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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2004
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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I loved FISH! A REMARKABLE WAY TO BOOST MORALE AND IMPROVE
RESULTS Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen.
It only took me a little over an hour to finish it, but don't let that fact deter you from getting hold of this insightful parable . . . nor don't dismiss it as "still another one of those story efforts" . . . rather,I think you'll find yourself agreeing with me that this is one of the best business books on the market!
Based on a real business--Seattle's Pike Place Fish, a world famous enterprise that is widely successful--FISH! shows you how to love the work that you do, even if you can't always do the work that you love . . . also, it serves as a practical guide for getting others to buy into the attitude that improving customer service can actually be a fun thing to do.
All you need to do is accept these four simple principles:
CHOOSE to make today a great day.
PLAY. Be serious about your work without taking yourself
too seriously at work.
BE THERE. Don't let distractions destroy the quality which
is present in each moment.
And find someone who needs a helping hand, a word of
support or a good ear--and MAKE THEIR DAY.
I know the preceding might sound too basic, but it works--as
evidenced by all the companies telling me how that they've
implemented FISH! . . . and how it has helped change things
around . . . in fact, it has so inspired me that I've put Pike Place Fish as one of the places that I want to visit on some upcoming vacation . . . but until then, my goal is to see if I can help my college to hook into both the book and philosophy.
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on October 24, 2002
Ahh.. It's a great book. It's making me honestly consider going to Seatelle to see this place in action. I loved it.
What to say?
It's very light, as most of the other reviews have said - but it has solid and good evidence to back up what it proclaims. It is a remarkable way to boost morale - because it boosted mine without even doing anything but reading it. There is a little love story included too, which is not necessary, but it adds a nice touch I suppose.
I think it's a great book to give to those at your workplace, if you are not entirely happy with the enthusiasm that they have. This really should do the trick. There is also another book - Fish Tales, which gives more examples of companies who have used the Fish theory - which might help you out too.
It's broken down into 4 parts -
Choose your attitude
Who do you want to be when you work? The choice is yours...

Play
How can you have more fun and create more energy? THe choice is again yours...
Make their day
How can you engage your customers in a way that makes their day? The choice is yours...
Be present
What can you do about being present for co-workers and your customers? The choice is yours...
It's a light read - but it puts a nice smile on your face.
Happy Reading!
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on October 13, 2002
Fish is a fabulous book about people making a difference. The front cover describes the book as "A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results," but it is not a "how to book" that gives the reader instructions on ways to improve themselves. Rather, it tells a story about a woman who discovers that she is responsible for the quality of her life and then begins to invest in ways to make it fun, satisfying, successful and inspiring. Through visiting and speaking with employees of the world famous Pike Place Fish market, Mary Jane, the central character in this book, discovers four principles that make the fish market a workplace where people express their passion, enthusiasm, teamwork and brilliance. It's written simply and accessibly. While the story centers on a corporate operations office, anyone in any type of work can find value reading this book. Another book for anyone interested in being present and engaged in his or her life and contributing to others is Working on Yourself Doesn't Work, by Ariel and Shya Kane. Like Fish, it is a simple, direct and powerful book that talks about how to experience and express greatness in all aspects of life.
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on May 14, 2002
We come across several instances where the work place is described as: "foggy; smoky; need a chimney to clear the place; this place stinks". Work at such places is not only drudgery for those who work in but also an even worse experience for customers who need to interact with them. Typically such places are described as bureaucratic bastions wrapped in red tape, blissfully wasting time and energy in all things other than serving the customer. No prizes for guessing an "ideal fit" describing such situations.
If you cannot breathe, then swim; learn to swim from fish -literally. Learn what you should from the ones who are the best at it. This book shows the way through a simple story, with a happy ending. Mary Jane Ramirez is caught in the midst of a personal tragedy and a very disgusting workplace. She is the manager of back office jobs in a financial services company that is aptly termed as the "toxic energy dump". Help comes from a most unexpected corner: Lonnie who sells fish in Seattle's most famous Pike Place fish market. He prescribes four simple principles that transform Mary, her workplace and the rest of her life.
a) Choose your attitude - You may not have a choice in what you are doing, but you are in full control of how to do it. Do it with a smile. b) Play - Do not forget this important element when you grow up in age. It is equally important to have fun while you work. c) Make their day - Make every interaction with the customer a great experience for them to remember d) Be present - Be fully present in interactions as if you are meeting a long lost friend.
Every human being is compared to a clock that needs to be wound and energized from time to time. This book is bound to do just that if you are in need of it.
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on January 17, 2002
This is a wonderful little book in the tradition of 'Who Moved My Cheese." Fish! explores some of the trickiest and toughest concepts in management - employee motivation and performance improvement. The book introduces a parable that can be used, simplified, or made more complex, depending on your needs. All the ideas are simple and so are their solutions that will guarantee powerful results. The main premise is that you should:
1. Choose your attitude. Your attitude is your choice and is not dictated by anyone, or anything else. If you choose to enjoy your work, you will.
2. Make their day - Make someone day every day of your life. Do something extra, even if it is little or small.
3. Play. All work and no play makes for low morale and bad attitudes. So make your work routines playful and enjoyable for everyone.
4. Be Present. That's the same as saying as forcus on every moment of your life. Don't watch your life go by, BE THERE every minute.
