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Who Moved My Cheese

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Who Moved My Cheese?

A review of the book

Kirk W. Wilson

MBA 525, Professional Development


October 12, 2006

Who Moved My Cheese?

A review of the book

I found the book who moved my cheese to be very enlightening. While I was reading it, I found myself taking time to think about situations in my life and those around me that fit into the story.

What is the book about, in general?

The book in general is about change and how we as humans react or anticipate it. The main characters were two mice; Sniff and Scurry, and two little people; Hem and Haw. Change in the book was cheese, but as it relates to us it's whatever is important to us. It is material things, family, work environment, etc. The story points out how different people deal with change.

The mice, being rodents, are simple minded and go about finding cheese by the trial-and-error method. They use this method of seeking up and down each corridor back and forth until they happen to come upon cheese. Then when they do, they would enjoy the cheese but keep there shoes handy so they can move along as soon as the cheese is gone. Hem and Haw on the other hand supposedly have the intelligence. By using there keen noses and thought process they find their cheese by reasoning.

The problem is, once Hem and Haw find the great supply of cheese at cheese station C, they become complacent with it. They become so comfortable that they pack away their shoes, thinking that there will be no need in the future to use them again. They are fooled in the false impression that change would never occur and the cheese would last forever. These blinders prevent Hem and Haw from seeing the signs of change. Then once the change does occur, the cheese is gone, Sniff and Scurry move on right away in search of new cheese but Hem and Haw get upset and claim that it's unfair that the cheese is all gone.

Their initial reaction was not to deal with the situation but instead to just ignore it, expecting that by some miracle this would make everything right again. Then they even come to the conclusion that by working harder at cheese station C, and even longer, that the cheese could be found. But this didn't work either. Finally after many days of waking up and finding that the cheese had not been replace, Hem and Haw take different approaches to the situation.

After waiting and getting weaker, Haw decides to seek out and try to find new cheese. He finally accepted his situation and decided to do something about it. Hem on the other hand was still in the denial phase that change had occurred and ignorantly thought that the cheese would reappear, so he stayed. One of the biggest blocks to accepting the change and moving on is fear of the unknown. Fear of the unknown makes them afraid of the challenge that change brings. But as it turns out for Haw finds out that the fear of the unknown was worst than the actual change. He ends up laughing at himself for not accepting change, which leads to him heading out in search of new cheese. He finds a little cheese here and there and often considers turning back but presses on with a renewed feeling of finding new cheese. The challenge helps by inspiring him to view the challenge of finding new cheese as a good thing. He visualizes how great it will be once the goal of finding the new cheese is achieved. Once during his search for a new cheese station, Haw returns to Hem with some cheese, trying to coax him into joining him. Hem has nothing to do with this though. He is still set in his way and will not accept that change has occurred and things will never be as they were again. So Haw takes off and eventually finds a new cheese station. He finds Sniff and Scurry already there and heavier than ever along with new and better cheese. It is at this moment at the end of the story Haw reflects back upon the lessons he has learned. Those lessons being: Change happens; anticipate change; monitor change; adapt to change quickly; change; enjoy change; be ready to change quickly and enjoy it again. The story ends, leaving you to wonder if Hew ever accepts change and moves on to find new cheese.

With which one of the characters do you currently align yourself with? Why?

Since taking this class and even a little time before I would align myself with Haw. For a while I have been seeing that I need to change, to get out of my comfort zone. I have two choices, I can stay in my comfort zone believing that things will never change or, I can look ahead and see that want it or not, my time here in the Navy will end. The longest I have left is just under 10 years before mandatory retirement. So with the writing on the wall, I have decided to embrace this change and prepare for it by seeking out what the future brings. Even though it is scary and the fears run rapid from the unknown, there is actually some excitement I find within myself looking forward to this change of employment and the opportunities it will bring.

Could you have previously aligned yourself with any other character? Which one and why?

Previous to taking this class I can easily align myself with not just Hem but also Sniff and Scurry. Right after High School I would have to say I acted more like Sniff and Scurry. Joining the Navy was an action I took to escape going to school. I did it to get away from home, not really knowing what I wanted in life but just taking the first route that would lead me away from the corn fields and bean fields of the Midwest. Once in for a couple of years I found myself enjoying the service and with advancement forced to become a leader. Set in my comfort zone,



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