Sunday, August 17, 2008

Apparently Someone is Moving My Damn Cheese

There's this sappy sort of businessy self-help book called "Who Moved My Cheese?" (96 pages and has content for only about 3 of those pages) that has been popular for several years. I read the book if you can call it that - it's supposed to be a business parable - and to sum it up in my own words: "Change happens, especially in the business world and if you want to keep getting the cheeese (paycheck/benefits etc.) then you as a GOOD corporate MOUSE had better adapt to change and learn to crawl through the new tunnel to get that cheese, otherwise you'll starve."

I hate the book. I hate the mindless philsophy in business and everywhere else. In my opinion, it's even more insipid than The Secret, another brainless rehashing of metaphysical principals that are WAY more complex than the slick marketers would ever even touch.

At any rate, what I have found in my infinite and admittedly UNsuccessful past business experience and having always been a rebel from tripe of all sorts, and generally intolerant of corporate slick-speak, what I have discovered is that whenever managers start suggesting books such as this, boy you better watch out because change is coming all right. Cheese is moving. Yeah. Not usually good for the mice.

So when change happens, you can either buck up and face it, or you can leave and go find cheese somewhere else. Or you can laugh about it and try to survive. That's what I'm doing right now.

Not to be cynical or anything, but THIS wonderful youtube video by Michael Loeck perfectly expresses my opinion of this mouse/cheese concept. Funny, click on it and watch it. It will make you laugh too.

And as the new week approaches, and I scamper down a new tunnel in search of my cheese, I wish other mice a happy and mousetrap FREE week ahead.


PlazaJen said...

When I see cheese, I just eat it. Mmm. Behold the power of cheese.
;) I agree with your take.

Elysbeth said...

I find that the managers who suggest these are Managers not Do-ers.

Good luck with the future shakeup. At least you can see it coming.

The Corner Muffin Stop said...

Celle, my best friend, who works for a corporation in another city was given that book by her former boss at different corporation. She hated it too. I haven't read this particular business book (I try to read one or two a year) but this one just seemed to 'silly.' Who can take a book seriously with a title like that.

Kudos to you for seeing the writing on the wall and the organizational dynamics. Keep your wits about you and you will do fine.

Actually I think Lao Tsu's the Art of War is far better for understanding how to survive moving cheese wheels. And by far the best book on organizations I've read is Anne Wilson Schaef's The Addictive Organization.

Laura said...

Whenever "In Search of Excellence", "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", or anything with the word "Customer" was mandated reading by our bosses, the future was never good. At best, these books are full of pithy double-speak. At worst, they lead you to believe you have control over what others do to you.

The only book of this type I've read that was any good is "Success as a Journey" by Brian Tracy. I was very dubious, but it ended up being not only entertaining, but very helpful, too. I have it and "The Prince" by Nicolo Machiavelli, if you want to borrow them. "The Prince" will explain your higher-ups' jerk behavior, if/when it happens. :D

Catherine said...

Rut-roh. I totally share your opinion of this sort of corporate drivel, and when management starts pushing it, the mice are in trouble.