The book by Spencer Johnson which is a story on Mice and Men is related to management through the concept of change management which is considered as a survival kit for the modern world. The book actually begins with the discussion among friends in high school about their change of lives after school and in many instances what they underwent and how happy and sad they were. The “cheese” is a metaphor for knowing what do we require in life to make us happy and “Maze” is what one needs to locate that happiness be it the organization, the family of the society where u want to be.
One of the friends tells the story which helped him in his day to day personal and professional life. The story is about Hem, Haw, Sniff & Scurry and the way they looked out for happiness in the form of cheese in the dizzy maze.
The lesson is humans today don’t adapt to change in their lives and prefer not to react or take risk to march ahead in times of difficulties and problems.
The characters in the story resemble us in many instances whenever we have faced low times and we are resisting exploring the nuances and the unknown, we may even want to change things but not the way we look at these changes. This book helps budding managers to balance their personal relationships as well as the challenges they face in their careers and business and since change is the only constant factor, willingness to learn to adapt to the change and unlearning what we have learned is spoken in this book.
The book helps new managers and the established managers an excellent manner to look at CHANGE in their life and at work where by the truths are revealed on the way change that gives a platform for people and organizations to succeed in their changing times of ups and downs. For a new manager he has learnt to ponder on his experiences and adjust to them by the way Haw learnt from his mistakes and learnt through his “handwriting on the wall” which helps them in discovering how to manage in change to have the advantage of higher success and less stressful experiences in work and own life.
The learning here is to notice the change and make a note of them the way the handwriting on the maze walls took care of the future. The fresher in the management field needs to understand that the more they like enjoy the flexibilities had given to them they will be selfish and will stick to the comfort zone which will lead them to dangers in the future.
But since they may not the experiences of dealing with tasks they may get extinct if not understood the concept to forecasting what would come as difficulties and as successes in the future. They need to understand that movement in the new direction will help them in difficulties and especially the old beliefs will never lead a person to great heights as one need to encompass and overcome them find newer opportunities.
As Haw in the book after realizing his mistakes and learning from them understood that opportunities lie ahead in huge sizes; we need to change the course more frequently and adjust with it accordingly. This logic of adapting to small changes early to overcome the bigger hurdles yet to come is the crux and the heart of learning for the established managers. The biggest learning for them is the “handwriting on the wall” which indicates change happens, anticipates it, adapt to it sooner, change and enjoy the change again and again. Move with the change and have a successful career. Leadership and teamwork like Sniff and Scurry does help to adapt to change faster.
Sniff and Scurry are little mice who kept their life simple and didn’t overcomplicate the problems in life. But Sniff was the winner who identified change and indicated a steady move ahead and sniffed into action early and adapting quickly to the changes which lied ahead with the help of his friend Scurry who moved into action in action the moment a change was noticed. Where as Hem and haw were the complex parts of us regardless of age, sex, race or nationality. Hem was the one who denied and resisted to adapt to the change as he feared the risk and the dangers in the unknown world where as Haw learnt to deal with change in time with the foreseeing moments of time and identification of success in the unknown world.
Companies do adopt the method of change adopted in the book as in TESCOM investments; a firm in Dubai conducted a Gaining Change Skills Training Program based on the concept which had a unique and a soft focus on the individuals by overcoming the rough terrains with their actual skills.
From the millions of copies that were sold today’s business has been affected tones in the manner as in: we as an individual and as an organization, have taken the message of change positively and have discovered our role in the changing scenario much ahead of times keeping in mind that the production system is entirely in the purview and control of the management the way station C and station N depicted thereby make a vow that we will trust the system we are working in as everything will be working out to be better with the teamwork and positive spirit to learn.
Yes, the book definitely has changed the manner in which we can look towards the darker side of life and work in a much positive and a motivating way where in the advice given by cheese to us meant a lot, that change is unavoidable and there is no pint in crying over split milk and considerable watchfulness and observation is necessary for the bad management to avoid getting worst.
Nothing new in the concept of change that I have learnt as I know it has been the permanent factor, but the message of the stations which indicate that it is the production system which will control the activities and we as such cannot change it was a new ideology to look at the organization system.
Sciuridae. (2006). This Book By Dr. Spencer Johnson Is A Survival Guide For Change In The Modern World. Retrieved September 29, 2008, from
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WhoMovedMyCheese. (2006). The world leader in helping individuals deal with organizational change. Retrieved September 27, 2008, from