day expecting to find cheese without success, being weaker, and with continuous fear of doing something different. Haw, on the other hand, decides to laugh at the situation, turns down his fear, and goes out looking for more cheese.

… I will leave the rest of the tale to you.

The tale is a beautiful metaphor of the different attitudes that people adopt as part of their identity in life when they have to confront any change.

Noticing small changes early helps you adapt to the bigger changes that are to come.

This book is full of lessons that apply to everyone no matter who they are or when they read it. I fully recommend it.

My favorite lessons of the book

  1. Change happens. They keep moving the cheese.
  2. Anticipate change. Get ready for the cheese to move.
  3. Monitor change. Smell the cheese often so you know when it’s getting old.
  4. Adapt to change quickly. The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy new cheese.
  5. Change. Move with the cheese.
  6. Enjoy change. Enjoy the taste of new cheese
  7. Be ready to change quickly and enjoy it again. They keep moving the cheese.

“Everyone knows that not all change is good or even necessary. But in a world that is constantly changing, it is to our advantage to learn how to adapt and enjoy something better. It is not what is in the story of “Who moved my cheese?” but how you interpret it and apply it to your own situation that gives it the value.“ - Ken Blanchard.

“Life moves on and so should we” — Spencer Johnson