Analysis Of Stephen C. Lundin's 'Fish !'

Submitted By boggerbear87
Words: 1604
Pages: 7

By Stephen C. Lundin, PhD

Mary Jane Ramirez moved from Southern California with her husband two children to Seattle. Mary Jane became held a supervisory position at one of Seattle’s largest financial institutions, First Guarantee Financial. A year after arriving in Seattle, Mary Jane found herself a single mother raising her two children after her husband Dan died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. Mary Jane quickly gained the reputation of being a “can-do” supervisor, and after three years, she was offered a position on the infamous third floor. The third floor was often the topic of many negative conversations with other employees at First Guarantee. No one liked to deal with the third floor because they were always met with negative responses and poor treatment. Many described the third floor as unpleasant, slow, zombie, wasteland and a toxic dump. Mary Jane took the promotion to the third floor and immediately noticed why it was given the reputation it had. For instance, she observed an employee allowing the phone to ring seven times before he unplugged the cord. She knew she had to do something, but she did not exactly know what or how she could make changes. Her supervisor Bill approached her regarding concerns upper management had regarding the “toxic dump” attitude of the third floor. They were considering hiring new people to bring new energy to the floor or outsourcing the operations of the third floor all together. Mary Jane knew that her job security along with everyone else’s on that floor was in jeopardy. Bill told her to figure out a way to find out the reasons why there was such low energy and morale on the third floor and solve it. On her lunch break, Mary Jane took a stroll down First Street, thinking how she could change the energy on the third floor. She came across Pike Place and saw a large crowd of people gathered around a fish market. Everyone there was laughing and having fun tossing fish. Mary Jane wondered what was the secret to the success of the fish store and why everyone who worked there was so happy. A guy that worked there named Lonnie, noticed her curiosity and approached Mary Jane. She told him about the third floor and asked him for advice as to how she could turn her floor into the amazing energy pit that she was witnessing. Lonnie gave her four elements of the “Fish!” The first element was to choose your attitude. Lonnie explained to Mary Jane, “There is always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there is not a choice about the work itself.” Workers choose the attitudes they bring to work: they’re either going to be miserable or they’re going to be motivated. If they choose to be motivated, and get in the habit of making that choice, they will be happier and more productive. If you have to be at work, why not be great at it rather than ordinary? The second, and more popular, element of the Fish! philosophy is to incorporate “play” into the workplace. The idea is that you can be serious about your business and still have fun with the way you conduct business. It shows that you’re not taking yourself so seriously, and that you understand the importance of good humor even in stressful situations. The benefits of play are as follows: happy people treat each other well, fun leads to creativity, the time passes quickly, having a good time is healthy, and work becomes a reward and not just a way to rewards. Lonnie also explained to Mary Jane the importance of keeping your customers involved, which leads to the third element. Make their day. This is the core service concept of the Fish! philosophy: approach customer service with the goal that you’re going to make someone’s day. Go out of your way to give someone a memorable experience working with you. The last element is Be Present. The authors point out that people in service professions tend to “zone out” in their work. Because they’re so unhappy, just clock-watching and waiting for their shift to