This book was given to me to read when I was younger - I must have been in my early 20's and going through a very rough patch in my life at the time, and a friend gave me it to read. And I give it 5 stars not because it's a brilliant read, but because of the important lessons it contains and the way it helped me out of a dark place.
It's a very simple book - you'll read it quickly - but it delivers a a fundamental and very important rule in life. That you have to move with change of be left behind. The world changes and we have to change with it - we have no other choice if we want to thrive.
Some of the people and reviewers here may sniff at this lesson and say it's obvious - but lots of people don't adhere to this rule and for me it made it clear. No one had taught me that. No one had told me this little nugget of info. But this book did, and for that I'll always be greatful.It is true though, as one reviewer put it, now you've read this review you don't need to read the book - lol. But is cute and quirky and delivers the message in an easily digestible way (cheese pun added and then thought better of and removed at this point).
Do I still hate it when things change?: yes
Do I still moan when new procedures are put in place at work?: yes
Do I still hate computers and pine for the slower pace of life before them?: yes
...but now I realise there is nothing I can do to fight the tide and best thing I can do is just get on with it.
A great book for teenagers or people going through an upheavel in their life. It's one of those books I'll never forget, but purely for the lesson it taught me.
on 4 August 2009
I was compelled to write this review after reading some of the bad reviews for this book. I first read this book about five years ago. I was in a job I hated and lived in a town I hated even more! After reading this book it inspired me to put my flat up for rent and move all my furniture and cats back 'home' to my parents where I felt so much happier. Five years later I found myself out of a job and a bit down in my luck so I re-read the book, and even though i still found it a great book to read I realised that the book did not apply to my situation. The book is about being stuck in a rut and having the imputus to change to get out of it. It's not about confidence and how to get a new job! Hope that makes sense!
on 19 October 2011
This book is excellent. Very insightful and a great read. Would recommend to anyone who feels a bit lost or at a crossroads in their life and wants a bit of help to move forward. Its very inspiring regardless of work, relationship or decision making problems as you can adapt the process to suit the situation.
on 15 April 2010
The department I was with began to change and panic spread. A course was set up called, 'Dealing With Change'. I attended and found that it really should have been called, "Accepting With Grace Whatever Management Imposes'. When I suggested that one way of dealing with unwanted change was to move on, the facilitator sneeringly reframed this as, 'running away from change'! He seemed incapable of thinking outside the box of tricks he had been provided with. Around that time, people began to wave the cheesy book around like Trotskyite students during the sixties waving 'The Thoughts of Chairman Mao'. When redundancy inevitably loomed, the cheesy bookwavers shrieked far louder than those of us who made a positive move to get out and embrace a change that we could create ourselves.
People who are 'mice' and who run around a 'maze' hoping to find 'cheese' will love this book. But the time comes to grow up; that's the change that this book does not acknowledge and embrace. Not all change is good, not all change is bad. Change is change, it is the nature of the world. Nothing stays the same. This is a 'feel good' book. Those 'mice' that have been fortunate enough to escape unwanted change can patronizingly offer it to the unlucky ones and feel that they have discharged their responsibility. Unlucky 'mice' can read it and feel better - like a child who is abused being given a sweet by the abuser. I suppose if you are starving you can always try eating this book.
There are practical things that can be done if you do not like the way things have turned out but they have to be specific to the change. There is no magic formula, no Holy Grail, no 'Popeye's Spinach' to help you when things go pear shaped. If you face redundancy you can do an audit of your skills, you can write a new CV or resume, you can try networking. Cheesy optimism is not going to help. The world is a tough place and some places are worse than others. If you are homeless and starving like most people in the world, this book will not help you. Of course this book is not aimed at homeless starving people but it is difficult to see who it is aimed at - unless it is supercilious managers and obsequious employees. Are you a man or a mouse?
Not all change is good. It is not your fault if things go wrong. All good things must come to an end. There is no end to common sense sayings that cost nothing. This book is a waste of money and any company that hands out copies of it is so patently mishandling its finances that anyone working for it should seriously consider bailing out while there is still time.
on 24 September 2013
This little book is as some reviews indicated a simple message but it's a powerful message about how to deal with change in any aspect of your life.
It's very easy to read, and has a very core clear message about how to deal with change, and there are four characters in the story who deal with change differently, it follows their experiences.
Sniff & Scurry - who react fast to any changes
Hem - who is resistant to change and in denial
Haw - who is hesitant at first but then does adapt to change when he sees there can be something better from that
Buy the book, it gives you a clear story, you can see which characters you have been in your life, and learn to choose actively which you want to be in the future in any given situation. Some situations are awful and our responses fall into one of these categories, and how you react, will determine the outcome you get in your life, e.g. Hem can get into depression, and miss opportunities, Sniff can get new opportunities and quickly move on with his life, Haw is more cautious doesn't act at first, but then realizes he needs to also and ends up in a better place. It's also about your fears, changes, the unknown, and possibly that things can be much better, but without trying you don't know and can remain stuck like Hem, while life passes you by.
I see I have been Hem, Haw, and Scurry at various points in my life. This simple message gives you clarity on what and how you could be reacting, how you then choose to is up to you, and you can see the types of outcomes for each option. Great book, very effective imagery and messages.
