Having read Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese for the fourth time, I decided to put together my own take on things. In 2021, I can’t help seeing the parallels between the global wisdom: ‘businesses have to pivot’.
There lived in a land faraway Scurry and Sniff and Hem and Haw. Like many tails this one is about mice – they are the characters Sniff and Scurry and Hem and Haw are the Little People.
They lived in the land of Fondue and spent much of their time in Station C and no it wasn’t a maximum-security prison, but it did have its similarities, with its perceived controls and limited spaces.
The characters spent their time in Fondue with one primary activity looking for cheese. They also had in common the ritual of putting on their running shoes and jogging gear for their daily scamper through the maze.
Soon Hem and Haw and Scurry and Sniff all found their own kind of cheese. They put on their running clothes every day and padded off to C station. They were happy.
Scurry and Sniff continued to wake early and run, but Hem and Haw got up later and walked. Scurry and Sniff followed the same route each day and when they realised the cheese was running low they moved on to find new cheese.
Hem and Haw did not realise that the cheese was running low until one day it was no longer there. Who moved my cheese? Haw shouted. It’s not fair. They sat and thought what best to do, immobilised by fear. They were afraid to look for cheese elsewhere.
Hem and Haw continued to do just that. They hemmed and hawed, hemmed and hawed. Haw had made future plans based on the cheese.
One day they left their homes and returned to C station somehow expecting to find cheese in the usual way. But there was no cheese. They stood and stared frozen in disbelief.
Haw faced his fears and joined Sniff and Scurry in the maze. Hem finally saw the writing on the wall and was able to enjoy the changes he had to confront.
The moral of the tale
The moral of the story is the sooner we embrace change the sooner we can move on. We all meet with change sooner or later be it job related – retrenchment or being fired; personal – finding out you have an illness or a relationship issue – divorce.
In my own life I found recently that someone had moved my cheese. “It’s not fair.” I shouted. “It’s not fair.”
My computer crashed and I lost effectively 5 years of work . For much of the data I had some form of back-up but for my critical document, some 60 pages, multiple hours and 25 000 words were lost.
At first I scurried around restarting my computer, restarting my computer and restarting my computer. THEN I sniffed my way to an Emergency Recovery and wiped out all the memory.
I scurried around to find some support from a technician who was able to find many documents but not the critical Project March 2020 that I’d been working on for the past six months.
Then I hemmed and hawed and said in my different and impolite ways, “It’s not fair.” And I wanted to throw in the towel. I hemmed and hawed some more and thought about paying another Data Recovery expert to find a single document. And I did see the writing on the wall. I would have to retype the document from the original hard copy and start again. Hard Cheese!
I still have yet to take the bite and throughout the process I neglected to back it up on a flash disc, I didn’t use the mobile hard drive and I didn’t save a copy at work so I said, “It’s not fair. The document must be there.”
Sometimes your cheese will move and there is nothing you can do but move on but there are times when you can protect your cheese so that you know where to find it in a crisis.