Who Moved My Cheese
Characteristics of Heroes in ‘Who Moved My Cheese ?’
“Who Moved My Cheese” is a story of four characters in a maze. Two are mice and two are “little people.” The mice and the little people have to find their way through the maze to the cheese. The maze represents the world around us our jobs, home, our church, our community. The cheese represents our goals, needs, wants, and desires of life. The moral of the story entails change and how we will face difficulty in life when we choose to rebel against change. This story shows us how life can be both simple yet complicated all in one. Each character reacts differently in the story, which can be related to the emotional states in our lives as we adapt or do not adapt to change. The cheese is the one item in their lives that will make them happy. In our lives, we are always after that next big thing a new car, new house, new job, family, you name it. This cheese is a symbol of what we seek in life that will bring us happiness, even if only for a split second. We, as humans, get into a redundancy in life this routine makes us comfortable in our lives and we fear any changes that take place. These changes are uncertainties that we face, which makes it difficult to adapt to and trust change. We want to know what to expect and anticipate with life, however that is not always the case. Snuff is the individual who wants to see and react to change before it takes place. Change is inevitable in everyone’s lives. To know that it’s coming, it better prepared those of us like Snuff who want to expect the unknown and have an idea of what the unknown will be.
Scurry is the a person who reacts to the potential change in life once it gets here. Hem worries that the change will result in failure of something or a negative reaction in life. Hem does not want the change to occur he wants life to remain as is, change free. Haw, at first, is apprehensive of the change, but then soon realizes how much better his life will be once he makes the switch. I can relate to Snuff in a lot of ways due to the fact that I am a single mother. I fear my future and my children’s futures. I worry as a mother that I am teaching them right from wrong. I fear that something may happen to me and worry what would happen to my children as a result. I am also like Hem and Haw in several ways. I fear the unknown being a parent by myself. It was easier when I worked as a team to be parents of three children. It is difficult to want change as a single parent, scared of making the wrong decision that will not only affect me as a parent but my three children as well. Sniff would be a great asset to a company, because he could constantly check out other companies to know how to keep the company abreast of the economic and technological changes in the workforce. He could aid in helping the company compete with other companies and markets. Hem would have to resign or be laid off from his position if he continued to resist the changes the company took. Hem would be detrimental to the company and its employees if he continued to want everything to remain as is. Haw would eventually become a coattail rider like the other employees once he saw the need for the change and the positives that would result from the new venture. Scurry would then be the employee that would lead the company with any new changes that snuff brought back.
However, these individuals would need guidance and support to stay on track with the new vision. Once the new changes were developed and implemented, scurry would expect and want to be rewarded for his efforts.The cheese represents the goals, dreams, aspirations, wants, needs, and desires in our lives. The cheese keeps moving because the things we desire in our lives are ever changing. We must accept this change and continue to go after what we desire in life. Everyone will encounter success and failure throughout life. Through the trials and tribulations of life, one must always be aware of their surroundings that are constantly changing. The maze represents the community in which one lives, their work, their home. The maze could also be seen as the dark unknown points in life and once you get past those, there will be light and good in life.This is the place in which you life your life and go after your dreams and goals. In life, we all have different wants, needs, goals, dreams, aspirations, and desires. We are all racing for different things. In the end, no matter what is at our finish line, in the middle is an unknown path of change and fear.
According to Conner, people do not have to like change to adapt to it, they just form new goals and expectations based upon the new conditions. In order to change, people must be mentally, physically, and emotionally ready to changes in life. Overall, change is inevitable in life no matter the situation or who it involves. Getting used to change is required by all in order to be successful. According to Kotter, employees should find the common concerns of changes in the workplace and address these changes to help ease the anxiety. By going out and not resisting change in life, we can truly seek out and find our life’s goals and desires. Kanter discusses that if people feel blindfolded during a transition, they will be resistant and apprehensive to the change.The employer must lead the employee every step of the way through the changes being made.
Who Moved My Cheese: Reaching Happiness with Cheese
Cheese Reflection Essay
The quote “having Cheese makes you happy” can mean many things depending on the situation of the people involved, but in general it means that finally getting what you worked for/had to change for makes you happy. Specifically in the short story, the mice know they simply must change in order to get what makes them happy. It was harder for the Littlepeople to change, but once one of them did, he got his cheese and was much happier. For me personally, it means that when I work hard for something, and I make changes in my life so that I get that something, I’m happy once I get my “cheese.”
