The allegorical plot of Who Moved My Cheese (1997) establishes the significance of adaptability very powerfully on account of its simplicity. In Pour Your Heart Into It (1998), the significance of adaptability is emphasized by the reality of the personal experiences, and indirectly of course, by the subsequent success, of Howard Schultz.
The four characters of Who Moved My Cheese (1997) achieve their first objective, just as Schultz achieved what was apparently his first objective. Sniff, Scurry, Hem, and Haw are originally embark upon a search for cheese and they find a large stock of cheese at "Cheese Station C", somewhere in the maze in which they live. Howard Schultz was associated with the founder of the Starbucks coffee shop in Seattle, WA, Gerald Baldwin. Schultz (1998) describes how, after an extended courtship of Baldwin and his company, he eventually joined the company and was given resources to handle its marketing. The vision Schultz (1998) had in mind, which he had convinced Baldwin to share, at least in part, consisted of expanding Starbucks across the length and breadth of the United States.
Like Spencer's (1997) miniature human characters, Baldwin is presented as someone who's ability to change was significantly stinted. Beyond educating customers about the different qualities of coffee beans, Baldwin had no interest in expanding his company. In the third chapter, "To Italians, Espresso Is Like an Aria", Schultz (1998) explains the importance of his trip to Italy in the 1980s, where he first observed the potential for coffee shops to become venues for socializing, community bases in a sense. The title of the fifth chapter, "Naysayers Never Built a Great Enterprise", is particularly telling of the struggle that Schultz (1998) experienced with Baldwin until he was able, in 1987, to purchase the Starbucks chain an begin building his empire.
The title of chapter five of Pour Your Heart Into It (Schultz, 1998), "Naysayers Never Built a Great Entreprise", echoes the slogan that the miniature human, Haw, chisels on the wall of "Cheese Station C" before he finally leaves his partner, Hem, to go in search of more cheese. The slogan, "If You Do Not Change, You Can Become Extinct" (Spencer, 1997) parallels Schultz's chapter title, "Naysayers Never Built a Great Enterprise", and therefore establishes the parallel between Spencer's character, Hem, and Schultz's representation of Gerald Baldwin.
Both Spencer (1997) and Schultz (1998) advocate not only developing the ability to accept chance, but developing the ability to thrive upon it. Lawrence paraphrases the advice from Spencer's character particularly well in "My Elusive Pursuit of Cheese" (2002):
Change happens: Fair or not, the cheese will move
Anticipate Change. Noticing small changes early helps one adapt to the bigger changes ahead.
Monitor change. Smell the cheese often so you know when it is getting old.
Adapt to change quickly. The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy new cheese.
Change. Or you may be left hungry!
The general message of Spencer's (1997) work is then very clear: "monitor change" and "adapt to change quickly" (Lawrence, 200). As the "cheese" represents whatever it is that the individual strives for, it represents their notion of success in a way, then Spencer's message