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Fish: A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results
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Fish: A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  18,516 Ratings  ·  721 Reviews
Fish! A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results
Hardcover, 110 pages
Published March 8th 2000 by Hyperion (first published 1996)
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K.D. Absolutely
Our company is using Fish! philosophy. I have been working for the past 27 years and all my previous three or four employers did not allow any of these: Halloween area decorations contest, global festival contest, monthly birthday celebrants dinner with the general manager, santacruzan (based on catholic religious festival), interest clubs (book club is one of these and I am one of the members and I will use Goodreads), etc. Honestly, I am not sure if they add value to the business (including ...more
Trisha
Aug 04, 2008 Trisha rated it did not like it
Suckiest book ever! This was an obligatory "work read". It was the classic corporate mumbo jumbo. Imagine a sucky group of employees with bad attitudes...in walks this great boss. With only the tap of a wand and a field trip to a local fish market she transforms this group of losers into productive happy cogs. With really clever phrases like "choose your attitude" this sage was able to get her team back on track and loving their jobs, life and eachother. Wow! Not once did they explore what made ...more
David Sven
Read this for work. Easy and quick to read.

The Fish philosophy is modelled on the work culture of a fishmonger's at Seattle's Pike Place Markets.

Summarised
1. Choose your attitude
2. Play/Have fun (They threw fish around at the markets)
3. Be present (for customers and others generally)
4. Make their day


3 stars

Nicholas Karpuk
Jul 22, 2011 Nicholas Karpuk rated it did not like it
I don't know if I've ever heard so much negative feedback on a book that no one's actually read.

A coworker cleaning out his desk handed me this slim hardback volume along with "Leadership and the One Minute Manager," both of which he received at some sort of managerial seminar. I'm usually up to give read just about anything, and neither volume extended much beyond 100 pages. When I asked him about fish, he casually explained that it was a book on how to brainwash your employees.

Not sure he read
...more
Eli
Apr 01, 2015 Eli rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: 2008
I gave this book one star only because Good Reads won't let me give it half a star. It was a work assignment. How do I loathe it, let me count the ways:

1. Abysmal writing. Fish was apparently written in a land where contractions seldom happen, and the dialogue reads like a 1950s industrial about the perils of poor hygiene.

2. The "story." Lundin et. al. felt the need to tack a "plot" onto their corporate philosophy book: a plot that was thin, forced, and, with the implausible love story stuck i
...more
Evan
Oct 26, 2011 Evan rated it did not like it
A GR friend listed this, which reminded me that I "owned" a copy at one time. Actually what happened was this: My former employer was sending us office peons to a motivational retreat out in the country, which happened every other year or so to our great collective dread. Much forced teamwork joviality and irritating group exercises and presentations that reminded me of kindergarten ensued. The latest management fad of the week that was used to "theme" and structure one of these particular ...more
Kristen
Apr 25, 2008 Kristen rated it did not like it
My boss gave me this book to read and tell her what I thought. My review here will be essentially what I told her.

The FISH concept is exactly that, a concept that has been heard before from countless speakers at every business conference you have attended. Chose your attitude, have some fun at work, pay attention to people, and be focused on the present. None of these are breakthrough concepts. The book itself is a quick read; I finished it on my lunch break after she gave it to me. Large font,
...more
Adriana
Fish is a business book written as a parable. Its purpose is coach its readers into a new way of carrying out their business environment in order to make employees more productive. It does so by enlightening us with less conventional methods of expressing ourselves at work.

In order for employees to be more productive, they need not experience work as a hum-drum experience. After all, who gives their all when they are bored and disengaged? Cliche as this may sound, Fish claims that passion in wha
...more
Trudy
Jul 28, 2009 Trudy rated it really liked it
I know it is a matter of perspective certainly, but I think a one star rating is missing the point of this book... It is absolutely not going to be winning any writing awards, but it contains lessons that I think we all need to be reminded of periodically. I always feel better when I read it and I always take something away from it. Quick read... an hour tops! Buy it for yourself, buy it for friends, buy it for coworkers... We can all benefit from the Fish philosophy!

