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4.0 out of 5 stars An easy read with good pointers
FISH! is an easy read about how to improve morale in the workplace. I used it as a monthly reading book for our HR team. It was meant to be a fun refresher to remind the team of what is important and how to achieve it.
Published 15 months ago by C. Cabral

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great, inspiring read but poor teaching methodologies.
FISH is written in a parable (short story using fictional characters) format, reminiscent of the style apparent in the classic, bestseller The One Minute Manager. The goal of the FISH Philosophy is to learn how to boost morale and improve operational results in a business organization. As the authors put it "Enclosed are the keys to creating an innovative and...
Published on April 6 2002 by Dan E. Ross


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great, inspiring read but poor teaching methodologies., April 6 2002
By 
Dan E. Ross "Dan Ross" (Frisco, Tx USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
FISH is written in a parable (short story using fictional characters) format, reminiscent of the style apparent in the classic, bestseller The One Minute Manager. The goal of the FISH Philosophy is to learn how to boost morale and improve operational results in a business organization. As the authors put it "Enclosed are the keys to creating an innovative and accountable work environment where a playful, attentive, and engaging attitude leads to more energy, enthusiasm, productivity, and creativity."
The four key points of the philosophy are:
• Play - have fun and create energy at home or at the office.
• Make their day - how can you engage fellow employees, customers and make each other's day?
• Be Present - How can you make sure you are fully available and aware during conversations with people? It is about create a greater sense of intimacy between individuals.
• Choose Your Attitude - Each day you choose how you are going to act or which "side of the bed" you wake up on. The choice is yours and, the way you act, affects others.
In my opinion, this business parable, like the rest of them, is great and horrible at the same time.
It is a great read for the following reasons:
1. It is a quick read. I read it in about 2 - 2.5 hours and I am a fairly slow reader.
2. The book is able to illustrate one point extremely effectively. For example, in this book they show how workers attitudes can impact a setting and how many of us don't understand how our attitude impacts our work setting and quality of life.
3. These are the kinds of books that employees will read as they are 100-150 pages in length and easy to read so a massive investment of time and energy isn't required by employees.
It is a poor book for the following reasons:
1. The authors never give you ways to implement the ideas. Once I was done reading the book I was thinking, "WOW, this is great stuff. Now how do I implement it in my company and, more importantly, what will it take for this to be successful." Which leads me to the next point...
2. While they illustrate certain key elements in the book they neglect to mention that:
a. Employees must trust management.
b. Top managers must be fully committed and "practice what
they preach."
c. Both of the above points are conveyed in the story but
the authors don't tell you about the importance of what
academics term "social capital" in an organization.
My concluding thoughts: This is a brief, simple, but elegant book that is an eye opener for those of us who grew up with notions like: "Work is serious, let's have no fooling around!" or "Profit is 'the only' way to measure business success." I commend the authors on conveying this to readers. HOWEVER, the cons outweigh the pros in this book. Like I pointed out, I really enjoyed reading the book and thought it was pretty effective in showing how an organization can completely turn around but, at the end of the day, no tools were presented to help the reader understand how to implement the FISH philosophy. If top managers don't cooperate or "practice what they preach" or understand why and how this philosophy works it goes nowhere, just like most management programs designed to attain all of the above mentioned goals of productivity, energy, etc.
