“A Performance Innovation
That Actually Works”

By Mark Funkhouser  |  Publisher
Former mayor of Kansas City, Mo.

Stop Decorating
the Fish

“Stop Decorating the Fish” is a business fable, teaching an important lesson through storytelling about how to affect positive change in the workplace. In this book, the authors analyze how organizations can overlook the core issue when trying to solve problems — they expend significant time and resources on actions that give the illusion of progress but do not address the root problem.

Ashlag and Cox created "Stop Decorating the Fish" as a reader's guide on how to identify the right problem, set an appropriate objective to solve it and avoid seductive solutions that won't make any real impact. Looking at your own business, does your solution offer substance or are you decorating the fish? Let us help you find out.

Stop Decorating the Fish
By Yishai Ashlag, Kristen Cox

How do I know if
I'm Decorating the Fish?

Once you’ve read the book, access our free, reader’s workbook below. This guide will walk you through 10 indicators that will help determine if you are decorating the fish. Once you understand how and where to look for these indicators, you will begin to recognize them in your workplace. Now you can truly start to find the root problem and create a plan of action that will lead to breakthrough results.

The World of Decorating the Fish
By Kristen Cox, Yishai Ashlag

The Authors


Kristen Cox is the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget for the state of Utah. She has previous served on the cabinet for three governors and consults with other states on how to improve performance. Cox has won numerous recognitions, including Governing magazine’s “Public Official of the Year” for 2016.

At the age of 11, Cox began to lose her vision due to a rare genetic eye disorder. All of Cox’s proceeds from “Stop Decorating the Fish” will benefit the National Federation of the Blind, an organization Cox has previously served in numerous roles.

Dr. Yishai Ashlag is a Senior Partner with Goldratt Consulting, where he acts at the head of Knowledge Development and Implementations. He has worked with policy makers, government agencies, businesses and investors on economic and business development. Ashlag holds a Ph.D. in Economics. He is also the author of the book “T.O.C. (Theory of Constraints) Thinking.”

Case Studies


Workout Machines

Fitness centers have become a major industry with each new gym offering more and more sophisticated workout machines to attract more members....


Recycling Plastic

In 2015, the world produced 448 million tons of plastic — more than twice the amount made in 1998. Few people question the damage discarded plastic can cause the environment...

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Going Digital

A government agency was struggling to manage all of its forms and customers were starting to complain. To solve the problem, the management team initially looked for a technology solution...