1) Choose the attitude you b
...more
Danelley
Feb 11, 2009 Danelley rated it it was amazing
I got called in as a temp today, and inbetween breaks of answering phones, I noticed this book sitting in the office and I picked it up and read it. It's short and sweet and to the point, and a REALLY good book. It reminded me a lot of Victor Frankl's book Man's Search for Happiness, how even when our freedoms are taken away, we always have the freedom to choose our attitude toward things and events. This applies the choice of attitude to the workplace. Maybe you have a job that really sucks. ...more
Ron
Oct 01, 2011 Ron rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: young professionals, new managers
I really liked this book when I first bought it, in 2001. Back then, I was a young and idealistic 23-year-old, so I pretty much assumed that a corporate culture could be changed by smiling and being nice to the customers. Of course, I've since learned that it's not nearly that easy. The book's message is simple enough; it's a cross between the Serenity Prayer (don't dwell on what you can't change) and the Franklin or Eleanor Roosevelt quote to "do what you can with what you have where you are."

T
...more
Jacqueline Koyanagi
Jun 29, 2012 Jacqueline Koyanagi rated it did not like it
This was required reading for my day job. While I appreciate what the folks at my job are attempting to do, and am always on board for being as positive and present-minded as one is capable of being, therein lies the rub--this book did not account for individual variation in ability whatsoever. I wasn't surprised in the least to find that a book used as corporate motivation would be extremely ableist, erasing the reality of physical and mental disabilities as an involuntary factor in whether a ...more
Ashish
Jul 24, 2016 Ashish rated it it was ok
I don't want to be too critical of this book. After all, it's just a damn parable. I was surprised that this book was actually recommended by entrepreneurs and bosses to boost their employees' morale. HAHA! The way this book delivers its message is tad unrealistic, even for a parable. I understand the message that the book was trying to deliver was a noble one; get rid of "toxic energy" in the workplace. To achieve that purpose, the main character, Mary Jane took help from fishmongers who had a ...more
Lisa
Feb 11, 2010 Lisa rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Teenagers and bright eight-year-olds.
Shelves: business
Fish! A simplistic yet overbearing, cloying, smiley-fish face concept guaranteed to annoy, yet not challenge, any employee forced to read it. And there's absolutely no getting around the immediate reaction to all things Fish: is this about Jesus Christ? It isn't, it's about soulful fish-flingers from Seattle leading lives of great fulfillment that we should all envy. Why? Because they choose happiness. Like we all should. All of us. People from all walks of life. From the humble to the mighty. ...more
Scott Smith
Sep 13, 2009 Scott Smith rated it liked it
I've been dipping into some management books with the new job and since this one has been on my shelf forever (and it's short) I gave it a read. It's a little simplistic (and honestly reads a little too much like a kids' book at times), but the maxims it uses (Choose Your Attitude, Be Present, Make Their Day, Play) are smart. Of course, figuring out how to implement them is the hard part, and the book doesn't offer much in the way of guiding you on that score.
Mindy Reads
We had to read this book for work. Although some of the ideology in this "self help" book could be useful (mainly to the companies who want to get the most out of their employees), it is extremely disheartening to read this book as someone who has suffers from mental health issues and who also tends to get wrapped up in work. My main issue with this book is that it presumes that anyone who isn't a go getter, isn't happy all the time, isn't 100% dedicated to the job, must be in a rut and they ...more
Jeffrey Jose
Oct 21, 2012 Jeffrey Jose rated it liked it
Another business parable/fable book in an easy to digest format. The book doesnt convey anything earth-shattering, takes a simple enough story and tries to get across a simple concept - What would it take a dull, inefficient team in a fictional company back up running.

The story involves our main character Mary Jane Ramirez, who has gone through a fair share of troubles with her personal life, with her husband dying all of a sudden from a disease, given responsibility of "third floor" of the comp
...more
Rickey
These basic principles of high performance and high morale took on new life in this story based upon the Pike Place Fish Market. Crafted into a fictional story by people who were not directly involved in creating that World Famous fish market, the authors still had some helpful principles to share:

Choose Your Attitude,
Play,
Make Their Day,
Be Present

It seemed a little too simple and easy though - a little too gimmicky. I've been involved in a workplace that had the video and didn't really integrat
...more
Brendan Miller
Oct 18, 2015 Brendan Miller rated it did not like it
Started fair, mildly believable, even. Around half-way through the book becomes a cheesy super-dramatic 80's sitcom learning-lesson. The author(s) treat you like a child the entire way.

Here's an actual excerpt:
"I was living a busy life... trying to make ends meet and working both sides against the middle. One day my daughter asked me to go to the park. I told her it was a wonderful idea but I had a lot to do at that moment. I said she should wait until later, after I had a chance to catch up.. D
...more
Deborah Pickstone
Dec 15, 2015 Deborah Pickstone rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Sounds wonderful! The film they made was also....well, if every workplace was like this, how happy we would all be! It's just......