In general, “having cheese makes you happy” means that accomplishing goals makes a person happy. They usually have to work hard and make changes in their life to get their “cheese,” so when it finally comes to them, they cherish it more than if they had just gotten it easily. The “cheese” is better when you have to sacrifice things and even conquer your fears at times, because all the hard work to get it pays off in the end. Also, in general having what you want or pursue in life makes you happy, and you are always in pursuit of new “cheese,” even if you already have what you wanted, people change and always want/need more. Once they achieve something, people want to challenge themselves and get more “cheese.”
In the short story “Who Moved My Cheese?” the main characters, the mice and the Littlepeople, each change to get what they want in different ways. It shows how people all change in different ways, but no way is necessarily more right or wrong than the others. The mice adapt to the maze changing faster than the Littlepeople did. The mice knew that they just had to keep moving and looking for new cheese even though there were risks involved. The Littlepeople liked their safety so they were hesitant to go out into the maze and search for the new cheese. But one Littleperson changed his mind and decided to face his fears. He ventured out of his house and into the maze to search for food. Along the way he wrote inspiring messages in case his friend, the other Littleperson, decided to come out into the maze and search for cheese too. He eventually found new cheese, and even brought some back to his friend, but his friend was too afraid to even try different cheese, be as it may even better than the cheese he was used to. This just goes to show that everyone responds to change differently, and those who resist change miss out on the wonderful things that could come to them if they let change happen. The Littleperson and the mice with the newfound cheese were much happier than the Littleperson who did not change-he had no cheese because he let his fear take hold of the situation. If the Littleperson had actually ventured out into the maze and tried to find new cheese, he would have eventually found cheese and it would have made him much happier than he was waiting for cheese to appear in the Cheese Station he was used to relying on for the cheese he liked.
In my own personal situations, “having cheese makes you happy” represents how I am happy once I accomplish the goals I set for myself. Through change, I meet my goals and am proud of myself in the end. I know that I can’t be afraid of change, because if I fail to change, I will never be truly happy. Therefore, happiness will come of change, no matter how hard it may seem when you endure the changes. You just need the strength to trust that the outcomes will make you happy, like the Littleperson that accepted change did. Since I know this, I can derive happiness out of the “cheese” that I have. I usually wind up always wanting “cheese”, but this short story taught me that it’s okay to always be on the move for new “cheese.” Since I am constantly setting goals for myself, I am always working towards achieving the reward of new “cheese.” However, like the quote says, this “cheese” always winds up bringing me happiness. Even if I don’t always accomplish my goals, the journey of trying to always teaches me a lesson. So even if the “cheese” isn’t the goal I set for myself in the beginning, it can still come in the form of a new learning experience, and therefore, to me, that also brings happiness.
In all, the quote “having cheese makes you happy” generally means that accomplishing goals, getting what you want or gaining new knowledge makes you happy. Even though it can be a struggle to achieve it, once a person gets their “cheese,” they are happy and are free to set new goals or “wants.” Every situation is different, but the outcome of someone getting their cheese is always the same-“having cheese makes you happy.”
Unexpected Changes and Ways to Deal with Them in Spenser Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese?
“Who Moved My Cheese?”
Who Moved My Cheese? is a novel about two little people and two mice. They live in a maze and look for “cheese” to feed them and make them happy. In this novel, the characters have to deal with unexpected change. The little people and the mice act on this change in different ways. The mice are prepared to move but when the two-little people notice all the cheese is gone, they don’t know what to do. The names of the mice are Sniff and Scurry and the two-little people are named Hem and Haw. Cheese is taking the place of what you want in life and the maze is where you look for what you want.
The message this book is trying to convey is that in life you are going to experience change and you are going to have to adapt to it. No matter what the situation is around you, be aware of your surroundings and learn to move on from certain situations. For example, you are trying to pass you final exam that tells you whether you get your degree, but your friend keeps trying to get you to go out the night before. She isn’t thinking about you or your future. You might want to reconsider your friendship with her because any friend that doesn’t consider your feelings shouldn’t be called your friend. A friend wouldn’t put you in that position.
