Another great book written by Spencer Johnson, he is also co-author of the One Minute Manager book I discussed a few weeks back.

I love the way he can write. A group of old school friends is gathered for dinner and the topic of conversation gets on to change – in career, relationships and family life. One of those present contends that change no longer bothers him after having heard ‘a funny little story’ called Who Moved My Cheese? In this artful way, Spencer Johnson introduces the reader to his fable on how to cope positively with change.

Who Moved My Cheese is a fable that shows you how important it is that we can cope with and adapt to change.

Four little creatures live in a maze. They are quite content with their lot, food is delivered regularly and routinely and is pretty much the focus of their world. Each day they happily collect their food almost on auto pilot, they give very little thought to where it comes from or what happens if it should stop. They don’t even notice that the portion size of food is slowly reducing (I can relate to that with certain supermarket products!).

One day, they go to the food pick up point, to find that there is nothing there. Shock, horror!

Now, of the four characters, two of the creatures begin to adapt, innovate and go in search of a new food supply. The other two creatures dig their heels in, refuse to move and increase only their vocal opposition to the changes that have taken place.

I guess you can see how this fable plays out in real life. We all know people who do not adapt well to change, they become angry, negative, resistant and sometimes quite obstructive. All very counterproductive as change is inevitable.

The adaptive creatures on the other hand have already moved on and found a new, maybe better, source of cheese.

Change is not always easy to accept, especially when it’s a disappointing change that is thrust upon us. The day we lose a job we love or really need, or the end of a relationship that we wanted to last forever. There is no question that sometimes change can have a bitter taste.

But the moral of the story seems to be, ‘we can’t control change, it’s inevitable’. We can only control how we view it, how we handle it, how we adapt and make the best of the situation. If we can see change as a positive, fresh start we can greatly reduce the fear that comes along with change.

This book is a short read with a great message. “Change is coming, be prepared, be adaptive, grab it with both hands!’