Who Moved My Cheese?

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Overview

With Who Moved My Cheese? Dr. Spencer Johnson realizes the need for finding the language and tools to deal with change?an issue that makes all of us nervous and uncomfortable.

Most people are fearful of change because they don't believe they have any control over how or when it happens to them. Since change happens either to the individual or by the individual, Spencer Johnson shows us that what matters most is the attitude we have about ...

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Overview

With Who Moved My Cheese? Dr. Spencer Johnson realizes the need for finding the language and tools to deal with change—an issue that makes all of us nervous and uncomfortable.

Most people are fearful of change because they don't believe they have any control over how or when it happens to them. Since change happens either to the individual or by the individual, Spencer Johnson shows us that what matters most is the attitude we have about change.

When the Y2K panic gripped the corporate realm before the new millenium, most work environments finally recognized the urgent need to get their computers and other business systems up to speed and able to deal with unprecedented change. And businesses realized that this was not enough: they needed to help people get ready, too.

Spencer Johnson has created his new book to do just that. The coauthor of the multimillion bestseller The One Minute Manager has written a deceptively simple story with a dramatically important message that can radically alter the way we cope with change. Who Moved My Cheese? allows for common themes to become topics for discussion and individual interpretation.

Who Moved My Cheese? takes the fear and anxiety out of managing the future and shows people a simple way to successfully deal with the changing times, providing them with a method for moving ahead with their work and lives safely and effectively.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is a brief tale of two mice and two humans who live in a maze and one day are faced with change: someone moves their cheese. Reactions vary from quick adjustment to waiting for the situation to change by itself to suit their needs. This story is about adjusting attitudes toward change in life, especially at work. Change occurs whether a person is ready or not, but the author affirms that it can be positive. His principles are to anticipate change, let go of the old, and do what you would do if you were not afraid. Listeners are still left with questions about making his or her own specific personal changes. Capably narrated by Tony Roberts, this audiotape is recommended for larger public library collections.--Mark Guyer, Stark Cty. Dist. Lib., Canton, OH Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399147241
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Edition description: Large Type
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 59,068
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Spencer Johnson, M.D., is the originator of The One Minute Manager System ™ and co-author of The New York Times bestsellers The One Minute Manager ®, The One Minute Sales Person, and One Minute for Myself. His other bestsellers include Who Moved My Cheese?; The Precious Present; and Yes or No: The Guide to Better Decisions.

He has written more than two dozen books dealing with medicine and the behavioral sciences, and has millions of copies of his books in print in twenty-six languages, including the popular children’s book series ValueTales ™.

Dr. Johnson received a B.A. degree in psychology from the University of Southern California, an M.D. from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and medical clerkships at Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic. He lives with his family in Hawaii.

Few names are as recognized in American business as Ken Blanchard’s. His One Minute Manager ® Library has sold millions of copies and been translated into more than twenty languages, and he has written or co-authored a number of other popular books as well. Ken is a captivating and sought-after speaker and business consultant, who has shared his unique approach with a multitude of Fortune 500 companies.

Ken has received many awards in management and leadership. He has won the National Speakers Association’s highest honor, the “Council of Peers Award for Excellence,” and the Golden Gavel from Toastmasters International, and was inducted into the HRD Hall of Fame.

Biography

Spencer Johnson is an M.D. who has become better known for fixing ailing corporations than healing the sick, first with his 1982 business classic The One Minute Manager (coauthored with psychiatrist Kenneth Blanchard) and then, unforgettably, with Who Moved My Cheese?, a word-of-mouth sensation that eventually remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years and has been translated into 11 languages.

Word had slowly built up about Cheese, based on the strength of recommendations from heavy-hitter executives at Procter & Gamble, GE, Hewlett-Packard and others. Businesses, hit by the downshifting economy, began ordering copies by the thousands; by 2000, it was a national bestseller. The book sets up a story about four characters who live in a maze: Hem and Haw, who are little people; and Sniff and Scurry, who are mice.

