Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results Hardcover – Mar 8 2000
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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 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 --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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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.Read more ›
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.
On the other hand, the book has some serious flaws. For example, one of the principles is "Choose your Attitude." It would be wonderful if every person could be magically transformed into having a good attitude. But that's not the way it works in the real world. Though I deeply believe that a lot of people can develop a great attitude if they are managed correctly, the truth is that there are some people out there who have terrible attitudes (i.e. they are lazy, don't work well with others, don't take pride in their work, etc.) and will never change regardless of how they are managed. It's a shame this has to be done, but the best way to deal with this problem is to fire these types of employees (after giving them a fair chance to get better) and replace them with people who have a good attitude.
Also, the authors virtually said nothing about the importance of how employees are managed. If you want an employee to have a good attitude, I personally feel that genuinely listening to their ideas or giving them a sincere compliment on their work will often do the trick. But good management techniques such as this aren't touched on in the book.
In summary, the book is worth reading since it'll only take an hour or two of your time. But remember that this Fish! is swimming in shallow water.
Author, The Ten Commandments for Managers
Most recent customer reviews
This was a fantastic book to read. A quick read as well. I believe this would be a great gift for someone when they are first starting their career.Published 13 months ago by Sherry Miller
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.Published on May 22 2013 by TheDawg
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. Read morePublished on April 28 2013 by C. Cabral
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... Read morePublished on July 12 2004 by David Wilbur
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. Read morePublished on July 8 2004
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. Read morePublished on July 1 2004 by D.B.
While the ideas seem to be relevent the story behind it is boring and cheesy. But what can you expect from a parable book? Read morePublished on June 17 2004
The book is too saccharine and simplistic. I also had the pleasure of listening to the audio book as well. Read morePublished on June 3 2004 by ken
I suppose if you are looking for a reason to do "something" in your organization, this will do. Read morePublished on March 6 2004
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