From Looming Bankruptcy to World-Famous – How a Company’s Culture Changed Everything.

by | Leadership, Management, Performance, Training

Picture this – you’re strolling through an open-air farmer’s market in Seattle, Washington when a sign reading “Caution: Low Flying Fish” catches your eye. Curious, you stop to read the sign again and – BAM! – you’re hit by a flying foam fish. Laughter erupts as you realize you have been an unknowing participant in one of the many traditions of the world-famous Pike Place Fish Market. What?!

In 1986, Pike Place Fish Market, a little-known fish market located in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, was on the verge of bankruptcy. The owner hired a business coach to help them figure out ways to survive. The answer? Make the fish market “world famous” by focusing on ideas like the business’ crazy practice of throwing fish, playing games with customers, and having a staff that always has fun – all in hope that customers would have fun as well.

Can you guess what happened? Well, Pike Place Fish Market did indeed become world-famous by implementing the vision set forth that day. But it’s more than a success story – their vision and subsequent actions became their company culture. This culture not only gave them the tools to survive, but it also shaped a business that thrives to this day.

A company culture is more than just company perks like free snacks and casual Fridays. A company culture defines the environment in which employees work. In Pike Place Fish Market’s case, they wanted to have a FUN work environment that was felt by both employees AND customers. They set forth a vision and established the values, practices, and people that would achieve this vision at every level possible.

Yes, it’s a fantastic success story. However, what I find most fascinating is that they achieved all of this BEFORE online marketing was a thing! There was no social media strategy, click-bait advertising plan, or efforts to improve SEO rankings on Google. Their success came from the INSIDE and gained tremendous momentum based on the company culture they embraced and preached.

Hopefully reading about it compels you to look inward at your own operation. Do you have a company culture in place?  If yes, then how are you executing it consistently? If not, then where do you start in creating one?

Like most, you probably know where you want your business to go, but the steps to getting there feel overwhelming. To help move you in the right direction, we will be blogging about the core components of company culture over the next few weeks. Today, we looked at a company culture success story. Next week and beyond, we’ll take a deeper dive into the elements of a company culture: Vision, Values, Practice and People.

Interested in more intensive training on how to create and implement a successful company culture? You will get it and more at our 2-day LIVE training event June 2nd & 3rd: Trainertainment Business Growth Conference

. Seats fill quickly, so grab yours today and begin your path to creating a business that is successful from the inside-out.

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