Johnson, who based the story on the fact that mice rarely go back to the same place to look for cheese and felt that humans might benefit from the example, created the story for himself as a way of helping himself get through a divorce. Urged by former writing partner Blanchard to set the story down in book form, Johnson finally did – and nothing happened, at first. But over two years, the book picked up momentum, not only among companies who were trying to deal with everything from sales downturns to massive layoffs, but among individuals who found the book helped them gain a new perspective on personal situations as well.

Johnson’s forte is to create allegorical stories that present simple, digestible solutions (or paths to solutions) for seemingly huge challenges. The approach is far from immune to criticism from those who complain that Who Moved My Cheese? is simplistic and silly; Johnson doesn’t argue with either barb (though he might prefer "simple" over "simplistic"). His message is that being simpler and sillier makes us better adapters and decision-makers, and all of his books boil down to opening oneself to possibility and better communication. The ideas aren’t revolutionary: As Johnson said in an ABC News chat, “The challenge always for me and for others is to live the story and not just read about it.”

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    1. Date of Birth:
      January 1, 1940
    2. Place of Birth:
      South Dakota
    1. Education:
      B.A. in psychology, University of Southern California, 1963; M.D., Royal College of Surgeons
    2. Website:

Foreword

The Story Behind The Story
by Kenneth Blanchard, Ph.D.

I am thrilled to be telling you "the story behind the story" of Who Moved My Cheese?because it means the book has now been written, and is available for all of us to read, enjoy and share with others.

This is something I've wanted to see happen ever since I first heard Spencer Johnson tell his great "Cheese" story, years ago, before we wrote our book The One Minute Managertogether.

I remember thinking then how good the story was and how helpful it would be to me from that moment on.

Who Moved My Cheese?is a story about change that takes place in a Maze where four amusing characters look for "Cheese" -- cheese being a metaphor for what we want to have in life, whether it is a job, a relationship, money, a big house, freedom, health, recognition, spiritual peace, or even an activity like jogging or golf.

Each of us has our own idea of what Cheese is, and we pursue it because we believe it makes us happy. If we get it, we often become attached to it. And if we lose it, or it's taken away, it can be traumatic.

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.

I tell the Cheese story that you are about to read in my talks around the world, and often hear later from people about what a difference it has made to them.

Believe it or not, this little story has been credited with saving careers, marriages and lives!

One of the many real-life examples comes from Charlie Jones, a well-respected broadcaster for NBC-TV, who revealed that hearing the story of "Who Moved My Cheese?" saved his career. His job as a broadcaster is unique but the principles he learned can be used by anyone.

Here's what happened: Charlie had worked hard and had done a great job of broadcasting Track and Field events at an earlier Olympic Games, so he was surprised and upset when his boss told him he'd been removed from these showcase events for the next Olympics and assigned to Swimming and Diving.

Not knowing these sports as well, he was frustrated. He felt unappreciated and he became angry. He said he felt it wasn't fair! His anger began to affect everything he did.

Then, he heard the story of "Who Moved My Cheese?"

After that he said he laughed at himself and changed his attitude. He realized his boss had just "moved his Cheese." So he adapted. He learned the two new sports, and in the process, found that doing something new made him feel young.

It wasn't long before his boss recognized his new attitude and energy, and he soon got better assignments. He went on to enjoy more success than ever and was later inducted into Pro Football's Hall of Fame -- Broadcasters' Alley.

That's just one of the many real-life stories I've heard about the impact this story has had on people -- from their work life to their love life.

I'm such a strong believer in the power of "Who Moved My Cheese?" that I recently gave a copy of an early pre-publication edition to everyone (more than 200 people) working with our company. Why?

Because like every company that wants to not only survive in the future but stay competitive, Blanchard Training & Development is constantly changing. They keep moving our "cheese." While in the past we may have wanted loyal employees, today we need flexible people who are not possessive about "the way things are done around here."

