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Friday, November 30, 2012

December: The Coming Jobs War

December:  The Coming Jobs War by Jim Clifton, October 2011   

First Thoughts: A good look at what is motivating people from Cape Town to California with plenty of proof: jobs.  Good read.

1.      Opening Thoughts
2.      Further Reviews and Summaries
3.      Quotes from the Book

Opening Thoughts

It comes as no surprise that the world is changing very, very fast.  Ten years ago the Economist magazine labeled Africa “the Hopeless Continent.” In December of 2011 they apologized and ran a front page story on “Africa Rising.”  But whether you are on main train in Kansas City, the alleys of Macau, or the slums of Kibera, Nairobi you have one thing in common: everyone wants a job.  Jobs are the predictor of economic success.  With them the economy hums along.  Without them nations enter into chaos, bureaucratic chaos, and demagogic rule.  While they are not the only thing they may be the most important thing for the future well being of every person, family and nation.  When jobs are plentiful everything runs better.  But as jobs run out, government runs in with solutions that end complicating the things they are trying to fix.  Ronald Reagan put it this way: “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.”

“Drawing on 75 years of Gallup studies and his own perspective as the company’s chairman and CEO, Jim Clifton explains why jobs are the new global currency for leaders. More than peace or money or any other good, the business, government, military, city, and village leaders who can create good jobs will own the future.

Clifton concludes The Coming Jobs War with ten findings:  

  1. The biggest problem facing the world is adequate jobs.
  2. Job creation can only be accomplished in cities.
  3. The three key sources of job creation in America are: the country’s top 100 cities, its top 100 universities, and its 10,000 local ‘tribal’ leaders.
  4. Entrepreneurship is more important than innovation.
  5. America cannot outrun its healthcare costs.
  6. Because all public education results are local, local leaders need to lead their whole cities and all youth programs to war on the dropout rate, with the strategy of one city, one school, and one student at a time.
  7. The United States must differentiate itself by doubling its number of engaged employees.
  8. Jobs occur when new customers appear.
  9. Every economy rides on the backs of small to medium sized businesses.
  10. The United States needs to more than triple its exports in the next five years and increase them by 20 times in the next 30 years.
Further Reviews and Summaries

Quotes from the Book

The problem is that leaders don’t know how to create jobs – especially in America. What they should do is recognize that the world is in a war for jobs. It seems that leadership has lost the will to win, especially in America, but this is a competition for our lives.

To win, leaders need to compete. Everyone does. The public school system needs to inculcate kids with the knowledge they’ll need to compete in the jobs war. The business community needs to double the psychological engagement of workers so that it can compete with cheaper labor. The healthcare system must stop wasting the resources that we need to spend on job competition. Society needs to realize that entrepreneurs, not government, are the source of new jobs and put all its energy behind them. Perhaps most importantly, leaders need to recognize universities, mentors, and especially cities as a supercollider for job creation.

If that can be done – and it can be done; leaders have done it before – new good jobs will result. There’s not a moment to waste: the war has already begun.”

Leaders of countries and cities must make creating good jobs their No. 1 mission and primary purpose because good jobs are becoming the new currency for all world leaders.

Even the best ideas and inventions in the world have no value until they have a customer.

Gallup has determined that 28% of the American workforce is “engaged,” another 53% is “not engaged,” and a staggering 19% is “actively disengaged.”

Plato made a very cruel but astute observation: “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

From my review of decades of Gallup’s research into behavioral economics, I have concluded that human decision making is generally 70% emotional and 30% rational.

Behavioral economic data mathematically track what man and woman were thinking before they did something, before they transacted something. A state of mind, a frame of mind, an attitude, or a value is always in place before there is a transaction

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. — Calvin Coolidge

Top of Form
Bottom of Form
1.    Recognize that the most important solutions are local.
Bottom of Form
2.    Have your whole city wage a war for jobs.
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
3. Align efforts citywide. Every city needs a team to work   
Top of Form
4.    Don’t allow your local constituencies to look to Washington. Washington has something for you that is unsustainable or even worse, unhealthy. Free money eventually makes you more dependent. Free money, entitlements, more bureaucracy, less of your control — all these things make individual initiative, meritocracy, and free enterprise weaker and less competitive. To reenergize, to strike lightning on your city’s GDP growth, its brain gain, its quality job creation, its vitality, and its future prosperity, don’t expect national answers. “Everything is local” is truer regarding job creation than anything else. You have to jumpstart your city yourself.   

