Book review: Fish tales

When you make room for play at work, great things happen. They discovered this at Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. Selling fish can be hard, boring and repetitious, and a few years back they had very little fun doing it.

And then they changed that. Today they have a lot more fun, give their customers a better experience and sell a lot more fish. This has been documented in a film and accompanying book called “Fish!” and in an additional book in the series called Fish Tales, which contains some great, true stories of organizations at play.

Pike Place defined four things that they believe lead to a good work experience:

Play – Allow yourself to be silly. Bring some fun and games into the workplace.
Choose your attitude – You decide for yourself what attitude you bring to your job.
Be present – Be there, in both body and mind.
Make their day – Give you customers and colleagues good experiences.

The interesting thing is, that using these values any job can be a good experience. Fish tales contains a chapter for each of these, and each chapter tells the true story of a different company that has implemented the values, and how this changed them for the better. All the stories are interesting and touching.

If you liked Gung Ho, you’ll like this book too. It uses storytelling to convey it’s message, and the tips in the book can be understood and used by leaders and employees alike. This is a simple and refreshing way to explain stuff that might otherwise become theoretical and dry.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in creating a better workplace – whether for yourself or for others.

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