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Fish!: A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results Hardcover – March 8, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 story line 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

Review

'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.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 110 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1 edition (March 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786866020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786866021
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (486 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

219 of 229 people found the following review helpful By Dan E. Ross on April 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
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.
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164 of 179 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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."
The story is told in the context of a familiar business departmental crisis. Traditional management processes have failed and those who tried to implement change left convinced that conditions would never improve in that department (nicknamed the "Toxic Energy Dump").
A new departmental manager is assigned; she must find and implement new solutions or suffer the burden of defeat experienced by her predecessors.
Serendipitously, during her lunch break, she discovers a fish market that does not fit preconceptions for that environment most of us would have, i.e., hard, tedious work under unpleasant, uncomfortable conditions. What she does experience is a group of people who are totally involved with their customers, having a lot of fun, and selling lots of fish!
She asks one of the fishmongers about how they do this. And so begins the odyssey that uncovers the four key lessons she applies to turn her department around. I believe that these lessons are cornerstones for success both at work and in personal life. The lessons may seem simple and obvious, but they are based the deep needs we all have to feel that we matter, to contribute to others, and to enjoy our work.
I attended the first "Fish Camp" in Minneapolis that Steve Lundin and his associates facilitated (they did a great job); I left with the lessons contained in this book.
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80 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Fred Gibbons on September 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
What does a "Toxic Energy Dump" and throwing fish have to do with life, especially performance in the workplace? A great deal according to the authors of The Fish.
In this parable you learn very quickly and easily how to turn around a "toxic" environment. Although the solutions may sound simple and obvious, they remind us - that regardless of our position in an organization, it's a great thing to find enjoyment and satisfaction in our ordinary day-to-day work lives. The writers provide simple descriptions of what attitude and fun can do to turn around the "toxic energy dump" in the workplace. The fable and principles show you how to bring hope and excitement to the people who perform the "back room" functions.
This book is a quick read, with principles that are easy to grasp and apply. Laughter and fun are great bridge builders between people - I encourage you to try The Fish and see how these principles are used to build bridges not only at a renowned fish market in Seattle, but between people within a back room department and other departments.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Jones on November 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fish is simple. The book espouses 4 principles that are simple to understand yet often missing in most workplaces. Reading this book will help any business leader/manager look for ways to involve their employees in making their jobs fun and enjoyable and thereby a place they want to be. I manage the accounting and finance areas of my organization and I purchased Fish for all my employees. We have begun meeting and discussing ways to apply the principles found in Fish, the first dealing directly with the employee and their attitude when they walk in the door. The attitude they bring to work will effect their day and the effect the people around them. Fish leads you from helping your employees understand the importance of their attitude to helping them make the workplace vibrant and enjoyable for everyone. There are a million books in the marketplace telling you how to make your employee's lives easier. Fish tackles the concept that the employee is responsible for taking the first step to make the organization a great place. Too often, we are told the company makes the people. The fact is, the people make the company. Fish will help you decide whether to allow your people to languish or lead them to a better and happier life and job.
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Fish!: A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results
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