"I favor general use of the psychic-prison metaphor to free people from the traps of favored ways of thinking and to unleash their power and creativity."
--Gareth Morgan
"We cannot just remodel the prison. No, we've got to get out of it."
--W. Edwards Deming

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cheese as metaphor

From the bestselling business book with cheese in its title:

"What did you do with the Hems who didn't change?" Frank wanted to know. "We had to let them go," Michael said sadly. "We wanted to keep all our employees, but we knew if our business didn't change quickly enough, we would all be in trouble."

Laura Lemay, in her essay "The Cheese Stands Alone", writes about that aspect of the book:

"Ahhh. You will read the cheese book, and you will like the cheese book. It will change your life. Or we will fire your ass."

Jon Carroll from the San Francisco Chronicle offers another critical view of the book in his article "I got your cheese right here". He says that employees forced to read the book discern that "cheese" is a metaphor for "continued employment". Carroll delivers this hard-hitting conclusion:

"Reading 'Who Moved My Cheese?' I was reminded of another book about 'littlepeople' who were constantly required to survive in a mazelike environment characterized by cruel and arbitrary change, another place where the search for cheese was constant. That book is 'The Gulag Archipelago.'

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