FISH! A REMARKABLE WAY TO BOOST MORALE AND IMPROVE RESULTS
By Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D., Harry Paul, and John Christensen
A Summary by Michael Alberico
Mary Jane and Dan had moved their family to Seattle, do to Dan’s new job which he loved and would come home every night and just talk about it. Mary Jane had taken a managerial position at First Guarantee. However, less than a year later tragedy struck. Dan died suddenly from a burst aneurysm.
FIRST GUARANTEE FINANCIAL
Mary Jane was known for her great work ethic. She was a good manager who listened carefully to her staff. Her department at First Guarantee, a large financial institution where she worked, was known for its high quality of work. People could count on her department to get things done, and a atmosphere of camaraderie permeated through the air.
Another division on the Third Floor was thought about in the opposite terms. The people there were unpleasant and uncooperative. Staff in other departments seemed to revel in the details latest fiasco involving the Third Floor. It was said that life there ceased to exist. Unfortunately most of the work in the organization had to pass through the third floor at some stage and it was a major bottleneck for other departments.
Mary was offered a job as Operations Manager on the Third Floor. Although she was aware and anxious about the groups’ reputation, she felt she had to take the promotion due to her financial situation as a single mother and recent widow.
THE THIRD FLOOR
Mary Jane was surprised that she actually liked the people on the Third Floor, while realizing that its reputation was deserved. They were the butt of all company jokes. Phones were left ringing and unanswered; if the staff felt hassled to work faster they would make deliberate mistakes and give lame excuses; and people could be counted on to rush to the elevators at 4:30 every day. Mary Jane felt that the culture of the department was so overwhelmingly depressing that it would drag anyone down. Most of her time was spent fighting fires and dealing with continuing crises crested by her staff.
THE TOXIC ENERGY DUMP
One day, just as Mary Jane was heading out to lunch, her arrogant SOB boss, Bill, who would often cut her off mid sentence called. He had just come back from a meeting with the Management Group where the Third Floor was singled out as being the biggest problem of the organization. The President, who came back from one of those spirit workshops called it, “A toxic energy dump.” Bill was grilled on the problem. “So, have you solved the problem of the Third Floor yet” he asked Mary Jane, it had only been five weeks since she started, “We need to fix it pronto”.
A CHANGE IN ROUTINE
Mary Jane rushed out to lunch her mind ablaze with the problems she was having. She normally went out to the Waterfront for lunch instead of using the cafeteria where her department was the butt of all jokes. Today, however she took aspontaneous turn as she headed out and ended up on First St at the Pikes Place Fish markets.
THE WORLD FAMOUS PIKE PLACE FISH MARKET
Mary Jane looked around her at a huge crowd that had gathered. There was a carnival atmosphere in the air. People were laughing and fish guys yelling out at the crowd. Even fish flying through the air. The guys would call out the orders to each other and then repeat the calls “One salmon flying away to Minnesota” one person called and the rest chorused. Then one of the fish guys noticed her and asked what was wrong? She didn't mean to tell him but the whole story about the third floor and her situation just came out. To her surprise Lonnie listened very attentively. He asked her how she liked the fish market. “I love it, so much energy and enthusiasm”, she replied. Lonnie explained that it hadn't always been like that, in fact, a few years ago they had their own toxic energy dump, but now he just loves working there and is spoiled for life. Lonnie asked if she would...
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