People are dying to bring their passionate, authentic selves to their jobs. Unfortunately, their jobs often won't let them. Which is crazy. Because the success of any organization is based on the individual success of each person in that organization. Choke personal creativity and you choke that organization’s chance to flourish.

Glass ceilings. Corporate ladders. Petty politics. Strategic myopia. Testosterone. Pocket-protector process pushers. Spreadsheet junkies. Fat egos. Private silos. Dinosaur CEOs one year from retirement. Routine. Conformity. Complacency. You know the list. They’re all enemies of personal innovation.

As a company with a 50-year heritage in documentary filmmaking for organizations of all types and sizes, we’ve studied cultures that enable employees (and their organizations) to soar—and also which cultures cause them to crash and burn.

And we learned that most people do want to bring their wholehearted self to work, to develop their own identity and to be accountable for their contribution to the big picture.

Quit your day job.
We believe it’s time to loosen up. Play more. Lift the lid on freedom and responsibility. There are really no more “day jobs” out there. When people are genuinely engaged in the work they do—rather than just doing time—they become inspired to innovate.

Meg Wheatley dreams of the day when “people are seen as a blessing instead of the problem.” We go a step further. We believe in rocking any status quo that’s in the way of people living and working in a wholehearted, passionate, productive way. We spend more time at work than we do with our families. Why would we want it any other way from nine to five?

A new language for a new culture.
So where’s the opening? We believe it’s with conversations—the life-blood of any relationship, any family, any organization. But not preaching from the pulpit about today’s new program or tomorrow’s new process or next week’s new re-org. Because if you impose anything from the top, over time, that’s exactly where it’ll remain.

If you want folks to get some skin in the game and make a personal investment in the big picture, it must start with meaningful conversations. Honest discussions about the shared dream so that each and every team member can understand and refine, then find and feel their personal connection to the vision and their role in it. This is when people discover new-found courage and feel motivated to act. And when the tough issues come up, there’s no way around them. You talk straight through them. So that in time, your business strategy is directly aligned with your cultural strategy.

Let’s be real.
Once people develop a common language around a meaningful, motivating mission, the conversations shift to what’s possible rather than coulda, woulda, shoulda. New attitudes develop. Performance improves. Customers notice. Trust increases. Everyone feels a creative reawakening and a renewed commitment to “who they’re being while they’re doing what they’re doing.”

People honor a culture that honors them.
It's all about trust, isn't it? The ability to trust and be trusted is one of the most powerful forces on earth. Organizations committed to intentionally creating and supporting a culture of earned trust are those organizations that will generate a dynamic culture flush with natural energy, innovation and a competitive advantage no one can copy.

Human imagination is an organization’s most valuable asset.
Let's face it, the success of any organization is directly proportional to the personal success of its individual associates. Every organization needs people who are passionate, committed and free to live the organization's vision through their own personal values.

Since we live in an era where there's enormous emphasis on productivity and maximizing human capital, the opportunity and privilege to inspire personal transformation that leads to organizational transformation is here and now.

Author Luciano de Crescenzo wrote, "We are all angels with only one wing; we can only fly while embracing one another."

That’s the promise of The FISH! Philosophy. A life-long philosophy that helps us feel inspired about the work we do. FISH! helps build great organizations by affirming one another. And in time, earning each other’s heart and soul. Because making money is easy. Finding meaning is not.