Embracing and embodying the Fish Philosophy across Consensus

Across the whole of Consensus we’ve been learning about and embracing the Fish Philosophy. ‘What’s that?’ I hear you say… well, it’s simple. Born out of a Fish market in Seattle, Washington, the Fish Philosophy is inspired by the vibrant and lively work culture of the Pike Place Fish Market – who through positive attitudes and behaviours have enticed people and stand out amongst their competitors, using 4 simple principles;

  • Choose Your Attitude – encouraging people to choose their attitude they bring to work, and how having a positive proactive mindset can influence everyone around you.
  • Be There – be fully present and engaged in tasks with colleagues, actively listening, showing empathy, and being attentive.
  • Play – incorporating fun and playfulness into the work environment which can enhance creativity, engagement, and motivation.
  • Make Their Day – focusing on creating memorable, positive experiences for others, and by honing on in small acts of kindness and recognition can contribute to a positive workplace atmosphere.

And by taking these 4 simple principles that the Pike Place Fish Market incorporate into their workplace culture, we’ve been weaving them into our services, teams, and workplaces to boost morale and improve our workplace culture.

Since the beginning of this year, the L&OD Team have been running fun and interactive workshops for all our Service Managers, Area Directors, and Central Support Colleagues to attend to develop their knowledge on the Fish Principles and take their learnings and apply them to everyday life. Which looks a little something like this…

The Fish Philosophy Training Sessions

Ran by our Head of Learning & Organisational Development, Wendy Pipes, and Regional Trainer, Jo Coulson, the workshops are all about having FUN (hitting the ‘Play!’ aspect of Fish!), interacting with one another, and exploring ways in which we can commitment to embracing the Fish Philosophy, whilst talking about personal experiences and sharing with one another.

Seeing everyone getting fully stuck in, during a recent workshop Peri-Manager Liam & Service Manager Mani were paired up for an activity called ‘Stinky Fish’ – where one person has an everyday nuisance or problem that is causing them some bother (the stinky fish!), and the other person has to think of a way to solve that problem.

Well, Liam shared his problem, specifically with fruit. Liam loves all food, but fruit has a special place in his heart. But what does Liam always do? He leaves his apple cores in his car, letting them rot away (maybe avoid getting a lift from Liam!).

Well, Main thought of a solution, buy a horse! Bare with us… the idea being the horse could eat all his banana skins, apple cores, and orange peels.

Creative? Yes. Fun? Yes. Practical? Maybe not so much, but it’s a FUN solution and embodies the Fish Philosophy.

Bringing people together, all the sessions end with everyone making commitments on how they’re going to embody the Fish Philosophy, which have included;

“I commit to being happy to all.”

“I am going to be an active listener.”

“I’m going to create H&S swimming lessons.”

“I commit to turning negatives into positives.”

Whether they’re small commits or big ones, it’s all about altering our thinking and shifting our mindset to have a positive impact on ourselves, and those around us.

Seeing the Fish Philosophy in Action

Since introducing the Fish Philosophy throughout Consensus, we’ve already seen improvements made and people embracing the different qualities in their own unique ways.

During our annual Leadership Conference, every workshop, activity, and learning experience had the Fish Philosophy in mind (where you may have seen some photos of people wearing Fish hats!). With the Quality Team embracing the ‘Play!’ aspect, dressing up our Quality & Compliance Director, Amanda, in an inflatable suit to resemble ‘Q’, our Quality Mascot at Consensus. The room was full of plenty of laughter and definitely ensured their session was fun & interactive, and perfectly embodied the Fish Philosophy.

And following the inflatable fun at the conference, Service Manager Chris decided to continue on the fun by buying some inflatable suits for everyone at Strawberry Fields to wear –brightening up everyone’s day, embodying the fishy antics with plenty of belly laughter. Simple yet effective.

We’ve also seen Service Manager Lesley embodying the ‘Make Their Day’ principle, by introducing a recognition board in their service; a place for colleagues and the people we support to share supportive messages with one another. Lesley shared “It’s so easy to get caught up in stress at work that we forget to appreciate the good parts. Everyone here does such a good job and we want to show that by giving the compliments and recognition they deserve!”

Embracing & embodying the Fish Philosophy across the whole of Consensus, we’re making sure every moment matters, and can’t wait to continue to share all the positive outcomes, and seeing the Fish Philosophy in action.

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