Friday, July 10, 2009

Go Fish!

Big Mouth Billy Bass

The philosophy of fish

Author: Right Selection at Articlesbase

The philosophy of fish

Plato examined the dualism of life and Freud delved into the deviant patterns of man’s psyche. People practice Raj Yoga to calm body and mind and Stephen Covey has presented us with eight habits to make us all more effective.

But rarely has a philosophy of life been based on the practices of a fish market. Until now.
It might sound strange but organisations including Wild Wadi and the American Hospital in Dubai have already started putting the Fish! philosophy into practice. And the Bank of Dubai are ready to open their vaults a chink to get the taste of ‘fish’ inside. Architect and proponent of Fish, Stephen Lundin, tells the City Times a little more.

‘I’ve a fascination for energy and carry many observations of the work places that have none. The Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle had so much life there that people came down from their office buildings at lunch times just to get juiced up to go back to work.’

What really caught Lundin’s imagination was the fishmongers’ behaviour and the way they sell fish. Paraphrasing part of his tale in his book, it runs like this: “One salmon flying away to Minnesota’, cries the fishmonger as the glittering silver fish flies through the air in the direction of the purchaser. ‘One salmon flying away to Minnesota,’ chorus his colleagues.

‘Meanwhile around the corner there’s a guy in white overalls and black wellies moving the jaws of another large fish, pretending it’s talking. Two more are actively having a conversation with a fish they’ve just sold and behind the desk, the cashier’s juggling crabs.’

‘It’s all so simple that people can’t figure it out,’ says Lundin. The Pike Place people have created an experience for others and they think that they can make a difference in the world. Essentially they’ve created a culture that they’ve been able to sustain.’

And the principles are simple. Fish is about having fun in the work place, having a buoyant and cheerful attitude and giving something special to the people around you. The question is, how does Stephen Lundin translate the lessons of the fish market into the grey language of our mundane lives?

‘I don’t translate, I inspire by telling my story. People are provoked by it into trying something and they discover how it works in a mortuary, a nursing home or an insurance company. How it works in Australia, New Zealand or Africa. There are thousands of people now who say: ‘my life is valuable’. If I treat that life as precious it will cause me to want to think about how I live my life. If I live a life that is an honour to life itself it also creates something for the people around me. That’s very special.’

Fish is a different way of working and Lundin is adamant that it cannot be strategic. Try to turn it into a progamme and it becomes lifeless without energy.

‘The minute that happens it loses the element that people want: the customer experience. It works through inspiration, modelling and encouragement.’

As children, we’re able to seamlessly blend work with play but when we are adults we lose that capability. By adopting and promoting the Fish philosophy, we can bring that back into our lives (according to Stephen Lundin).

At Wild Wadi they’re getting there already and our man was seriously impressed. And the key points of Fish?
‘Learning how to be fully alive and authentic at work,’ he says as he holds a chipstick under his nose.

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Right Selection - Event Management invites professional speakers, trainers, and consultants to share their expertise in various fields of learning with the corporate community. The Events division organises:

* Success Seminars inviting participation from the corporate community.
* Customised Workshops for individual companies

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