Fish! Philosophy and How You Can Apply It In The Workplace

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Creating a more positive work environment with Fish! Philosophy.

The Fish! Philosophy was created and based around a live work environment and can be adapted to fit your specific work needs. This system was started by a man named John Christensen and based around Seattle's Pike's Place Fish Market. Its main goal is to bring more optimism into the workplace and make the workplace an all around better place to be. After Mr. Christensen visited the Fish Market, he observed them flinging fish at each other and making a game of their job. He also noticed that the customers were eating their antics up. It was then that realized that the employees working there were turning a mundane task into amusement for themselves and their many customers. This positive outlook on their job was beneficial for the both the customers and the business.

The Fish! Philosophy focuses on four key concepts, which I will explain in more detail as we go through this method.

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

Play:  This is based in having fun at work. What it is meant to do is facilitate a happy and creative work environment. While it could be said that a lunch or get together every now and then would suffice, the Fish! Philosophy fosters the idea that you can play anytime and anything that makes your workplace more enjoyable to be around will benefit employee performance, energize customers, and encourage an all around more confident work presence.

Make Their Day:  This concept is based in feeling valued as an employee or a customer of your company. What this really means is making sure that leaders of a company are appreciating their customers and your employees are making your customers feel acknowledged. Overall, utilizing this technique in the Fish! Philosophy will strengthen your employees' loyalty and commitment, and encourage employees to achieve more things that they may have otherwise thought unattainable.

Be Present: This is a concept based in primarily making someone else your sole priority. What this means in simple terms is that you focus on an employee or customer and give them your full attention. It can also mean that you give the task you are given a full commitment and strive to complete it to the best of your ability. This is part of the Fish! Philosophy to build trust and respect between leaders and employees as well as customers and your business.

Choose Your Attitude: This is by far the most difficult of concepts to master when it comes to the Fish! Philosophy. It is based in how your attitude affects those people around you. It is noted in the website information for Fish! that there will be days when your attitude is not the way you would like it to be. However, it is beneficial to both employees and customers to know how your tone and attitude reflects the company and affects those around you. Choosing your attitude will make it easier to change your attitude to something you know will work better in certain work situations as well as foster ways to impact relationships more positively in difficult situations.

While the Fish! Philosophy has been known to help companies who are in need of the methods and have an appropriate environment to foster it, there are some critics of it. On the Wikipedia page for the Fish! Philosophy it has been noted that employees of the Pike's Place Fish Market do not like the method and it is a false representation of their work place. There are some people who would peg this philosophy as a money making scam and others who swear by it as a positive thing in their own workplace.

No matter what you think about it, its worth a look and research, because in the end, when you have to work 40 hours a week, wouldn't you rather it be a pleasant environment?

Fish! Philosophy Website