Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

Sunday Morning (Creative Business Futures & World Famous Pike Place Fish Market)


if we told you that a small and unglamorous retail outlet had become a model for corporate America you might think at first that something’s fishy and as bill Geist is about to demonstrate you’d be exactly right in Seattle long hard work days start early at the Pike Place Fish Market but these fish mongers don’t seem to mind slinging slimy smelly salmon 12 hours a day in an outdoor market that’s cold as a mackerel you want to get some fish somehow they never get grabby they’re glad new get the heads off the boil and when someone buys a fish duck fish fly and orders echo through the market I kind of try to make it a little more showy I guess and he ever hit a customer with a fish one day I hit an Amish woman she was a little bit taller than that but she was tourists line up to catch the seafood spectacular often finding themselves part of the show a lot of fish fly over the counter now we got people from all over the world come just to see us John Yokoyama is the ringmaster owner of what used to be a quiet small shrimpy little fish shop what happened get started ten years ago when we as a group took a stand that we were gonna become world-famous oh no ad campaign or anything he just said it and it was so good gonna stick his guppy size sales took on big tuna proportions and his staff grew from six to a school of twenty one if you find that a little hard to believe what follows sounds like an absolute fish story now thousands of companies are paying $600 a piece for videos and up to twenty thousand for live reenactments all of this flying fish act the corporate world is hooked using the Pike Place Fish Market to inspire and motivate employees slinging salmon has been elevated to fish philosophy and John’s become a business sage a fish it’s mind boggling for us but a lot of people do come by the shop and to meet me do they think you’re a genius do they think you’re a guru I mean I don’t know what they think accountants fish philosophy has four simple principles the first one is the way which means have a little fun at work doesn’t yeah the second principle is make their day engage customers make them part of the fun that’s how it’s gonna come in okay all right the third principle sounds simple be there that means to be there with you right now like I’m trying to be with you like you’re not looking over my shoulder I’m looking something that’s right yeah to actually pay attention to you you know make sure that you take care of that person that’s in front of you and the fourth principle is choose your attitude before you go to work in the morning just like you choose your underwear what about if you went to work in an office and shuffled papers all day wouldn’t it be a little more difficult to do I don’t believe so I think no no it’s all a choice shouldn’t be this much fun you know it could be if you made it the four fish principles have spawned a corporate training industry featuring a whole book of fish philosophy a business bestseller with 250,000 copies in print there are more and more new fish videos now in 12 languages and workbooks and guides and Pete the perch stuffed animals with more than a hundred thousand sold [Applause] they’re lively fish seminars run by John and his crew and they look like NSYNC up there but their corporate Saban we’re here a little today to share a little bit with you on the process that we went through and how we got to where we are today every week we get three or four emails requesting the possibility of us showing up it’s starting to get overwhelming okay it’s like it’s taking ownership for your part and what’s happening say I declare I’m going to make the Metropolitan travel the best company to work for in the United States it’s taking ownership Barbic and then it’s yours how does throwing fish apply to being a travel agent it’s the same thing it can be hell if you let it or it can be really exciting I mean you can schlep fish or you can schlep reservations you’re out getting a presentation a bunch of insurance adjusters or CPAs or lawyers I mean they can’t start throwing the paperwork around the office can they you know you have to create your own form of play I mean you know if you’re not in a doctor’s office you can’t throw bedpans around everything that’s it but how about showing a little love to your patients followers from around the world make pilgrimages to the market the mecca of fish philosophy like this jeweler from Detroit you throw your jewelry around or how do you adopt the fish / the jury boxes like we’ll shoot we’ll throw arm bracelet box or a ring box and then you know we’ll throw it across the room and somebody’ll package it up and give it to the customer that works even for diamond rings even for diamond rings okay and it’s a little less stinky are you little surprised at corporations around the world now are taking your advice on how to run their corporation I’m totally surprised I got it very high it’s very very humbling it’s um quite an experience to have people come down here anything how much we change their lives Oh whoo baby the little fish market that could as scale the heights and with things going so swimmingly what next and our new vision is world peace and we feel that if we can communicate like this like we do a Pike Place Fish being relationship that we are at Pike Place Fish and we love each other like we do and we communicate that world peace is a possibility djay world peace that’s a whale of an ambitious goal for a minnow sized fish market in Seattle but John says the fish spirit is highly contagious and people all over the world are catching it yeah

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