It wouldn't work. I mean it really wouldn't work. I tried applying it to my workplace and as far as I can see everyone thinks that theoretically this is great but....so long as it doesn't involve them. Making the effort, that is. Accommodating the people they work with that they don't like. Doing the tasks no-one relishes. Having fun. At work.

It goes against the grai
...more
Jennifer
Apr 26, 2008 Jennifer rated it did not like it
The writers of this book are responsible for the documentary about Seattle's world famous Pike Place fish market, whose employees' enthusiasm and playfulness have become a model for businessess of all types and also schools. Since it's not practical for the small family run business I work for to rent the film for $500, I decided to read this slim inexpensive book instead. The Fish philosophy revolves around four key ideas: Choose the attitude you go to work with each day, be playful, make the ...more
Sofiar
Jan 10, 2014 Sofiar added it
To be surrounded by such negative air and energy at her job, Mary Jane decides to get advice from a fishmonger in Pike Place Fish Market where their clients always enjoy to go shopping for some seafood and a good laugh. The place was once filled with negative energy, but is now oozing in positivity. Mary Jane has just been switched to a different floor in at her job.She discovers that her new floor is full of...plain nothing. Everyone in the company complains about that floor and their work ...more
ReGina
Oct 20, 2014 ReGina rated it really liked it
Shelves: work-books
So, the reason this book gets a four instead of a five is because Mary Jane (the central figure in the book) doesn't encounter any serious pushback of any kind as she tries to turn around a toxic work environment. Unfortunately, there are some creatures that thrive in toxic environments and will fight to the death to keep it that way. That being said, this is a terrific book about the four basic principles of making a workplace more enjoyable - choose your attitude, make their day, play, and be ...more
Carol
Nov 07, 2016 Carol rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge-2016
My company works with the Fish principles, and so I believe they will start rolling the book out to employees soon. I can see how the four principles would help to have better energy at work. But you do need all the company to know them, and all of them on board. The principles are fine, a bit obvious if you will, but there's a good explanation behind them.
But the way it was told, with Mary Jane's story just sucks. I mean, I would have rather have a more theoretical book, than having a shitty st
...more
Anna Piranha
Jul 06, 2008 Anna Piranha rated it did not like it
Could have been a pamphlet. I was conscripted to read this for work some time ago. Essentially, the 'author' advises that if you hate your job, well you should just stop doing that. O RLY? Be present, play, something something. I never thought anything could suck the joy out of reading for me. Reading self help business books full of oversimplified advice has actually done what even Jude The Obscure with miserable love and suicidal children could not. KUDOS, sanctimonious buttmunch!
Stephanie
Jul 10, 2015 Stephanie rated it it was ok
A generic alagory with unrealistic characters and story line. The intent was genuine enough, everyone would love to work in an enjoyable environment. However, a fish monger who likes to throw fish isn't a character that people in an office environment can relate to. While the point of the book was to help employees find their "ah ha" moment and change their attitude, the book fell flat. It had good advice, but I've read better.
Brian Pinson
Aug 28, 2016 Brian Pinson rated it really liked it
Shelves: vtchallenge
I had to read this for work and I'm glad I did. The book is a parable based on the Seattle Fish Market. I wish there was more background on the authors. I would like to know their relationship to the fish market. The brief bio's do not link any kind of connection making me think this was totally made up. Which is fine, but leaves a gap for me. Recommended for anyone working on a team.
Jbass
Sep 22, 2007 Jbass rated it it was ok
yes I read this. the book's point is great-- the book itself (the supposed story) SUCKS BALLS. this book could have been a one page handout, with five bullet points. good thing it only took an hour or two to read.
Martin Danko
Aug 21, 2015 Martin Danko rated it really liked it
Skutocny pribeh o tom, co nas moze naucit rybi trh zvany Pike Place v Seattli. Mal som moznost sa tam niekolkokrat ocitnut nazivo, a tak mozem povedat len, ze to co o nom hovori tato kniha je skutocna pravda. Vsetci dospeli by sa mali naucit znova hrat ako deti! :)
Hitessh Panchal
Jan 28, 2016 Hitessh Panchal rated it it was amazing
Short, Sweet And To The Point. Most Of us already knows , what the author has to say , but this book can be considered a Quick Reference of your approach to life/work. Must Read !!!
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“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 about ourselves. Stay focused in order to be present when your customers and team mebers most need you. And should you feel your enegery lapsing, try this surefire remedy: Find someone who needs a helping hand, a word of support, or a good ear - and make their day.” 7 likes
“It may sound a little sappy, but I believe I have an obligation to seek out and find ways to demonstrate my gratitude for this life I enjoy.” 0 likes
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