I can relate most to Haw, one of the little people. I admit when it first comes to change, I don’t like it. It takes me a while to get used to change, but once I do I start adapting to it. If someone is holding me back from getting where I need to go, I leave them. Of course, I want to keep the friendship, but if you’re stopping me from where I’m trying to go, I have to let it go. Haw is the type to go get what he wants regardless of the situation. I don’t stop until I get what I want or where I’m supposed to be.
My “cheese” is to have a good career. I want to be able to have a good career as a lawyer so one day when I have a family, I will be able to take care of them. I want to have a stable income so I can at least live off 60% of my income and give away 40%. I think giving away money and time to the community is the most important part once you start having a good income.
The situations in this novel can relate a lot to the real world. When you are in a work environment, change occurs often. You have the people that notice change is occurring and they are adapting, while you have other people that aren’t paying attention to their surroundings and don’t notice that there are changes. When change comes and people aren’t ready, they tend to have a bad attitude about it and stay stuck in their old ways. For example, when Haw wanted to go search through the maze but Hem didn’t want to leave. He wanted to stay in that same station and wanted his same cheese.
There are many lessons in this novel that can be learned from. One of the major lesson is that “Change Happens”. This lesson is basically the implied meaning of the whole novel. Adapting to the change makes it easier as you move on. If you don’t adapt, then you’re stuck. While adapting to the change, change as a whole. Change your mentality, your attitude towards everything, and even change the way you get to where you are going. Maybe the reason you aren’t getting where you need to be is the way you are taking to get there.
This novel was a good one but if I had the choice to read it again, I wouldn’t. I am the person who needs the main idea to be direct, not implied. While I was reading, I didn’t understand the concept of “cheese”. I didn’t understand it because it was confusing. At first I thought “cheese” was a change in your life. On the other hand, I liked the lessons that were in this book. I think it’s good for people to learn about change because not every human is good with change. I also like how the author incorporated human and animal instincts. We can tell from the book that animals actually deal with change better than humans.
The Valuable Lessons of Unexpected Changes in Who Moved My Cheese
“Who Moved My Cheese”
The book “Who Moved My Cheese?” (Johnson, 1998), a tale of how people react to change. The story is about of how two mice, Sniff and Scurry, and two little people, Hem and Haw react to life in the Maze in their search for cheese. Johnson establishes the setting of the story in the maze, a complex, extensive, and overwhelming place. The cheese is located in Cheese Stations in various locations in the maze. The cheese is a metaphor for the things that we want in our lives. The cheese comes in a variety of quantities and qualities representing that, while what we search for in life has common elements, we each search for our own type of satisfaction. For different people this represents different things they seek to make them satisfied.
All of the characters eventually find their cheese at the same location, Cheese Station C. The mice set up a daily routine; arriving at the cheese, getting minimally comfortable, taking satisfaction in their cheese, but staying ready to move on if they sniffed out change. At first, the two little people would follow the same routine as the mice with the exception that they relaxed far more and were far less ready to move on. Over time, the little people became lazier and more complacent. They came to feel entitled to the cheese and that it would always be there. One day when the mine and the little people arrive at Cheese Station C to find no cheese left, the mice were not surprised but the little people get angry at the unfairness of the situation.
Meanwhile, Sniff and Scurry have found “Cheese Station N,” with new cheese; back at Cheese Station C, Hem and Haw are affected by their lack of cheese and blame each other for their problem. Hoping to change, Haw proposes Hem to search for new cheese. However, Hem is comforted by his old routine and is frightened about the unknown. He did not accept the idea. After a while of being in denial, the little people remain without cheese but one day, Haw decided he should simply move on, so he enters the maze in search of more cheese.
The story “Who Moved My Cheese?” helps me to understand that there are changes in life and I have to be prepared for it. The story is a wonderful example of how to deal with change. For example, a while ago I got an opportunity to go back to college but had to quit my job, I was scared to do this change but I did it and now I have a better paying job that I like and continuing with education. The mice offer the lessons of awareness of the environment, readiness, and the necessity to act on change. The danger here is in acting on instinct without thinking. The author describe a variety of valuable lessons for dealing with change in all of the characters: there is a time to lead; there is a time to follow, always be aware of change, prepare for change, evaluate change, when the time is right, act on change, and lastly, enjoy the journey. To survive and thrive in an environment of change, one must always be aware of the change that is about you. The lessons I learn are valuable: change happens, I have to be ready for it, identify change, act on change, enjoy it, and always be ready for more.
