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Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life Hardcover – September 8, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 3,197 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Who Moved My Cheese? An A-mazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons; 1 edition (September 8, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399144463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399144462
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,197 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Brian Curtis on January 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The subtle, underlying message of this book is "Don't waste time fighting against bad changes: accept that bad stuff will happen to you for no good reason and just keep moving, like an animal." The animal analogy is a valid one: animals do not question or complain about changes that hurt them, they just try to survive. Any CEO would love a company full of mice--and this book is a great step along that road.
Furthermore, the book's core analogy makes the insulting assumption that employees shouldn't bother with reason or analysis: pure survival instinct is all the CEO wants to see. Real humans in a maze, confronted with vanishing or moving cheese, wouldn't just whine; they'd analyze their situation and find a creative solution, instead of just going back to foraging. Maybe the cheese-deposit mechanism is stuck; maybe the cheese is shifting in a pattern that can be understood; maybe there's a way out of the freakin' maze! "Just accept it and keep moving" is not only a simpleminded philosophy, it's often dead wrong.
Change is not always bad, but it should always be questioned, and opposed if it's harmful. Be a man, not a mouse.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This reviewer remembers having gone to the office (at a then "Big 5 "accounting firm) one day back in 2000 and having found this so-called book (in actually this "book" more of a pamphlet than a book) on his desk. This reviewer's first reaction was to think it was a joke. He called one of his fellow staff members to ask if it was a joke and was quickly informed that every employee in the firm had received, like the reviewer, a copy of this "book" at his or her desk. Knowing that the distribution of this book on a wide level usually portends some massive "change" at the office this reviewer was not happy to find out it was not a joke. The reviewer was very tempted to throw out the book but knowing, based on the fact that everyone in the firm received, we could all be out of work it was wise to, instead, keep for something to do while unemployed (that moment came about four months after the book was passed out). After reading it, while unemployed, the reviewer developed a very negative opinion of it (the reasons for this are discussed below).

About 13 years later this reviewer saw an employee with this book (at another firm). He thought to himself, was this book really as bad as he remembered it? After all, he remembered it as one of the most insulting books he had ever read. Perhaps it was just a poor memory (and the years) playing a cruel joke. Hence he decided to re-read it again. Unfortunately, after reading it again, the memories were only found to be correct. This was truly one of the most insulting books this reviewer had to read, never mind having been given as a "gift". This was the case on so many levels.

First of all this "book" is written for 10 year olds, in terms of both style and content.
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By CMD on March 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I was required to read "Who Moved My Cheese," and to post this review, as part of my masters' degree curriculum. I read the book in the bathroom of room 817 of the Chattanooga, Tennessee, Marriott Hotel. While our two children (aged five and two), slept peacefully in the hotel beds in the next room, I sat up on the vanity near the sink, while my husband stretched out in the tub, reading Karen Armstrong's "The Battle for God." How did we come to be thus: reading books in a small, uncomfortable room under a brash and flickering florescent light? In fact, just hours before, someone had Moved Our Cheese. That someone was the Sheraton Read House Hotel down the street which, despite our having paid in advance through lodging.com for a two-room suite, had, upon our arrival at 4:30 p.m., given that suite to someone else.
So it was with particular interest that I opened the pages of Spencer Johnson's best-seller, truly wanting to know: what should a rational person do when their cheese has been moved? Dr. Johnson's tale is a simple one: two mice, Sniff and Scurry, and two "little people" named Hem and Haw, one day discover that the traditional source of their cheese is gone. As Johnson explains it: "Cheese in this case is a metaphor for what you want to have in life, whether it is a good job, a loving relationship, money, a possession, health or spiritual peace of mind." Predictably, when the two mice realize the cheese is gone and it is not coming back, they sniff and scurry off and find an abundant new source of cheese.
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3 Comments 111 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the WORST business book I have ever read. The intent behind it is valid, but the content can be summed up in a few statements:
Change will happen
If you don't change, you will die (figuratively or literally)
Watch for signs of change, so you can be prepared to change, too
Change is good, and can lead to something better
There. Do you feel like paying me [good money] for that priceless knowledge?
This is a parable, which means they dressed up the real content by writing a goofy story about mice and little people, taking up more pages so they could justify the cost. Unfortunately, they could only drag the story out so far (how many times can you read, "and he kept walking and looking for more cheese"). The book was still only about 20 pages long, too short for a hardcover, so they added a second story to frame the parable itself. The second story is about a group at a reunion that talks about the book. Even THAT doesn't add enough pages to justify printing it in hardcover, so they increased the print size to roughly what you see in books for 3 year olds.
The author, publisher and whoever else was involved in this moneymaking scheme obviously recognized that many people would see through their efforts. Their solution? Put in a statement saying, in effect, "If you think this book isn't worthwhile, then you aren't a talented, cutting edge business person like all the other who read the book are."
Believe me, someone in your office (probably your boss) is waving this book around, exclaiming how wonderful it is and telling you to read it. ASK IF YOU CAN BORROW HIS COPY. Do not spend money on it yourself. You're going to have to read it, unfortunately, because the herd has spoken and you can't stray from the herd.
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