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Fish! Sticks

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Fish! Sticks

Make Changes Stick


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The more things change, the more they stay the same — it just isn’t true. The hard job is getting real change to stick.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


You’re back in the fishing boat with the crew that brought you the successful Fish! and Fish! Tales. Offering another finny fable, Stephen C. Lundin, John Christensen and Harry Paul present a business parable based on creating and sustaining successful change. The book uses the same fictitious approach as the other two Fish!ing trips, but this time the story is set at a hospital’s nursing station. The agent-of-change head nurse has departed and the new head nurse feels that the group is losing its vision. Then, she discovers that a local sushi restaurant is a model of excellence, and all goes swimmingly after that. Although the advice offered isn’t particularly unique, some may find a certain charm in the story. Given that this is round three, the format may seem a little repetitive to those who have already Fish!ed. If you want to catch the core of the message on your first cast, look for the highlights on the occasional pages in whale-size type. recommends the basic common sense of these messages, even if the storytelling is a little fishy.


The Problem of Sustaining Change

Keeping change going is a leadership challenge. Sustaining change requires the application of different leadership principles than used when initiating a change. These different principles apply whether the goal is a higher quality work environment, continued improvement in customer service or more participatory management. A "culture of innovation" takes continued maintenance and nurturing.

To keep change going, strive to inspire people within your organization. Engage their "natural energy" so they maintain the process. When you start the change process, you apply the "external energy" needed to get everyone’s attention. But external energy only works on a short-term basis. Now the troops have to be motivated to release their natural energy to continue and sustain change.

Recognizing the Decline of Change

The beginning signs of a declining change effort are a loss of natural enthusiasm and energy. That’s the situation Rhonda found when she took over the leadership of the sixth floor Neuro Ward Nursing Station at Good Samaritan Hospital. The previous head nurse instituted many changes that engaged everyone by making the...

About the Authors

Stepehn C. Lundlin, the "Big Tuna, Ph.D.", is a writer, filmmaker and public speaker. He is the head counselor of the popular FISH! Camps. John Christensen is a filmmaker and CEO of ChartHouse Learning, a leading producer of corporate learning programs, including Fish!, the video. Harry Paul, a professional speaker, is a consulting partner with the Ken Blanchard Companies and the director of speaker services at Nelson Motivation, Inc., in San Diego.

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    M. W. 4 years ago
    These processes the book outlines is something that should be utilized in our work every day to help keep our patients at ease in their current situation that can be very traumatizing for them, it also helps our selves in many ways to keep up our own mental and physical wellness to do our jobs even if we are having a bad day.

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