A Review of the Book, Who Moved My Cheese
The book “Who Moved my Cheese” is a little cheesy itself. It tries to persuade the reader that life is your choice; it is up to you what happens. Although that is true, it seems that the book makes it look as if it is one easy move. I guess things could change that easily in some circumstances. But as the book portrays, many people have changed their life by a book that follows the story of four mice.
This book suggests that people these days find something that they believe makes them happy, they become comfortable with the situation and stop appreciating what they have right in front of them. They become more unaware of what is changing with small details and become so fixed in a way that they are not ready for any adjustments in the plan. Also, the more a person obtains the same material everyday; they expect it all the time and are not prepared to live life without it. People tend to blame situations on others when they have no other explanation or do not want to blame it on themselves. In the book, Hem is very stubborn and does not want to enter a new situation due to a fear of failing or exploring something out of his what makes him comfortable. On the other hand, Haw has a vision and is ready to adventure out and search out new cheese, but like many people do, Haw decides to listen to Hem and not try because of the pressure from him. Although sometimes it may be hard to believe that things will get better, you have to go in with a realistic view of a goal and not be afraid to go after what will make you happy. It is better to control your own life than let it control you in a way that you can’t fix; don’t ever expect or take advantage of something. This book inspires you to keep going after something does not go as planned, to expect and be ready for the worst, and move on when it happens.
Three Questions That Relate to the Issue of Change Management Within Organisations, Based on the Story Who Moved My Cheese?
An inevitable challenge for any organisation, which exists in a competitive and changing environment, is organisational change (Huang & Huang, 2009). Such organisations often face resistance to change for many reasons. Without addressing the forces of change, an organisation risks its very existence in an increasingly competitive environment. This work will address three questions that relate to issue of change management within organisations, based on the story Who moved my Cheese?
Q.2 When analysing Kurt Lewin’s change model, what differences do we see between Hem & Haw, and Sniff & Scurry.
Kurt Lewin’s Change Management model provides a useful tool to explain how organisation change works (MindTools, 2015). This model defines three phases in the process of changing an organisation. These phases are: unfreezing – the process of convincing people who are affected by change that such change is necessary; change intervention – the process where people within the organisation change their work practices or behaviour; and refreezing – supporting and reinforcing the change which has been made to ensure they endure. This is shown in Figure 1.
In the story of “Who moved my cheese?”, different attitudes towards change are displayed by each of the four characters which can be interpreted in terms of Lewin’s model. In the Unfreezing phase, Sniff and Scurry readily embrace the need for change. Sniff in particular is acutely aware of the signs that change is happening and is the first to become aware of the fact. Sniff is the real leader of the group and works with Scurry – the ready offsider – to spring into action. Prior to unfreezing, they have prepared for change by monitoring their environment in an effort to anticipate any change that might happen. This preparedness allows the mice to adapt to change quickly when it does eventually occur. This can be compared to that of Hem and Haw. Prior to the change, their attitude was that their environment would never change and are totally unprepared for what did eventually occur. However, the process of unfreezing for each of these two human characters is much different. In the case of Haw, although initially in denial with Hem, he does eventually see the inevitability of what has happened and the futility of continuing with the old ways of thinking. Haw does lower his resistance for change and eventually accepts the need for it, and is liberated by his choice. For Hem, though, he is bounded with his dependence on the old ways. He is frightened of the unknown and cannot let go of his belief that change is only temporary and the environment will return to what it was. Even when Hem shows Haw the evidence of success by returning with new cheese, he remains unconvinced of the need for change. By the end of the story, Hem has not completed the unfreeze phase and seems inevitably destined for dissolution.
The next phase in Lewin’s model is that of change intervention. Again, Sniff and Scurry, through their preparedness for change and readiness to adapt, are able to act quickly to the change. They have had their running shoes on hand to adapt to the new challenge and are able to respond immediately. They both set off into the unknown environment together in an effort find a workable resolution to their predicament. With their positive attitude, they are not deterred by dead ends and disappointments in eventually finding a successful resolution. For Haw, the process of change intervention is more a solitary one, due to the lateness of his start in this second phase, but does find that the process of action, even in the unknown, is a more motivating experience that inaction. Haw’s persistence through this phase displays how effective the unfreezing phase was for him. For Haw, the change process was more than finding the new cheese. It was also a change in his attitudes to change itself. In the case of Hem, the change intervention is not encountered as he remains in the unfreezing stage throughout the story.
