September 20, 2016

4 Basic Principles to Build a Strong Foundation for Success

Have you ever been so passionate about your job that people stopped to watch you work? The employees at Pike Place Fish Market are and they are the inspiration for FISH! Philosophy, a training program developed by ChartHouse Learning. FISH! Philosophy provides organizations with the tools to develop an amazing organizational culture. After watching and analyzing the fishmongers, the team behind the program discovered four basic principles for success:

  1. Choose your attitude
  2. Be there
  3. Make their day
  4. Play

Our Homeowners Association Group, recently reviewed the FISH! Philosophy and applied the concepts to their team and processes.


Choose your attitude

Brandi Smith presented the idea of what it means to “Choose your attitude.” Her presentation focused on how each team member can control their reaction when external pressures trigger feelings. A positive attitude is a choice, a decision that is made moment by moment in the office. She offered some “fishy” ideas to try in the office to promote positive attitudes:

  • Smile
  • Be energetic
  • Remember Borror’s vision
  • Make someone laugh
  • Be committed to what you do


Be there

Jayne Otchy presented the “Be there” (be present) principle with a mini-power point highlighting what it means to BE THERE, what it is not and the benefits of this practice in our business. Benefits when we are THERE, PRESENT & IN THE MOMENT include:

  • Solving each other’s problems together
  • Creating a collective mind or similar mindset
  • Having the same goals and desired outcomes
  • Developing trust and cohesiveness
  • Building a sense of community and contribution

Jayne found inspiration from a little Bee stamp and made Bee prints in frames for our desks so we can remember to BEE!


Layne Schoener presented the principle of “Play”, which immediately brought to mind the concept of physical items and ways to have fun. However, after looking further into the word and reading the book, she realized that play is “not just an activity, it’s a state of mind that bring energy and sparks creativity.” When presenting this to the team, she emphasized that play is really in your head and in everything you do.

She provided the team with Play-Doh, for stress relief as needed or to simply take a moment to switch gears. The team is going to try and do a monthly activity, outside of work to bond. Every month a different team member will pick the activity. Lastly, she placed a jar of Dove chocolates in the office. When someone is having a rough day, they can “go fish” and receive encouragement from inspirational words found on Dove chocolate packages.


Make their day

Cate Hardman was tasked with the concept “Make their day.”  She expressed this with thoughtful gifts for the team. She gave Stephanie a calendar book since she typically prints blank calendars in the office. Jayne is always looking for interesting Post-Its and page markers so Cate picked up some fun ones for Jayne to use around the office. Since Brandi likes to travel, Cate gave her a luggage tag and snacks for her upcoming trip. Layne appreciates a fun time and a good drink, so Cate got her some organic craft beer.

The process of reviewing an established, well-renowned culture created a stronger bond and appreciation for our team and their efforts, individually and as a group.


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