Monday, February 9, 2009

A Fishy Story

I have had the pleasure of working with many different organizations through my career. And I can truly say that each one of those workplaces was unique - in its challenges, with its opportunities and with the characters that work there. While I have enjoyed each assignment and approach my work with a passion to get the job done, I have never had the pleasure of walking into what I would characterize as a “fun” place to work at the get-go. Teamwork develops over time, and the people start to have fun as they come together as a team. But that generally happens after the team starts to gel.

Contrast that with the world famous Pikes Fish Market. Excitement and energy fills the air when you walk into the place. The energy embraces everyone, even as they approach. Its like returning to the fairground when you were a kid. So how can this be a workplace? How can they have so much fun, engage the people and accomplish so much when the work itself is not that fun. Selling fish was certainly not on the top of my high school careers list!

If you are visiting in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), seek out and stop by a Licks Hamburger joint. Feel the energy when you walk in the door! And listen to the order taker sing your order to the kitchen – then they all chime in from the back to confirm its on the grill and on its way! The customer becomes part of the experience that this team is delivering!

There is a small toy store in Stratford, Ontario that became the best toy store in Canada. Walking into the store you are captivated by the small aisle ways, wooden floor and the people actually playing with the toys. Most of the folks working there are kids themselves – no, really kids! They show you the best stuff, and engage you with what’s new. A visit to Family and Company is an experience in itself! And often the only adults you see are the customers themselves!

So where does the magic come from? How have these folks turned their shops into “world famous” or “best in Canada”. The solution is found in a simple philosophy. Simple and fabulous to experience, but more of a challenge to implement!

So what would happen to your workplace if you took these principals and applied them well. If everyone was aware that YOU choose your own attitude and that work can be play. That the team is actually present for their customers and they work to make the customers day! Your organization could become world famous too! And people would really want to work there.

So how do we develop a culture like that? How do we transform from a group that hates Mondays, works to get over hump day and embraces TGIF (thank goodness its Friday) with the POETS (Pee on everything tomorrows Saturday) afternoon get together?

By choosing to just dive in, experience the change and become world famous. Like Ghandi stated so well - "We must be the change that we want to see in the world".

Want help? Lets talk! Learn more about changing your organizational culture here.


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