And yet, as you know, living in constant white water with the changes occurring all the time at work or in life can be stressful, unless people have a way of looking at change that helps them understand it. Enter the CHEESE story.

When I told people about the story and then they got to read Who Moved My Cheese?you could almost feel the release of negative energy beginning to occur. Person after person from every department went out of their way to thank me for the book and told me how helpful it had been to them already in seeing the changes going on in our company in a different light. Believe me, this brief parable takes little time to read but its impact can be profound.

As you turn the pages, you will find three sections in this book. In the first, "A Gathering," former classmates talk at a class reunion about trying to deal with the changes happening in their lives. The second section is, "The Story of Who Moved My Cheese?," the core of the book. In the third section, "A Discussion," people discuss what The Story meant to them and how they are going to use it in their work and in their lives.

Some readers of this book's early manuscript preferred to stop at the end of "The Story," without reading further, and interpret its meaning for themselves. Others enjoyed reading "A Discussion" that follows because it stimulated their thinking about how they might apply what they'd learned to their own situation.

In any case, I hope each time you retread Who Moved My Cheese?you will find something new and useful in it, as I do, and that it will help you deal with change and bring you success, whatever you decide success is for you.

I hope you enjoy what you discover and I wish you well. Remember: Move with the cheese!

Ken Blanchard
San Diego, 1998

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2001

    Stupidest thing I have ever read!!!!

    The only reason this is a best seller is Corporatons and Government bought it to tell you change is Good whether it makes sense(common) or not. If I could give a -25 I would!!!

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2006

    A Really Over- rated Book

    I read several books a year on leader ship, but this one was a big disappointment. Overly simplistic and almost silly, it failed to offer any insight into dealing effectively with change. Maybe the book would be suitable for someone who was completely ignorant about leadership and change in the corporate world, but for most people, it is a waste of time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2002

    Time to make a change!

    This book was key to helping realize that i was not only living in a box and expecting other people to hand me everything, i also discovered i was the person waiting for others to pave the way. No longer! I am the only one controlling my life now. I make the choices in which to propel me to the next step. I am no longer the person waiting at the side lines for other people to take charge of my life. I consider myself to be living life instead of just surviving from one day to the next going through the motions and preparing myself to respond to those dictating my life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2002

    Rip Off !!!

    If you are greedy, want to make a lot of money quickly. Read this book as an example. The story is nothing but common sense put down in overprized media. Seems like the author owns the publishing company. This book shouldn't be more than an article in a magazine, instead of wasting prime printing sources. If this book is an eye opener for you, you probably never dealt with people. You might want to consider taking behavioural science class first. Waste of time and money!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2001

    an amazing life experience

    The book who moved my cheese was a wonderful delightful book that anyone who has to deal with everyday issues as we all do, will enjoy this book,the characters are unusual,and so is the setting.As you read the book you will be able to identify which one of the characters reminds you of yourself or someone you know, I recommend this book to anyone who needs a little humor in their daily life stresses.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2001

    Caveat!

    While I think the wisdom of this book is obvious, I'd add a caveat: The book seems to focus on addressing external change with a minimum of internal change. If you're seeking transformation, this book can help. If you need transformation but are seeking to avoid it, this book may help your desires at the expense of your needs. Use with caution.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2001

    EYE OPENER

    It made me realize what kind of person I was. Each time I read it, I get more out of the book. I would highly recommend this to anyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2001

    It Worked in my Office

    This is a great book. There are a lot of changes happening in the company I work for and people, especially supervisors, were having a difficult time with it. After reading this book, they've become more relaxed, flexible, and happier. It is entertaining as well. Some of the other reviews I've read on this page are hilarious. This is not a governmental plot to brainwash anyone. Hahahaha!! And those who miss the point need to read it again, and again, until they loosen up. Get the point?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

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