If you want a great book on business principles I highly encourage everyone to read "The Essential Drucker" by Peter Drucker. Jack Welch is a big Drucker fan and this book is a compilation of his best work of over 60 years and 30 books on management principles.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Always Smell Your Fish Before You Buy, July 12 2004
By 
David Wilbur (Des Moines, IA United States) - See all my reviews
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This book was given to me as part of a Fish seminar conducted by my company. The book must be addressed on three different levels: as a story, as a philosophy, and as a business book. The story is about a woman who takes over a failing department in her company, finds the inmates are running the asylum, learns some pearls of wisdom from some local fishmongers, teaches the employees the philosophy, and ends up with a successful department. The preceding explanation is only slightly shorter than the book itself, which contains so much white-space that it could easily be halved, and repeats so often that it could easily be halved again. As bad as the story and writing are, the philosophy underlying the Fish idea is even worse. It is essentially a hedonistic philosophy - that what employees really need to perform well is enough fun at work. The problem is that all jobs and careers involve a certain amount of tedium. Everone must "pay their dues." Too often the people complaining the loudest are those that refuse to deal with tedium as a fact of life. As a business book it fails as so many business books do because the ultimate goal of the book is not to attract a reader, but to convince corporations to buy a whole suite of products and services: the books, videotapes, fun fish things, decorations. Avoid this book, read Drucker instead.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible read., May 22 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Sometimes people have to get a little angry and become non-accepting of work environments to facilitate change. Book seems to promote too much acceptance over change.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An easy read with good pointers, April 28 2013
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FISH! is an easy read about how to improve morale in the workplace. I used it as a monthly reading book for our HR team. It was meant to be a fun refresher to remind the team of what is important and how to achieve it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING, April 27 2004
By A Customer
A fanstatic book with great Ideas! This paired with Maynard Rolston's "Time Management is an Oxymoron" can do so much for a business. "Fish" can help you develop a huge sense of urgency for you and your co-workers, and "Time Management is an Oxymoron" takes hours out of busy work. By Incorporating ideas from both, your business will be at 110% in a very short time.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Would rather be fishing, July 8 2004
By A Customer
This book reminded me of a story about cheese. The ideas make sense, but the story is childish and doesn't provide an action plan. I recommend reading Rat Race Relaxer: Your Potential & The Maze of Life instead.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Insipid Garbage, July 1 2004
By 
D.B. (Harrisburg, PA USA) - See all my reviews
I was unfortunate enough to have been made to read this utter, banal trash. This 'book' is yet another in the endless deluge of 'management' aids. Being a manager myself I was extremely disappointed as this book offers no new insight or any hints to great management secrets. Once one gets past the countelss pages of fluff, the underlying moral is simple...your job is what you make of it. If you have a positive attitude and outlook, your job will be enjoyable. If you think your job is boring and menial then it will be just that. These are basic common sense ideals that any capable manager should already be instilling on its employees. If you are a manager and are unfamiliar with these concepts then you are obviously either ill-trained or completely inexperienced and should not be a manager in the first place.
My true rating would be NO STARS, but the lowest possible was one star.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Simple yet true, June 17 2004
By 
"emjngr" (St. Simons Island, GA United States) - See all my reviews
While the ideas seem to be relevent the story behind it is boring and cheesy. But what can you expect from a parable book? I think it is basically the same book that has been writen a hundred times before. I hear the movie is better, but I don't feel I wasted an hour of my life on a completely pointless book. I think the ideas of choosing an attitude and focusing on your customer can help anyone out in any kind of business. But did it need to be packaged in a $14 book?
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2.0 out of 5 stars Fish too sweet, June 3 2004
By 
ken (halifax, Nova Scotia Canada) - See all my reviews
The book is too saccharine and simplistic. I also had the pleasure of listening to the audio book as well. The condescending tone was annoying and I felt as if the approaches were unrealistic.
The underlying principles were reasonably valuable but personally did not like the delivery.
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1.0 out of 5 stars I like the ideas, but not in a business book, March 18 2004
By 
Leo E. Walsh "ebraynz" (Mentor, Oh United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I like having fun and being entertained, and I really liked the ideas in this book. But marketed as a business book?
Let me set some boudries, first of all, to show you how important I think the material is. If this was Doctor Suess- like book, marketed and written with my kids in mind, I would be cool: five stars easlily. If it was marketed as a self-help book for reframing your attitude, it would get four, maybe five stars. If it were a hippy/ new-age book about just being and enjoying life, five stars plus.
However, as a business book, it is pure fluff.
I was forced to watch this in a corporate setting. Instead of fostering honest, human fun amongst our workforce, it seemed like an invitation for many on the management staff to work on trivial activities. Using Covey's "Seven Habits" and "First Things First" language, they were spending their time in Quadrant 4 of the time management matrix (unimportant, not urgent), instead of the stewardship that comes from Quadrant 2 (important,not urgent).
And employees were ignored while these managers "played," bringing in megaphones and making silly videos. If you want to find out about how to create good customer service, try "Customers for Life," "Raving Fans," or "Hug Your Customers." If you want to motivate your workforce, "The Streetwise Guide to Motivating and Rewarding Your Employees," or a reprint of the HBR article by Herzberg, "Once Again, How do You Motivate Your Employees?" is an excellent place to start.
This book, from my experience, will likely lead to the denial of serious issues, which are actually a blast to tackle in my experience.
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Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results
Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen C. Lundin (Paperback - Aug. 1 2001)
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