This book should be read by everyone. I cannot think of a single profession or any situation where the lessons of this book cannot be applied with wonderful results. This is a must read for anyone who is tired of existing from day-to-day and has finally made the decision to LIVE.
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on January 3, 2002
I had recently read, Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters, by Philip McGraw. A simular central theme as in Fish! Get more out of life with a better attitude.
Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Moral and Improve Results varies in that we are given a story. Mary Jane and her husband move from So Cal to Seattle. He to work for Microlucid and she for a finance company. He dies a year after they move. She is lost.
She is offered a promotion, which she normally would have declined, but the increase in income was too hard to pass up. The promotion meant managing a non productive non responsive division of the company. The "zombies" the group was known as.
Her charges arrived late, they did not answer the phones, some had been given computers more that two years earlier and had not even bothered to learn how to use them.
One day, while at Seattle's Public Market, she spots a fishmonger. These guys are part fish sellers and part football players. Fish flinger. When a customer orders a fish, the catch of the day is delivered via the forward pass. I've seen this for myself. How those guys catch those slippery critters is beyond me.
What Mary Jane does to turn her group of slugs around is what Fish! is all about. So I won't give away the plot. Fish! is an excellent book, a bit short on pages, but it packs a punch. I enjoyed it. Cammy Diaz-lawyer
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on December 20, 2001
I am so thankful right now!! I have sense enough to see the purpose. This book will NOT fix your workplace issues, only YOU can. But it will give you some insight as to what may help repair that which is broken at work. It starts with one person: you.
Several reviews have indicated, quite eloquently I may add, that attitude IS everything. NO, you cannot fix stupid, unmotivated, closed-minded, and dull. But if your co-workers have a dusting of humor, or an inkling as to how to BE positive, this book will enhance your workplace and bring it back to life. But it starts with you, the reader.
I KNOW, we did it! We are a hospital, people die here, and no, it is NOT fun. But we smile more, we joke more, and our patients LOVE the whole thing. There is NO "nursing shortage" where I am. And there is also no shortage of fun. We spend more time at work, awake, with those we work with than we do at home with our loved ones. If your workplace is TOXIC, get out quick, before it poisons you! OR...try being as much a part of the solution as you are the problem. Smile more, go out of your way for someone, laugh, go that extra step and try being POSITIVE. You will be amazed at the outcome.
Indeed...
"It's a simple choice". If you are unhappy with your workplace, remember: you CHOSE to go there today. This book will give you ideas to make the workplace better for you, but only YOU can fix it, quit looking for momma to.
In addition, it is probably best not to look for something in everything. Not every book will save you from your woes. This is a light, quick, throught-provoking read and I believe that's all it was meant to be. This of course assumes that all can think, and be provoked in a positive way...
Bravo!
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on December 16, 2001
(...)
Fish! is a parable about a middle manager, Mary Jane Ramirez, charged with the responsibility of improving a department dubbed the "Toxic Energy Dump" by upper management. This department is a "back room" operation wherein most of the employees feel underappreciated, overworked, and underpaid. Sound familiar? After experiencing the incredible lack of motivation and character for a few weeks, Mary Jane is at her wits end. Then, one day at lunch, she stumbles upon the Pike Place Fish Market. She meets Lonnie, a common fishmonger who exudes a love and passion for his job, his co-workers and his company. As she continues to stare in amazement, ALL of the fishmongers exhibit this seemingly joyous behavior. This, quite obviously, is very foreign to Mary Jane particularly coming from someone who handles fish all day!
Mary Jane begins picking Lonnie's brain and psyche as to why he elicts such a positive fervor for his job. Over a period of time, Lonnie lays out the four principles associated with the success and enthusiasm at Pike Place Fish Market. They are very simple principles, one that anyone or any company can model and utilize. Here's the one poignant fact about this "parable," Pike Place Fish Market is anything but fictional. It exists in Seattle and thrives in much the way as described in this "work of fiction." Consequently, any "doubting Thomas'" will be surprised to learn that these principles, in one form or another, are actually practiced and displayed...in REAL life!
Do not be mistaken, this is not the "end all" to literary works of motivation. However, if one will truly attempt to uncover and discover the meaning behind the principles presented, one should find a morsel of wisdom. If not, what have you lost? (Some money) and an hour of your time. Not much to invest in something that could provide introspective motivation.
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on July 6, 2001
After all of the hype surrounding "Who Moved My Cheese" in recent months, I am truly surprised that this book has not gotten more media attention. It is an easily readable story that talks about one manager's challenge to turn around the morale of her new, highly negative team, and the innovative fish market that teaches her how to do it. Fish is by far the best book that I have ever read about motivating a team through creative leadership, and isn't that what change management is all about?
Many management books provide information on how to begin improving your work environment, but they involve complex analyses that no fast-moving manager has time to complete or constantly reference. The genius of Fish lies in the fact that it provides easily implementable examples of how to dramatically increase the morale of your workplace, and takes only an hour to read.
The basic principle is simple: by creating an environment where your employees are expected to have a great deal of fun each day, your customer service and business results will improve. The atmosphere of fun is created by redefining how you look at your current work responsibilities. Each manager that reads this book will find a different way that the principles apply to his.her particular work situation, and the flexibilty of the authors' message shows how truly brilliant it is.
Fish is a conversation starter and a life changer. No manager who considers him/herself innovative should be without a copy!
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