Five Reasons I Had to Write This Book

Deepak Malhotra thought that the business bestseller "Who Moved My Cheese?" made some good points about the need to anticipate and adapt to change, but he also took issue with the book’s core message: 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 chasing after more cheese. So he wrote "I Moved Your Cheese", which offers an altogether different perspective—one that challenges the notion that we are simply mice in a maze, subject to the designs of others and destined to chase blindly after cheese.

Here are the five compelling reasons he felt he had to write this book:

Reason # 1: Because some of the greatest barriers to success are internal. 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.

Reason # 2: Because we need more people who will challenge the old way of doing things. We need to think twice before telling would-be innovators, problem solvers, entrepreneurs, and leaders that instead of wasting their time wondering why things are the way they are, they should simply accept their world as given.

Reason # 3: Because what is impossible to control today, may be possible to control tomorrow. Even in situations where things are beyond our control, we should do more than blindly accept our fate. We should still seek to understand why the change was forced on us, how we might exert greater control over our lives or business in the future, and what it would take to escape the kinds of mazes in which we are always subject the designs of others.

Reason # 4: Because we're often unaware that we are in the maze. Too often we are blindly chasing after the cheese, and not stopping to think whether the goals we are chasing are the correct ones. This is as true for students who are picking a major, as it is for graduates picking a career, or mid-career folks working towards the next promotion.

Reason #5: Because intellect and intent are often not enough. For the most difficult problems we face in business and in life, being smart, hard-working and well-intentioned is not sufficient. We need to challenge longstanding assumptions, see the old in new ways, and be willing to chart our own, unique course towards success.


Five Companies That Are Not What You Thought They Would Be

It's always easy to tell which companies are doing good work and behaving and which ones are not, right? Actually, it's not. Some companies are very good at covering up their misdeeds while others get lumped with some ugly accusations that never go away despite all that they do.

For this issue, the authors of Good Company list companies that are not what you thought they would be by assigning a “Good Company” grade of A to F to five major players in the Fortune 100. The grade is based on their status as good employers, good sellers, and good stewards of the environment and their communities.

Here are five of the more surprising companies and their grades:

1. Walmart -- the company that so many love to hate –- earns a C (rather than the F that many readers might have expected). Why? Partly because of its significant advances in going green on a humongous scale and its use of its core capabilities to tackle hunger.

2. CVS Caremark -- operator of thousands of neighborhood drugstores -- received a D. It racked up government penalties of over $38 million in recent years due to Medicaid prescription drug fraud and potential violations of federal privacy regulations. On top of that, it got lousy marks as an employer.

3. Disney –- the “happiest place on earth” —- (appropriately enough) earns the highest grade of A. It did so by getting the basics -- being a good employer, seller and steward -- and by abiding by the law and avoiding greedy behavior.

4. Hewlett-Packard -- seen for decades as a paragon of corporate virtue -- only earned a C. Dismal scores from its employees on HP as a place to work were among the negative categories that offset some of HP’s more positive attributes, including its high green/sustainability rankings.

5. Goldman Sachs -- for many the poster-boy for corporate greed -- earns a B. Although many readers may grind their teeth, saying that Goldman deserves an F, there is in fact a great deal they have done right over the years. But to thrive in the future, they are going to need to improve their performance to an A or risk a future of mediocrity or worse.

You can find details behind these grades – as well as the grades of other Fortune 100 companies – at the Good Company Index.

So what do you think? Did Bassi and co-authors get it right or wrong? Chime in below.