The last phase of Lewin’s change model is that of refreezing. For Sniff and Scurry, they embed the change by ensuring they do not take the new solution for granted. They continue to monitor their new environment to ensure there will not be a repeat. They still keep their running shoes on hand ready for any unexpected event. For Haw, the refreezing process becomes a similar experience to that of the mice. He does see the need for accepting that change is something that will always happen. He is able to sustain his modified behaviour of his attitudes to change by monitoring his environment looking for signals of change that will inevitably occur.
Q3 Initially, Hem and Haw both resisted change. What impact does resistance to change have on any organisation and what can organisations do to create successful change programs.
Resistance to change is caused by resistant forces within an organisation that choose to support the existing system and conditions (Williams & McWilliams, p. 121). It can be caused by various factors, such as distrust, self-interest, misunderstanding, as well as an intolerance for change (Williams & McWilliams, p. 121). Such resistance can be a natural and understandable reaction to change events, but can have a serious impact on the success of an organisation’s change program. The effects can range from slowing the rate of change to complete failure in the change process. Resistance can be evident in any of the three phases of change using the Lewin model (Zenska-Mreza, 2015). The eventual impact of resistance is linked to who in an organisation is involved in the resistance. If, for instance, it resistance comes from employees who are integral to the implementation of the change, the results can be catastrophic. At a leadership level for an organisation, it is especially serious. For instance, in 2007 when Apple released the first iPhone, Steve Ballmer, the CEO of rival Microsoft, said “there is no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share” (Eichenwald, 2012). Microsoft at that time chose to ignore the threat of this new product much to its detriment. The iPhone has subsequently dominated the smartphone market and Microsoft’s subsequent attempts to compete in this space have been a complete failure (Epstein, 2014).
There are many strategies that organisations can adopt to create successful change programs. In the unfreezing phase, management should educate their employees on the need for the change (Williams & McWilliams, p. 121). In this, they should communicate as much change-related information to them to sell the case for change. Failing to do this effectively has shown to be common cause of failure of implementing change programs (Williams & McWilliams, p. 122). Empathy with impacted staff can be effective to show they are aware of the effects of the change on managers and employees. It is often important to build powerful coalitions within an organisation to lobby and implement change (Williams & McWilliams, p. 123). Without such support, change programs often fail.
In the Change Intervention phase, explaining the benefits of the change is an effective strategy to address resistance (Williams & McWilliams, p. 121). This sells the case of self-interest for those involved. Involving affected staff in the change intervention is effective by inviting input where possible in the solution. A change champion who is well regarded and highly placed in the company has often found to be effective during this phase. It is also important for management to consider such factors as choosing a good time to implement the change to minimise impact as much as possible, and to try to address job security for those involved. Of those staff who are effected by a change, training in the new processes and technology is essential for an effective outcome (Williams & McWilliams, p. 121) as is keeping the pace of change manageable. Organisations can also create a reward system when implementing change to build motivation to support the change over the long term (Tanner, 2015). It is often important to plan for quick wins in the change process to show participants the effectiveness of the change. Failing to take this approach has led to failures. It is important for top management to provide a clear vision for the change. Failing to do this, and failing to remove obstacles to that vision, can lead to failure of the entire program (Williams & McWilliams, p. 122). Again, lack of communication about the vision of the change can lead to failure.
In the refreezing phase, it is important to not declare victory in implementing the phase prior to anchoring in the change into the organisation (Williams & McWilliams, p. 123). This can often mean that necessary work still yet to do is stopped and not completed thus failing to complete the change process. Another important factor in this phase is to ensure that the change is properly embedded into the corporate culture. If this is not done, it can mean that people revert back to their old behaviour and not achieve the change goals. Embedding change into culture can be done by demonstrating to people the direct linking of the change to improved performance, and ensuring that people who are promoted fit the new culture (Williams & McWilliams, p. 123).
