“Who moved my Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson

The only thing that is constant is Change.

With technological advancement, the world is changing rapidly like never before. Artificial Intelligence for example influences every corner of our lives, business operations, and society like Robotic surgery, driverless cars, drones for the delivery of items, etc. In a world that is constantly changing, it is to our advantage to learn how to adapt and enjoy something better. From the book, you will learn how to anticipate, adapt to and enjoy change and be ready to change quickly whenever you need to.

“Cheese” here is a metaphor for what we wanted to have in life, whether it is a job, a relationship, money, a big house, freedom, health, recognition, peace of mind, etc. The “maze” in the story represents where you spend time looking for what you want. It can be the organization you work in, the community you live in, or the relationships you have in your life.

The mice, Sniff and Scurry possess simple brains and good instincts, search for the hard nibbling cheese they liked. The two little people, Hem and Haw, with their complex brains, filled with many beliefs and emotions, search for a very different kind of Cheese that they believe would make them feel happy and successful.

Both the mice and little people are different, but they share something in common. Every morning, they each put on their jogging suits and running shoes, left their little homes, and raced out into the maze looking for their favorite cheese.

The maze has a lot of corridors and chambers, some containing delicious cheese but there were also some dark corners and blind alleys that leads to nowhere. It was an easy place for anyone to get lost.

The mice, Sniff and Scurry, used the simple trial and error method of finding cheese. They ran down one corridor and as soon as they didn’t find any cheese, they quickly went into another new areas. Sometimes they get lost in the wrong direction but after a while, they found their way.

Like the mice, the two little people, Hem and Haw, also used their ability to think and learn from their past experiences. However, they relied on their complex brains to develop more sophisticated methods of finding cheese.

Nonetheless, All four of them discovered in their own way, what they were looking for. They each found their own kind of cheese at one of the corridors. This way they have established their own routine.

As time went on, a different routine set in for the little people.

Hem and Haw awoke each day a little later, dressed a little slower, and walked to the Cheese corridor. After all, they now knew where the cheese was and how to get there. They had no idea where the cheese came from, or who put it there. They just assumed it would be there. Soon they became so comfortable they didn’t even notice what was happening.

As time went on, Sniff and Scurry continued their routine. They arrived early each morning and walked to the Cheese corridor. They would inspect the area to see if there had been any changes from the day before.

One day when Sniff and Scurry arrived at the Cheese corridor and discovered that there was no cheese. They were not surprised. Since they had noticed the supply of cheese had been getting smaller every day, they were prepared for the inevitable and knew what to do next.

Since the situation at Cheese corridor has changed, so, sniff and scurry decided to change. They were quickly off in search of new cheese.

Later on the same day, when Hem and Haw arrived at Cheese corridor, they didn’t find any cheese.  They started yelling “No Cheese? No Cheese?” and shouted by saying “who moved my Cheese?” They are unprepared for what they found since they had not been paying attention to the small changes that had been taken place each day.

Even after many days, their situation has not changed and no new cheese has appeared. Hem and Haw decided to stay because they hope the cheese will appear there once again. They started blaming everything but themselves.

Over a period of time, Haw gets smarter and decides to explore the maze for more cheese. He tries to convince Hem to go with him but he refused.

Haw keeps exploring to find new areas of the maze, he pushes past his fears and learns many life lessons. On his way to explore the cheese again, Haw writes a few lessons on the wall from time to time to encourage himself and in case Hem decides to come after him for the new cheese.

He finally finds a new corridor in the maze that has a ton of cheese with all new types of cheese. He also meets Sniff and Scurry again, who arrived here long before he did.

5 Main lessons :

Change is always bound to happen, sooner or later.
Kodak once a household name and a monopoly in the photograph market kept neglecting digital technology. It was very late to the game in their shift to digital. The change was faster than anyone could have imagined.
Result: In 2012, Kodiak file for bankruptcy.

Anticipate the change that is coming.
While the auto industry was resistant to innovate and change to protect the climate, Tesla not only anticipated and embraced the change but also forced the auto industry rivals to rapidly change.
Result: Several countries have pledged the ban on fuel cars.

smell the cheese often so you know when it is getting old.
Whatsapp with more than 2 billion users, has recently announced controversial changes to its privacy terms, prompting no of users to rival platforms. More than 2 million people have installed their rival apps like Telegram and Signal.
Result: Even the biggest thing will not last forever.

The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy new cheese.
Nokia once a market leader was slow to respond to the rapid changes happening in the mobile industry. Samsung entered the market, quickly adopted this change, and started building their high-end phones.
Result: Nokia’s market share fell to <4 % & finally got sold to Microsoft.

Apple started with Mac PC and revolutionized the tech industry with ipods, iphones, ipads and iwatch. Apple was not only ready to change quickly by innovation but also changed the world into an “app economy”.
Result: Apple becomes first U.S. company to reach a $2 trillion market cap.

Change is inevitable. Anticipate it, adapt to it, learn to embrace and enjoy it.

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. – Charles Darwin

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