Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson is self-proclaimed motivational book to help people deal with change. It tells the parable of two mice and two "littlepeople" (who are much like humans) who have lost their cheese supply in a maze. The lesson is a simple and obvious truth that should be apparent to everyone: change happens.
At just under 100 pages, Who Moved My Cheese? is an incredibly fast read, especially because of the random pictures of cheese, large font, and extra white space on the page. It begins with a conversation at a high school reunion when one person says he will tell the cheese story that helped him deal with change. After the school is told, the friends review the story and discuss how much it is going to help them.
The reviewing of the story is insulting in itself. Readers do not need to hear about how they can apply the cheese story to their lives. The parable is not that difficult to understand. Moreover, with the conversation at the end concerning how great and useful the story was, the author shows his arrogance. In a sense the author is saying, "That was my story. Don't you see how great it was? Don't you see how useful it is? Now, have your boss buy copies for everyone in the company."
If this story was marketed to children instead of people in businesses, there would be little cause for concern. The story may be read and understood by elementary aged children and critics of the story would not say a word about Who Moved My Cheese? In fact, they might praise the book for helping children understand change at a young age.
However, the problem with the story is that it is marketed at people in businesses. The author recommends that a whole organization read the book so that they can discuss which characters they are. Nevertheless, it is easy to see how Who Moved My Cheese? can be used as a tool by employers to shove change in the organization â€“ whether it be good or bad â€“ down the throats of the employees. Change, the book says, should be seen as a good thing. The employers may try to paint unfair changes in a good light. The author should have focused on the fact that change happens in time, but it is not always necessary and resistance should sometimes occur.
Those who are looking for a truly motivational book should look elsewhere.