If you were a mouse trapped in a maze and someone kept moving the cheese, what would you do? Over a decade ago the bestselling business fable Who Moved My Cheese? offered its answer to this question: accept that change is inevitable and beyond your control, don’t waste your time wondering why things are the way they are, keep your head down and start looking for the cheese. But success in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, leadership and business growth–as well as personal growth–depends on the ability to push the boundaries, reshape the environment, and play by a different set of rules: our own.
With that in mind, Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra offers a radically different answer to this question. Malhotra tells an inspiring story about three unique and adventurous mice–Max, Big and Zed–who refuse to accept their reality as given. As we watch their lives unfold and intersect, we discover that instead of just blindly chasing after the cheese, each of us has the ability to escape the maze or even reconfigure it to our liking. In the face of established practices, traditional ideas, scarce resources and the powerful demands or expectations of others, we often underestimate our ability to control our own destiny and overcome the constraints we face–or think we face. I Moved Your Cheese reminds us that we can create the new circumstances and realities we want, but first we must discard the often deeply ingrained notion that we are nothing more than mice in someone else’s maze. As Zed explains, "You see, Max, the problem is not that the mouse is in the maze, but that the maze is in the mouse."