Who Moved My Cheese?From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search Who Moved My Cheese?Author(s) Spencer JohnsonCountry United StatesLanguage EnglishGenre(s) Self-help / motivationalPublisher Putnam AdultPublication date 1998Media type Print (Paperback)Pages 96 ppISBN 0-399-14446-3OCLC Number 38752984Dewey Decimal 155.2/4LC Classification BF637.C4 J64 1998Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in YourLife, published in 1998, is a motivational book by Spencer Johnson written in the style of aparable or business fable. It describes change in ones work and life, and four typical reactions tosaid change by two mice and two "littlepeople", during their hunt for cheese. A New YorkTimesbusinessbestseller since release, Who Moved My Cheese?remained on the list for almost
five years and spent over 200 weeks on Publishers Weeklys hardcover nonfiction list. It hassold more than 26 million copies worldwide in 37 languages and remains to be one of the best-selling business books.Contents 1 Synopsis 2 Who Moved My Cheese Inc. 3 Criticism 4 See also 5 References 6 External linksSynopsisAllegorically, Who Moved My Cheese?features four characters: two mice, "Sniff" and "Scurry,"and two littlepeople, miniature humans in essence, "Hem" and "Haw." They live in a maze, arepresentation of ones environment, and look for cheese, representative of happiness andsuccess. Initially without cheese, each group, the mice and humans, paired off and traveled thelengthy corridors searching for cheese. One day both groups happen upon a cheese-filledcorridor at "Cheese Station C". Content with their find, the humans establish routines aroundtheir daily intake of cheese, slowly becoming arrogant in the process.One day Sniff and Scurry arrive at Cheese Station C to find no cheese left, but they are notsurprised. Noticing the cheese supply dwindling, they have mentally prepared beforehand for thearduous but inevitable task of finding more cheese. Leaving Cheese Station C behind, they begintheir hunt for new cheese together. Later that day, Hem and Haw arrive at Cheese Station C onlyto find the same thing, no cheese. Angered and annoyed, Hem demands, "Who moved mycheese?" The humans have counted on the cheese supply to be constant, and so are unpreparedfor this eventuality. After deciding that the cheese is indeed gone they get angry at the unfairnessof the situation and both go home starved. Returning the next day, Hem and Haw find the samecheeseless place. Starting to realize the situation at hand, Haw thinks of a search for new cheese.But Hem is dead set in his victimized mindset and dismisses the proposal.Meanwhile, Sniff and Scurry have found "Cheese Station N", new cheese. Back at CheeseStation C, Hem and Haw are affected by their lack of cheese and blame each other for theirproblem. Hoping to change, Haw again proposes a search for new cheese. However, Hem iscomforted by his old routine and is frightened about the unknown. He knocks the idea again.After a while of being in denial, the humans remain without cheese. One day, having discoveredhis debilitating fears, Haw begins to chuckle at the situation and stops taking himself soseriously. Realizing he should simply move on, Haw enters the maze, but not before chiseling "IfYou Do Not Change, You Can Become Extinct" on the wall of Cheese Station C for his friend toponder.
Still fearful of his trek, Haw jots "What Would You Do If You Werent Afraid?" on the wall and,after thinking about that, he begins his venture. Still plagued with worry (perhaps he has waitedtoo long to begin his search...), Haw finds some bits of cheese that nourishes him and he is ableto continue his search. Haw realizes that the cheese has not suddenly vanished, but has dwindledfrom continual eating. After a stop at an empty cheese station, Haw begins worrying about theunknown again. Brushing aside his fears, Haws new mindset allows him to again enjoy life. Hehas even begun to smile again! He is realizing that "When you move beyond your fear, you feelfree." After another empty cheese station, Haw decides to go back for Hem with the few bits ofnew cheese he has managed to find.Uncompromising, Hem refuses the new cheese, to his friends disappointment. With knowledgelearned along the way, Haw heads back into the maze. Getting deeper into the maze, inspired bybits of new cheese here and there, Haw leaves a trail of writings on the wall ("The HandwritingOn the Wall"). These clarify his own thinking and give him hope that his friend will find aid inthem during his search for new cheese. Still traveling, Haw one day comes across Cheese StationN, abundant with cheese, including some varieties that are strange to him, and he realizes he hasfound what he is looking for. After eating, Haw reflects on his experience. He ponders a return tosee his old friend. But Haw decides to let Hem find his own way. Finding the largest wall inCheese Station N, he writes: 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.Cautious from past experience, Haw now inspects Cheese Station N daily and explores differentparts of the maze regularly to prevent any complacency from setting in. After hearing movementin the maze one day, Haw realizes someone is approaching the station. Unsure, Haw hopes that itis his friend Hem who has found the way. It is indeed the friend, who has found a way to escape the rat race.Who Moved My Cheese Inc.In 1990, Who Moved My Cheese Inc. was founded to handle the Who Moved My Cheese? bookorder demands from businesses. For several years, the company worked 24/7 just to keep up with
the demand from the book. In 2005, the company was reorganized as Spencer Johnson Partnerswith the idea of bringing in partners and additional content from Dr. Spencer Johnson, theauthor. Spencer Johnson Partners focused on creating additional programs and services thatwould continue to help clients navigate change, including Gaining Change Skills. Then, in 2009,the company was purchased and renamed Red Tree Leadership.CriticismSome managers[who?] are known to mass-distribute copies of the book to employees, some ofwhom see this as an insult, or an attempt to characterize dissent as not "moving with the cheese".In the corporate environment, management has been known to distribute this book to employeesduring times of "structural reorganization," or during cost-cutting measures, in an attempt toportray unfavorable or unfair changes in an optimistic or opportunistic way. This misuse of thebooks message is seen by some[who?] as an attempt by organizational management to makeemployees quickly and unconditionally assimilate management ideals, even if they may provedetrimental to them professionally. Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams said that patronizing parablesare one of the top 10 complaints he receives in his email.See also Business fableReferences 1. ^Maryles, Daisy and Dick Donahue. "Behind the Bestsellers." Publishers Weekly 10 December 2001: 18. 2. ^The Global Times on Who Moved My Cheese: "Who Moved My Cheese has sold over 26 million copies, staying on the New York Times bestseller list since its release in 1998." (23 November 2009) 3. ^"Who Moved My Cheese?".Time. Dec. 04, 2008. 4. ^What moves the Cheese for books, Del Jones, USA Today, 26 December 2002.