Fish!: A remarkable way to boost morale and improve results Paperback – 5 Sep 2002
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Here's another management parable that draws its lesson from an unlikely source--this time it's the fun-loving fishmongers at Seattle's Pike Place Market. In Fish! the heroine, Mary Jane Ramirez, recently widowed and mother of two, is asked to engineer a turnaround of her company's troubled operations department, a group that authors Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen describe as a "toxic energy dump". Most reasonable heads would cut their losses and move on. Why bother with this bunch of losers? But the authors don't make it so easy for Mary Jane. Instead, she's left to sort out this mess with the help of head fishmonger Lonnie. Based on a bestselling corporate education video, Fish! aims to help employees find their way to a fun and happy workplace. While some may find the storyline and prescriptions--such as "Choose Your Attitude", "Make Their Day" and "Be Present"--downright corny, others will find a good dose of worthwhile motivational management techniques. If you loved Who Moved My Cheese? then you'll find much to like here. And don't worry about Mary Jane and kids. Fish! has a happy ending for everyone. --Harry C Edwards --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is one fish story that doesn't exaggerate. It shows you how changing your attitude lets you enjoy your work and your life. Hook into it, it's quite a catch! (Spencer Johnson, author of Who Moved My Cheese?)
I recommend their book to anyone, on any level, who wants to make a difference at work. (Hyrum Smith, co-chairman Franklin Covey Co.)
The story of the world famous Pike Place Fish market is fantastic. But this book is not just about selling fish; it's a love story that can happen in your organisation too. (Ken Blanchard, from the Foreword)
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a story about a manager in a department that is struggling with low energy, low morale and a poor reputation. One lunchtime she watches some fishmongers do something extraordinary - have fun, create amazing energy and enthusiasm and inspire others (they have spectators!).
The fishmongers distil their magic into four principles:
(i) Play - a light-hearted attitude and having fun in the workplace can make work an enjoyable experience (shock, horror for those who think work is a four letter word).
(ii) Make Someone's Day - creating a Wow! factor for your customers, going that little bit further than your competitors: it makes you memorable and keeps them coming back
(iii) Choose your Attitude - if you are at work 40hours+ a week, why not have fun, be positive and enjoy it?
(iv) Be Present - when someone is talking to you, don't email, think of other things, really concentrate on them, make a connection - people notice and it counts.
Are these the answers to your morale, high sickness or high turnover problems? Possibly. For one hour and a few quid's investment, isn't it worth finding out?
What I loved was the additional information in the follow-up book (Fish Tales) that show real people and real businesses (from nurses, to call centres, to car salesmen and roofers) using the FISH! principles and creating wonderful places to work (for them and their customers). Maybe a year on you'll want to get Fish Sticks to learn how to keep the momentum going once the initial buzz has worn off.
What I learnt was if they can, I can use this to bring new life and energy into my business and those I work with. Great stuff: inspiring, yet simple.
And it sure does work.
Everyone who has read "Fish!" knows the lessons the book is teaching at the conscious level, because they are written down in black and white.
What no one has commented on in a review, so far as I can see, is that the story is an incredibly succinct introduction to the whole subject of emotional intelligence - recognising your own emotions and other people's, motivation, leadership, you name it and it's in there.
In my opinion this is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Get it and judge for yourself that I'm right.
Alternatively, if you have a friend who is always moaning about how dull their work is, do them a favour and buy them this instead of another glass of wine. It might just make their day.
It refers to David Whyte poetry (surely the most profound author and poet on the planet) so I tried to be positive, I really did - and I found it to be American trite.
The issue might be cultural..... it may well be the antidote to middle America's corporate crises in the hiearchy - and if this is their for recipe for "wholeheartedness" - yuk.
It's a typical US business tale... downtrodden hero-to-be gets new management job, things start bad, and they get worse. Then the hero, meets a guardian angel and gives everyone the angel's 4 axioms to the secret of turning downsized, rengineered processes into fun and frolics - yee hah! Wang dang doodle.
What about soul? What about self esteem? What about fear? What about accountability? What about relationships? What about individuality? What about authenticity? What about Trust?
My fear is that this book will give senior executives, the middle management "fix" they've been looking for, so that they can sit on their backsides and do nothing differently?
Beforehand, coincidentally, I'd just read the sublime Crossing the Unknown Sea by David Whyte. If you're seeking passion and creativity - read all his works, first.
I'd love to read reviews from continental Europeans. If anyone outside the US applies Fish's principles and makes them work, I'd love to learn how I'm wrong. In the meantime, I'm staying strictly vegetarian.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Easy read. Motivational and inspiring. Now to put it into practice......Published 6 days ago by Alison Dawson
Interesting little book with a good message. Great for sharing with colleagues.Published 3 months ago by Lisa Dillane
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