Thursday, September 6, 2012

Who moved my cheese? overview

Don't expect everything to always stay the same. Don't be afraid of change. Expect and prepare for the possibility of change.
Two mice (sniff & scurry) and two humans (hem & haw) live in a maze (the environment) and have found an abundant source of cheese (success, happiness) at one location within the maze.

The mice and the humans settle down to a life of eating the cheese.

One day the cheese is all gone.

The mice had noticed the amount of cheese was declining and had started looking for more cheese elsewhere which they soon found. The humans discovered the cheese they relied on was no longer there and became angry asking 'who moved my cheese?'.

The humans played the role of victims complaining about how they once had all the cheese they needed but now it was gone. The mice didn't complain, didn't play the role of victims, they just found some more cheese somewhere else.

The humans were very fearful of moving away from their old source of cheese but realised it is something which they must do. One of the humans overcomes his fear and goes looking for other sources of cheese, which he finds.

Quote: What would you do if you weren't afraid?

Broad Outline (as written on a wall by human character Haw who goes out and finds the new cheese)-
  • 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)

The book is popular in management and is sometimes used to deflect criticism during the introduction of unfavourable or unfair changes in a workplace such as cost-cutting or structural re-organisation. Any dissent or complaining can be countered by telling the employee they are not moving with the cheese. An example of a 'patronising parable' often ridiculed by Dilbert creator Scott Adams.

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