Why Businesses fail to adapt to changes in Marketplace Demands: Essay

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Spencer Johnson’s (1996) Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life reminds us of something that we all know but that we all too often ignore: Any individual change can be either good or bad, but change itself is inevitable and there is no possible way to live a rewarding life – or have a successful career – unless we acknowledge the centrality of change to every day.

Johnson makes his message particularly easy to swallow because he relates it in the form of a story – indeed a sort of Aesop’s fable for the business person. He presents us with two mice – Sniff and Scurry – who are sweet, undemanding if rather dim creatures who just want their cheese. Hem and Haw are rather different: They are mice-sized people living in the same maze as Sniff and Scurry. They want the cheese too, but not just because they are hungry but because they are seeking a way to give meaning to their lives. Part of the meaningfulness of their endeavor, we learn, is their willingness to embrace changes.

We see this same message in a number of other books, including Stephen C. Lundin’s (2000) Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results. Here we are presented with a parable rather than a fable: Lundin argues that we can learn a great deal about what is important in life from the fishmongers at Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

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