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1 . Preliminary Information: Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen. Fish! A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results. New York: Hyperion, 2000. Print. 2. Summary: Fish! is the story of Mary Jane Ramirez, a mid-level manager who works at First Guarantee Financial in Seattle, and her efforts to transform her employee’s attitudes.
The story starts off with Mary Jane and her family moving to Seattle due to her husband’s Job relocation. Unfortunately, Mary Jane’s husband died unexpectedly from a blood clot in his brain, which left Mary Jane financially unsecure and forced er to accept a management position with First Guarantee.
Mary Jane’s promotion bumped her up to the dreaded third floor, which is often referred to in the book as a “toxic waste dump”.
The staff on the third floor is known for being bored, uninterested, unmotivated and not helpful to the clients that they serve. Five weeks passed, and Mary Jane’s confidence was clearly shaken and all of her energy depleted, not to mention she was reporting to senior manager, Bill, who has a reputation of being very unpleasant and rude. Bill noticed the severe lack of motivation from level 3 and put Mary Jane in charge of changing the environment nd the culture of level 3.
With plenty of questions and no answers in sight, Mary Jane found herself at the infamous Pike Place Fish Market for lunch where she met Lonnie, a happy-go-lucky fishmonger, who gives her Just the advice she needs about her situation with First Guarantee. Lonnie explained to her that Pike Place used to be exactly like First Guarantee, with the lack of motivation and the feeling that their work was boring, monotonous every single day. So, how were the fishermen at Pike Place able to turn their boring fish market into one of the most famous in the world? Lonnie explained it to Mary Jane in four simple steps.
The first step, and arguably most important, is to “choose your attitude. ” Choosing your attitude sounds simple enough, but it is crucial when it comes to the work environment. The second step is to “find ways to play. ” This makes the work environment more fun and reduces the tension. The third step is to “be present. ” This step ensures that you’re always living in the moment and not taking anything for granted. The fourth and final step is to “make their day. ” This step focuses on the customers and making sure that their day was ade with your interactions.
With these four steps, Mary Jane was able to transform her “toxic waste dump” to a healthy working environment. Just to be sure the company follows these steps, a plaque had been made and hung in the front entrance of the headquarters that reads: “As you enter this place of work please choose to make today a great day. Your colleagues, customers, team members, and you yourself will be thankful. Find ways to play. We can be serious about our work without being serious ourselves. Stay focused in order to be present when your customers and team members most need you.
And should you feel your energy lapsing, try this sure fire remedy: Find someone who needs a helping hand, a word of support, or a good ear- and make their day’ (Lundin). 3. Critical Analysis: Fish! tells a wonderful and believable story about a common problem with todays workforce. Many workplace tasks can be considered monotonous and boring, and you do big emphasis on health and the overall well-being of employees, there shouldn’t be such a high rate of “toxic waste dumps”, especially when we spend a considerable amount of our time in the work place. I liked how the authors used the world famous
Pike Place Fish Market as an example to demonstrate that any Job on the planet can be fun and tolerable with the right mindset. As Lonnie from the fish market said, “I’m spoiled for life. I don’t think I could work in a typical market after experiencing this. As I mentioned, the market didn’t start this way. It, too, was an energy dump for many years” (Lundin). The four elements of Lonnie’s philosophy really could be applicable to any work environment in need of revamping. Starting with choose your attitude; it is probably the most simple yet effective strategy in the book.
As it is tated in the book: “there is always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there is not a choice about the work itself” (Lundin). Any worker can choose their attitude that they bring to work; whether they are going to be miserable or if they are going to be happy and motivated. If you consistently choose to be in a positive mood, then odds are you will be much happier and productive in the long-run. After all, if you have to be at work, why not try and make the best out of it? The next philosophy is to play. We see this strategy come in to use for many companies today, especially
Google. The general idea is that you can be serious about your work, but you can still have fun with the way you conduct your business. This shows that you are not always taking yourself so seriously, and you can understand the importance of humor even in stressful situations. If the ideology of play is incorporated in businesses, people will treat others well, workers will be more creative, the time passes more quickly, and the environment is healthier. The third philosophy is to make their day. This step is crucial when it comes to customer satisfaction.
The idea is simple in heory: go out and approach customer service with the goal that you are going to make somebodys day. When you go out of your way to give your customer a memorable experience, it enhances your company’s image and leaves a lasting impression. The fourth and final philosophy is to be present. This brings in an element of attention to the moment rather than zoning out of work. When you are not present while at work, more than likely time is being wasted staring at the clock, which also means you are not fully engaged with your clients or customers and diminishes the quality of your work.
When you are present at work, all of those problems are solved and it makes you stand out from the rest of your coworkers. 4. Conclusion: Fish! is a must-read for any business that has signs of becoming a “toxic waste dump. ” The book itself is short in length, and it delivers its message very clearly and effectively. The four basic philosophies discussed in the book are very simple, yet they can easily be implemented in any work environment to improve the overall atmosphere. I would recommend this book to anyone that fears their company’s work environment might be in trouble.