Motivation and laughter

Fish Philosophy


The Fish! Philosophy (styled FISH! Philosophy), modeled after the high energy present at the Pike Place Fish Market, is a technique to make individuals alert and active in the workplace. Chart House Learning’s founder John Christensen created this philosophy in 1998.


Since the launch of this ideology many companies and schools have adopted the four ideas: choosing one’s attitude, playing at work, make someone’s day, and being present. It is commonly used to improve what is referred to as the “culture” of an organization.

What is The FISH! Philosophy?

The FISH! Philosophy includes four simple, interconnected practices:

Be There: When people need you, they need all of you. Setting aside distractions and judgments to be fully present is a sign of respect. It improves communication and strengthens relationships.

Play: You can be serious about your work without taking yourself so seriously. Play is a mindset more than a specific activity. It allows you to throw yourself with enthusiasm and creativity into whatever you are doing, in a way that is natural, not forced. “Playing” with ideas helps you find solutions to everyday challenges.

Make Their Day: Simple gestures of thoughtfulness, thanks and recognition make people feel appreciated and valued. When you make someone else feel good, you feel good too.

Choose Your Attitude: To actually choose how you respond to life, not just react, you must be intentional. When you get up, decide who you want to “be” today. Moment-to-moment awareness is key. Ask yourself throughout the day, “What is my attitude right now? Is it helping the people who depend on me? Is it helping me to be most effective?”

Through The FISH! Philosophy, we build stronger relationships with the team members we work with, the customers we serve, the students we teach and the people we love.