The ultimate issue with any new enterprise is almost always whether it has attracted a leader with enough sales or rainmaker talent to create customers.  

the enterpriser, not the innovator, the thought leader, or the idea itself. The enterprisers are far scarcer than the rest.

The United States has successfully invented and commercialized between 30% and 40% of all breakthroughs worldwide, throughout virtually all categories, in the last 200+ years.

It was not the invention of the Internet but the commercialization of the Internet that advanced America and the world, not unlike the transistor, an invention that also changed humankind.  

An example: Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile. He invented a way to manufacture and sell automobiles to middle-class people

Employees’ responses to the 12 survey items neatly factor all workers into the three categories of engaged, not engaged, and actively disengaged. These items are:
Q01.    I know what is expected of me at work.
Q02.    I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
Q03.    At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
Q04.    In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
Q05.   My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
Q06.   There is someone at work who encourages my development.
Q07.   At work, my opinions seem to count.
Q08.   The mission or purpose of my organization makes me feel my job is important.
Q09.   My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
Q10.   I have a best friend at work.
Q11.    In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
Q12.    This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow. A great manager has employees who score all 12 of these items as highly as possible; the items are measured on a 1-5 scale of agreement, with 5 being highest (or “strongly agree”). All innovation, entrepreneurship, authentic sales growth, new customers, job growth — all the things that every company needs most — are sparked and inspired by the relationships between managers and employees that these 12 items measure.

If a leader chooses good managers, everything works. If a leader assigns the wrong person as manager, everything fails. Nothing fixes bad managers, not coaching, competency training, incentives, or warnings — nothing works. A bad manager never gets better.

If you were to ask me how U.S. workplaces can beat China’s workplaces, my answer would be, “Fire all lousy managers today.” Replace them with good managers. If they are lousy at developing people and leading teams, fire them. They will never get better. If you won’t do it for your business, do it for your country.

Surviving the upcoming global war for jobs requires a new demand of managers. They must be masters at understanding the role human nature plays in all outcomes and at maximizing human potential, or America can’t win the war for everything.

1. Increasing hope isn’t easy, but it can be done. And it has to be done locally, on a citywide basis rather than on a national one. Only a local focus has a chance. This is what leaders have to do: 1.    Focus all local groups on student engagement, or the confidence to graduate. I know this sounds too simple, but this is the very core of where Gallup scientists found student hope. That’s the exact state of mind where the solution lies. Gallup’s education research, as well as most other contributing data, states that the most important factor in student engagement is the teacher. Kids are affected by their families and communities, but the key to confidence is the teacher.
2.    Use Gallup’s pro bono Student Poll as the core behavioral economic metric. Administer it every spring and fall in every school in your city with every student. Gallup’s Internet-based software is set up like a census, so you need to get every student from 5th to 12th grade involved. The software surveys the kids and records their current state of mind. This will give your schools and city leaders their first ongoing behavioral economic metric — the first data they have ever had to build strategies before it is too late. Once a student’s hope candle is blown out, it is nearly impossible to relight.
3.    Reduce by half the number of students with no hope of graduating. When you and your leadership community halve this number, you will have fixed the dropout rate in your city or community because you put it on the road to correction.
4.    Involve all the local social-based organizations. Have a big kickoff meeting. Call Operation HOPE in Atlanta, founded by John Bryant, and America’s Promise Alliance in Washington, the group Colin Powell founded to provide a kind of air traffic control for almost all American youth programs —
5.    Double student hope. How? The groups attending your kickoff meeting will know. They have always had great people with super-powerful mission and purpose, and they will have far more answers than anybody else.

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