Tools that have found to be useful in the change process include the use of a results-driven change model. This is the planning of the change which focusses on the measuring and obtaining quick results improvement (Williams & McWilliams, p. 124). Another technique is the General Electric Workout which is an intensive 3 day workshop program involving staff from different levels across the organisation gathered to plan solutions to solve particular business problems. A more longer-term technique is the use of organisational development which is a philosophy to make change an embedded part of the culture of the organisation. This approach involves a change agent who guides any change effort.
Q4 Can you identify if there has been a time in your life where someone has moved your cheese.
At the start of this year, I would be dropped off at the university by my father at 8.30 am every morning I had a lecture or tutorial. This worked out well for me as the weather was especially hot. However, at the middle of the semester there was a change event. He told me he had to revert back to regular transport pattern and from then on I had to ride my bike to university. This was both good and bad for me. On the positive side, this change meant that I could leave home whenever I wanted to so it gave me greater flexibility. However, on the other hand, instead of relaxing in the car during the car ride, I now had to put some effort to riding myself to university in the hot sun.
Applying Lewin’s change management model to this situation involved an unfreezing process, which involved my father explaining the reasons he believed it had to occur (Williams & McWilliams, p. 121). Namely that he required to have more flexibility around his working times and that drive me in every day meant that was not always possible. Secondly, that I riding my bike meant that I had more flexibility around when I could leave home and return home. He also said that it would allow me to become more independent.
The change intervention was straight forward as it involved me preparing my bicycle for riding conditions after 4 months of disuse. I have to keep track of when I need to leave home on each day.
The refreezing of the change has occurred effectively as the benefits for me have outweighed the downsides (Williams & McWilliams, p. 121). I can now have sleep-ins on the days I have late morning tutorials or lectures, and I can return home at whatever time I feel like. So after the initial shock of the change, the change has been successfully implemented and embedded (Williams & McWilliams, p. 123).
A Reflection Paper on Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson
“Who moved my Cheese” is a short story written by Dr. Spencer Johnson. The story tells the reader a very important message, explaining how change is an essential ingredient for success. The book stresses upon the fact that we cannot be afraid to change, simply because we cannot be successful without new ideas or new scenarios. Moving to college was a very abrupt change in my life. Leaving home and finding new friends can be very difficult for someone who feels like they’re still in high school. However, just like the ideal in the book tells us, going to college will ultimately generate success.
For me, moving away to college has probably been the biggest change of my life. I remember the day that I had to leave. I stayed up all night with my friends, and we had a bonfire. Even though I had to wake up at four o’clock in the morning, I stayed up late anyways, just to spend time with my friends. The way I felt was hard to describe. I knew that living at home was no longer the place for me anymore. I had spent all summer constantly working, hanging out with friends, wakeboarding and spending time with my girlfriend. It was a very busy summer, and I wasn’t home very often. When I was home, my family usually wasn’t there. They were doing the same things as me. As I had gotten older, it was not just me who became more independent. My parents didn’t do much ‘parenting’ anymore, they recognized the fact that I was an adult and I was able to make my own decisions. They didn’t have to take care of me anymore, they no longer changed my diapers. Once I had gotten hired, they let me make my own money and manage it without any support from them. When I got my driver’s license, they awarded me with a car, and no longer had to take me anywhere. It seemed like everything was getting more and more independent in my own life and theirs, and the next step for me was to leave. And so I did.
I had seen it coming the whole time, and was not taken by surprise. I would miss my friends, but I knew that I’d see them again eventually. It was awkward how ready I was to change and move away. I think that I am most like Sniffy in “Who moved my cheese”. Sniffy knew that the cheese was going bad, and he was ready to leave the cheese to find new cheese. Metaphorically, I knew the ‘cheese’ was getting old because I knew that I had to leave and understood why. Also, I do have an obsessive habit with finding small mishaps (like a dent on a car).
Overall, I believe that my initial reaction to leaving for college was pretty accurate. I knew that I was going to warmer in Florida, and I’m very happy about that. Warm weather makes me happy. Stepping outside and feeling like you are inside of a freezer does not satisfy me. Though I am yet to see the real long-term benefit of college, I can also say that it’s nice to not lose things the laundry, or be forced to clean up my apartment. My change was mostly positive, and I’m enjoying college lots more than High school in general.