Who Moved My Cheese?: An Incredible Way to Cope with Change in Your Work and Life, is a book written by Spencer Johnson in 1998. In this Who Moved My Cheese summary, we will dive deep into Johnson’s perspective on business, emotions, and change.
The book details an allegorical story about rats trying to find cheese during a maze, working as an example for businessmen and ladies to find out the way to adapt and survive changes within the economic landscape.
Who Moved My Cheese Summary with 20 Lessons Learned
Here are the 20 lessons to learn from Who Moved My Cheese? Summary:
#1 Change Is Inevitable
The world is changing every second. New generation training, new business areas, developing technology are driving us to a completely different life. The best thing about this is that it applies to all of us. In other words, since the change in the world is not personal, we all have to go through the same difficulties and adapt to the new world order.
The most valid talent in life and the most important trait that will enable you to be successful is the ability to adapt. When conditions change, you must be able to change and adapt quickly. Not wanting to change the terms or acting contrary to it will not gain you anything.
#2 Emotions Change Too
Everything that your mistakes so far made you feel is left behind. This should teach you not to be afraid to make new mistakes. Because a person who does not make mistakes does not do anything. No matter what you do, it will all be left behind, along with all that it makes you feel.
While we can make mistakes even in the jobs we know best, it would not be right to expect not to make mistakes in the jobs we have just started. Be realistic and brave, mistakes are inevitable and the sooner you make mistakes, the sooner you learn. Trust the process and keep working with all your might.
#3 Nobody Cares
No one takes you as seriously as you think that. They just laugh at your mistake. Everyone has a job, school, family. They’re so busy with what they’re going to do that you don’t even think of them easily. Do your best without making excuses for others.
To not care about what other people think of you, you too must stop thinking about others. The more you take care of yourself, the less you focus on other people’s thoughts, you shouldn’t try to read people’s minds. Even those who love you don’t care as much as you think, their love for you is real, but everyone is busy with their own life.
#4 When Does Change End?
The change will continue even after you die. Because biologically your body can’t stay the same. It will also change into different energy and blend into nature. If there is no salvation from change, we must learn to adapt.
There is no point in rowing in the opposite direction on a flowing river. Set your goal according to the flow of the river and stop wasting time. Being an outlier doesn’t mean rowing in the opposite direction, being an outlier is changing your rowing technique while rowing in the same direction as the river.
#5 Get Ready for Change
You may not know when a change will occur. Sometimes changes can happen beyond your control. You can be fired. Your spouse may leave you. You can promote. Maybe you can meet the love of your life. Your life can change at any time. Get ready for it and take it as normal.
In life, anything can happen to you at any time, you may not be physically or financially prepared for everything, but you can be mentally prepared. Stop pitying yourself when you experience bad things and celebrating for days when you experience good things, just focus on your goal.
#6 Update Yourself
The business world is one of the fastest-changing areas. At any moment a new machine can come out and change the whole layout. A cost-cutting machine comes out and could cause another company to shut down. Follow the agenda. Do not lag behind technology.
Continuing in the old order may seem easy at first, but in the long run, you will be harmful. Companies that cannot adapt to innovations are doomed to disappear because technology always wins, only one technology can beat another technology, be sure to follow the developments.
#7 Complex Jobs
Avoid overthinking and constantly analyzing work. Identify basic to-do tasks and let the rest flow. If you know the direction to go, you don’t have to drown in the details. Make this clear to your employees so that they know how to proceed.
Some people enjoy complicating things and having dozens of files on their desks. All you have to enjoy is seeing yourself improve, your company growing, everything else is a waste of time.
#8 Nothing to Fear
Every change can bring you some challenges, but it also brings new opportunities. Enjoy these innovations. The difficulties will be left behind anyway. Try to adapt as soon as possible. Those who adopt the fastest survive.
You will get used to all the different situations you will encounter in a very short time, different people, different speaking styles, different jobs will start to become normal for you. When you gain enough experience, you will find that change is not something to be afraid of and is an opportunity for you to improve your business.
#9 Be Aware
You know that there is constant change around you, but you may not know in which direction this change is. You must be a good observer. In this way, you will adapt to the change much sooner.
You have to follow the developments in your own industry, nowadays the internet has great resources on this subject. You should benefit from all kinds of content from social media accounts to blogs and lead the change in your industry.
Change sometimes happens so quickly and on a large scale that you don’t know what to do. When you are in such a situation, immediately think about the positive aspects of this change and imagine the benefits it will provide you. Think about how it will take you to a better level.
When a big change is needed, you don’t have to do it all at once, you can do it step by step. Look at the result of the change, plan the change by dividing it into weeks and months and make this change step by step.
#11 Farewell Time
If you have accepted the change and started working to adapt, you need to say goodbye to the old ones to speed up the process. Because the two do not go together. They slow each other down. Extends your transition process. Even your relationships are like that. You cannot start a new relationship if you have a bond with your old one. Even if you start, you cannot be happy.
If you have started to use the innovations brought by the change, get rid of the old version, you do not need them anymore. You no longer belong to that old order and there is a faster and more reliable way before you, adopt this way and continue to improve yourself.
