Book Review : Fish! Tales

Almost 8 years ago, I started working with a very young General Manager who introduced to our leadership the importance of FISH! Philosophy. Inspired by a group of fishmongers from Seattle’s Pike Place FISH! Market, through FISH! Philosophy, we created teams and culture in our workplace that encourages people to flourish and have fun which helps in increasing productivity.

The Four Practices of The FISH! Philosophy are as below :

BE THERE – Powerful message of respects that improves communications while strengthening relationships. Be Emotionally Present for People!

PLAY – Having fun by tapping into one natural way of being creative and enthusiastic. Play is the spirit that drives curious minds : “Let’s Play with that idea!”. An easy mindset to bring into everything that we do daily.

MAKE THEIR DAY – Simple gesture / ways to serve or delight people in a meaningful and memorable way. It means a little contribution to someone else’s life not because we want something in return but because that’s the person you want to be! In this example : One of your guest had checked out and you found her telephone charger in the room. Through conversation with her prior to her departure, you knew that she was heading to another hotel in another destination. You call immediate to the hotel where she would be staying and arrange for a similar charger to be made available for her upon her arrival while leaving a message that you have just couriered the charger over. A little gesture where least expected will indeed MAKE THEIR DAY when your guest arrived and only to realized that she left her charger behind but you have already pre-arranged everything at her next destination. 

CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE – Take responsibility for how we responds to what life throws our way. Our choice effects others. Choose and attitude that helps to make us be the person that WE WANT TO BE!


Over the past years, I tried to continue the practices and culture in every organization that I joined in every team that I work with.

Recently, I came across FISH! Tales, a book written by Stephen C. Lundin, John Christensen and Harry Paul and Philip Strand. This book carries real-life stories by people who choose to life using FISH! Philosophy and chooses to use the 4 practices in their daily life.


One of my favorite read in the book is the story of Lori Lockhart, the director of Sprint Global Connections Services and team in their journey of introducing FISH! Philosophy to the team which resulted an increase in productivity by 20% while winning several customer satisfaction awards.

My 2nd favorite read from the book is the story of the Leadership of Tile Tech that creates The Pond. It talks about our fear of descending into a lake to battle swamp-dwelling monsters. It is something that happens in our life where we faced difficult conversations that can be overwhelming that we would rather be unhappy than to descend into the lake to find the happiness, honesty and healed relationships that may await us.

The Pond in Tile Tech is use when people feels the need to have a conversation with someone. In The Pond, people even if they are on different rank in the organization, once step into The Pond, they are all on equal ground and one can say what’s on their mind. There is NO RULES in The Pond except TO BE RESPECTFUL. One need to let go of ego and sense of righteousness and speak their mind with the goal of reaching a conclusion hence improving / healing the relationship. A good way to connect with another person without the use of modern technology like cell phones and email.

The FISH! Philosophy is highly recommended to improve and increase employee retention. Thanks to my young and energetic General Manager back then, I have learned and truly enjoyed applying FISH! Philosophy in my daily life. One must admit that it is not easy especially in the very competitive workplace today, however I do believe that by CHOOSING THE RIGHT ATTITUDE, the other 3 practices of  The FISH! Philosophy  will eventually fall into place.


So make your choice today! And for those who are interested in understanding more about The FISH! Philosophy head over to : The FISH! Philosophy and check it what it is ALL about!


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