Thanks for all the Fish

What role does fun play in a quality system? Itís simple; work thatís fun gets done. This is the basic philosophy behind the working of Pike Place Fish Market.

The video depicting their style of working was an eye opener to the fact that work can actually be fun. If you can actually play at work then life becomes so simple. The philosophy of this organization had made it world famous. They didnít accomplish this by spending any money on advertising, but by being truly great with people. They interact with people with a strong desire to make a difference for them. They want to give each person the experience of having been served and appreciated, whether they buy fish or not. The four basic tenets of the fish philosophy highlighted in the video were -

o Play - Have a little fun at work.
o Make their day - Go M.A.D. [Make a Difference], engage others. Make them part of the fun.
o Be there - actually pay attention, to make sure you take care of the person in front of you right now!
o Choose your attitude - Before you go to work in the morning, pick out an attitude, just like you choose the clothes you wear.

The importance of actually enjoying your job cannot be overstated. Sanjay Manjeraker recently made a comment that the difference between Sachin and Lara these days is that Lara still plays Lara but he doesnít know who Sachin plays like. Tendulkar began his career as an enthusiastic teenager and every time he went out to bat there was a feeling that he was having as much fun belting the bowlers to all corners of the park as the millions of cricket fanatics who watched this spectacle. He enjoyed his job. But after carrying the weight of expectations for so many years, the fun from his batting seems to have disappeared. This has arguably led to a dip in his performance. The averages might not suggest it, but the Indian cricket fan, who has the statistics of all our matches on the tips of his fingers, will tell you that the number of matches he has won for India is certainly on the decline.

Looking at this philosophy from the institute perspective, life here is a never-ending cycle of classes, quizzes, assignments and examinations. Our take out from it is the importance in choosing your attitude. You can crib about the system, the workload, the morning classes, the uninteresting courses or you can have a positive attitude and try to get the maximum out of the system. Vineet Chauhan, head of the alumni community, very aptly put this point across during our induction module when he iterated that that the blame game which most people tend to indulge in serves no purpose. Once you are a member of the system you have to accept it. If something is so drastically wrong that it distances you from the system, then the answer lies in a process of creative destruction. If there is one thing we learn, it is to test our own capabilities and work towards shaping a better system.


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