#12 100 Years of Business
If the businesses that have been standing for many years resisted continuing in their first-day order, do you think they could come to these days? If they opposed the computer and the internet and tried to continue the old order, do you think they could stand for even 1 day?
Not the strongest in nature and business life, but those who can adapt to change survive. Being strong only allows you to continue working in the old order for a while, but those who can keep up with the new order will surpass you in a very short time, you have to be brave about change to avoid this.
#13 The Meaning of Fear
If change is a good thing, what is the reason for the fear that arises in us? Fear comes from the unknown. We are afraid because we don’t know what is going to happen. We don’t know what to gain or what to lose. We don’t skill long it’ll take. It is normal to feel this fear, but doing nothing out of fear will do you harm.
Most of our fears stem from events that have not yet happened, and many of the things we fear do not happen. Being cautious is not the same as being inactive, you may not be able to keep up with change right away, but that shouldn’t stop you from learning about innovations. Keep learning, as you learn, your fears will decrease and you will be a part of the change.
#14 Fast and Agile
Imagine your business is an athlete. If your business has good reflexes and can make quick decisions, it can get ahead of its competitors. This depends on the courage and agile of every employee in your business. Developing this behavior by your employees also happens when you set an example for them.
If you act with confidence, your employees will be encouraged and they can work more flexibly, and you will support their creativity. Your demeanor sets an example for other employees to understand how things work here.
Owning a company is not just about hiring staff and developing products. If it were, everyone would be successful, or no company that had done well for a few years would be shut down. What caused these companies to fail? Or when everything was going well for a few years, why did they suddenly have to close? Managing a company is a journey. You compete with your competitors, you race against time. Those who do not follow the market, technology, and agenda will perish.
The most difficult thing in company management is to realize the problems that may arise when everything is going well. The smooth running of your business right now doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever. You should learn about the problems faced by other companies and search for their solutions, so you can be prepared for the crises that may arise.
#16 You Have to Hurry for Change
If you don’t hurry, you’ll be gone already. But if you hurry, your chances of success are very high. Adapting to change is not as difficult as it seems. You just have to be willing. Maybe not in a few days, but if you keep working, you will get used to it as soon as possible.
As stated earlier in this Who Moved My Cheese summary, life is getting faster, you don’t have as much time for change because there are thousands of companies that want to surpass you. You may be better than them, but to maintain this, you need to renew yourself, you need to show how strong and up-to-date you are.
#17 Follow Tips
If you can catch clues about change, you’ll be more prepared for the process. These tips are also small changes around it and feedback from customers. If you see that some things are not enough anymore or people are getting bored of the same things, you should start preparing.
You should look at the behavior of the customers, not what they say, you should not act on the results of the survey. When people are asked a question, they are inclined to give answers that make them feel good when they say it, not their real thoughts.
#18 Seeking Solutions
It is better to look for a solution than to stop and wait. The clumsiness of a company means the end of that company. Even if your product is great, it’s not enough to save you. As soon as another company produces a more accessible version at a lower cost, you’re done. You too have to deceive yourself by complaining that people do not understand quality products.
You should try to find solutions that will make customers loyal to you, increase the brand value of your product and improve the conditions of your employees. You have to create an image of a hardworking and talented leader who makes all conditions better so that everyone can be inspired by it.
The perspective that big companies run away from is nostalgia. Big companies have come to a point where they feel uncomfortable if there is no change. They feel like we’re behind on something. Because it is not possible that there will be no change for many years.
If there is no technological innovation in the market yet, this time they are trying to make a difference with their logos and designs and show that they are a living company. Such changes create the perception that the company continues to improve itself and give the impression of an innovative company.
#20 Don’t Trust Your Capital
If you don’t mind your little profit in the first place, you can’t even imagine the size of your next fall. Hold on tight to avoid a deadly ending. Investigate what went wrong and don’t underestimate your damage. Not all bankruptcies happen at once. Some start with a small loss.
You must identify the main deficiencies that cause your loss, if you cannot find the source, you can only temporarily solve the problem. Review all areas where there may be deficiencies such as production, raw materials, employees, new technologies, if necessary, hire more specialists and have them analyzed.
If you think there is a lesson we should include in this Who Moved My Chees book summary, please let us know!
Top 10 Quotes from Who Moved My Cheese?
1. “The More Important Your Cheese Is To You The More You Want To Hold On To It.”
2. “If You Do Not Change, You Can Become Extinct.”
3. “Smell The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old.”
4. “When You Move Beyond Your Fear, You Feel Free.”
5. “Imagining Myself Enjoying New Cheese Even Before I find It, Leads Me To It.”
6. “The quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Find New Cheese.”
7. “When You See That You Can Find And Enjoy New Cheese, You Change Course.”
8. “Noticing Small Changes Early Helps You Adapt To The Bigger Changes That Are To Come.”
9. “If You Do Not Change, You Can Become Extinct.”
10. “It Is Safer To Search In The Maze Than Remain In A Cheeseless Situation.”
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