Enhancing Company Culture: 3 Major Keys from the Book “Fish!”

At any given time during the week, it’s not uncommon to find me browsing through the pre-owned book section in your friendly neighbourhood Value Village or any other local thrift store.


There I usually find a few gems, at a fraction of the cover list price ($6 at most), to add to my personal business reference library.


My latest addition, Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results, was a short but very enjoyable and informative read.


From the beginning this 107-page book, written by co-authors Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen, sets the stage for a fictional story about a department manager who learns how to enhance her company culture after visiting the world famous Seattle fish market.


Aside from it being a very enjoyable read and one of the best books I’ve read on this topic, I came away with these 3 main keys:


Finding purpose is the key ingredient to loving the work you do. A lot of people become dissatisfied with their daily work and aspire to change careers or do something more inspiring with their life. That said most employees, due to current financial responsibilities, can’t leave the job they’re currently in, at least for the near future. Having a clear purpose of the function for your current role goes a long way in helping you cope with there “here and now” while you work towards that next career move. As an operations manager for a team of 11 individuals, I see my work not just to manage daily task within my department, but to be a mentor to my team and give them great work experience daily. According to Fish! finding the purpose in our jobs right now can only happen when we choose to have the right attitude when we come into work daily.


Using creative and uncommon outlets to help them find purpose will no doubt change the way they view their careers



Dare to be different at work to get new results. Creating or changing the current company culture isn’t something that’s accomplished overnight. It takes hours, days, weeks, and months of implementing new processes and procedures. Fish! encourages the reader not to be afraid to take chances in bringing a different approach to the table. I had a manager who would stop our work randomly during our week to do pop culture trivia. It was a much needed break in what could sometimes be a fast paced environment. Try instituting some fun during work hours with your team and watch over time how they respond.


Give people a reason to look forward to coming to work (especially on Mondays)From the book: “We look for as many ways as we can to create great memories. Focusing your attention on ways to make another person’s day provides a constant flow of positive feelings.” Ultimately if these are the results we want to witness in our daily work, employees need to be given a much greater incentive related to combining the first 2 points. Using creative and uncommon outlets to help them find purpose will no doubt change the way they view their careers, and give them a reason to not call in sick on Monday.


I’ll end with this. My favourite quote of the book came at the beginning: “…..if our quest for ideal work focuses us on the future, we will miss the amazingly wonderful life that is available today, in this moment.”


I highly recommend this book, especially if you’re currently in some kind of management position. If you can’t find one at a thrift shop, or borrow from your local library, this one is definitely worth purchasing at full price.

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