Book review: “Who moved my cheese?”by Dr. Spencer Johnson

Hi all,

I have got something a bit different for you today. The Managing Director at the company I work for asked us to read a very short business book on how to deal with change, as we have seen many people leaving and many others joining the company in the past few months. I had never read a business book before and was quite intrigued going into it.

Who Moved My Cheese?: An amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life has been a huge bestseller, influencing millions of people and businesses.

I am going to be straight with you; I really did not like this book. The entire argument is set around this parable about two little people and two mice looking for cheese in a maze. The cheese stands for success and comfort. As someone who really dislikes cheese, I found it hard to identify with the characters’ desperate need for it and had to keep replacing the word ‘cheese’ with ‘bacon’ throughout the story.

WhoMovedMyCheeseCoverBut my hatred of cheese is not the only reason why I did not enjoy this book. The story is divided into three parts: in the first section, a group of school friends meets after a few years of not seeing each other and discuss their aversion of change. One of them decides to tell them a story about change, which leads to the second part: the parable. Finally, the last section is the friends’ discussion around the story. What really bothered me is that the author already explained everything in the parable. He did not let much room for interpretation. Therefore, the last section did not bring much more to the book except very generic examples of how changes could affect your life and work. For me, a parable needs to remain a metaphorical story. The explanation, if there is one, should come after.

In terms of the overall message (you need to sniff out change and be prepared to adapt), I do not think I needed to read 90 pages to get to that point. I also really disliked the way the story was written. As this is the first book I read of the sort, I am not sure if the tone used is common to other business books but I found its simplicity very patronising.

To end this on a positive note, there was one quote from this book that really resonated with me: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”. I am a very careful person and I feel like, at times, my prudence keeps me from experiencing great things.

Rating: 1 star




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