Each person is different, and where you are in your life will impact what you take from this book's story. If you are fairly settled and on track in your life and goals, this is probably of less benefit to you but still worth a read. If you are dealing with change in any way, this is a useful book of clear simple messages and advice.
on 22 June 2010
Who likes change? Not many of us, but life changes all around us, all the time, and it is how we deal with this change that makes the difference between going stagnant or flourishing.
The witty little addendum to the title sets the tone of the book. Dr Johnson uses a simple, child-like (note, not childish) analogy to provoke discussion on how to deal with change, in the workplace, home, school, church or anywhere, where change is needed, to not only survive, but to prosper.
Two small men and two mice live in a maze and have to go searching for cheese on a an almost daily basis in order to survive. However, the cheese 'stations' sometimes have lots of cheese and sometimes just a little. When the cheese runs out in one 'station' they have to go out searching for cheese elsewhere. The mice, Sniff and Scurry, seem to take this in their stride and go on searching whenever necessary. The men, Hem and Haw, as their names suggest have a bit of difficulty in accepting the continual changes in their supply of cheese, and their reactions to the situation prove an interesting source of discussion. (I will say no more here, so you will have to read it for yourself.)
This book has been used in many work situations and I have also recommended it to a local vicar who has found it very useful in the church setting.
An easy read, but if you are prepared to read past the simplistic style and setting, there is a lot of food (cheese!) for thought on how to deal positively to change in any aspect of your life.
on 8 February 2011
Generally I believe there are to sides to this book, neither positive.
Firstly it appears that it takes Dr Johnson 94 pages to convey the message :
"If something bad and unexpected happens in your life do not overanalyse things and if you cannot change them, move on"
Well to begin with I would argue that if you need to read a book to find out that if you loose a job you should go apply for another one, probably that is a hint why you lost your job in the first place.
Secondly, however, and what I believe to be a lot worse is that he appears to overlook that people (or littlepeople as he refers to them in his book), as opposed to mice, have a brain and are thus capable of analysing things in order to find out if they are just, fair or reasonable.
And if they are not they can (and should) speak up in order to establish an atmosphere of democracy.
Coping with whatever "changes" others are confronting you with appears quite dictatorial, especially since changes tend to be forced on you from "up the ladder".
The good news is the book is written in point size 14 and 15 or so pages are filled with fairly redundant pictures, so at least you wont waste too much time on it.
on 22 November 2004
I thought I had seen it all with the One-Minute Manager School of BS Management but 'Who Moved my Cheese' sets new levels. A reality is created where mice/rats represent people and cheese represents salary and wages. Management feed on the anxiety of the rats by taking away their cheese (No wonder the Dilbert HR character is represented by a cat) but the rats who respond most positively to managements psychological 'game', are rewarded with chesse. It's very cheesy, very American, very condescending and very well stacked in favor of management. Dreadful, American, overhyped but well marketed BS - AVOID
on 5 April 2013
I can understand those who have said this book can seem incredibly patronising and insulting to the reader, but it really depends on the situation of said reader as well as their ability (or willingness) to take on board what is being said.
The individual has to use their own comparative method; read the scenarios and blend them with their own.
For a very small price, it's helpful if you're stuck in a psychological rut, but rid yourself of any ignorance towards it beforehand to truly feel the benefit.
Go ahead, laugh at me and call me a Hem, but I must join the ranks of folks who got very little from this little book. I certainly know what the author is saying, and I can't deny that developing a good attitude toward change can be helpful, but the simple fact is that change is not always a good thing. Life is a series of ups and downs, and no amount of visualization and optimism can guarantee that something better can be found just by looking for it. I read this book because I had seen it mentioned and was curious about it; had a corporation or company I worked for suggested I read this book, I would have been mortified. The thought of actually having a business meeting to discuss this simplistic book makes me cringe. It would send a clear message to me that the company wanted to prepare me for bad news or to eliminate criticism in the ranks. Frankly, I found the story rather silly, and there was nothing there that I had not already heard before. Rather than promote free thinking, I can see managers dismissing policy questions or even fruitful suggestions from employees--if the company is moving in one direction, but you think an even better plan involves doing the old thing differently, a manager may well just accuse you of resisting change and not even listen to your idea. The folks who don't embrace change for its own sake fare rather poorly in the author's universe.
I cannot recommend this book. Not only is it very short, but it is two or three times longer than it needs to be because the author excels in redundancy; the repetition of the author's "brilliant" points also qualifies in my book as a method of indoctrination. The fact that this book is so popular with managers and executives sets off alarms in my mind; this is because the book encourages their underlings to not only do as they say (no matter if they are right or wrong) but to smile while they are doing it. Expecting a group of employees to read this book and follow its precepts smacks of pied-piper management and herd mentality; the effect I get from the book is one almost antithetical to true individualism and freedom of choice. By all means, look out for yourself and try to plan for the future, but do not betray yourself while doing it. Just as many people are harmed by implementing bad changes as are helped by responding positively to good changes. Bad policy decisions deserve criticism, not blind devotion. Authority should be questioned when it is clearly wrong. I assure you that the secret of happiness is not to be found in these pages. This is one rat who will not be following the Pied Piper's music over the cliff.