The Chairman's Blog
What the whole world wants is a good job. This is one of the most important discoveries Gallup has ever made. So my big idea for 2015 is simply this: Create as many good jobs as possible throughout the world. This should be the No. 1 priority for business and government leaders everywhere. Nothing else even comes close.
Moneyball has been the talk of baseball for years. Its creator, Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane, has used the approach to guide his team, with one of the lowest payrolls in the league, to the playoffs in eight of the past 15 seasons. And the front office of the Boston Red Sox famously used it in 2004 to win their first World Series in 86 years.
The world's 7 billion citizens get most of their news from reporters and experts -- it's edited and filtered by how these professionals see events. Gallup applauds the work they do. But the one missing element from most reporting and analyses are the opinions, thoughts, and feelings of those 7 billion citizens themselves -- how they see events.
America's biggest problem is that we don't have enough good jobs. Yes, unemployment has gone "down" to 5.9%, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. But that percentage is almost meaningless, as it doesn't count people who've quit looking for work. A staggering 20 million people or more are still jobless or grossly underemployed, and many are deeply frustrated or depressed -- they're not celebrating "declining" unemployment.
The Middle East has collapsed into a state of chaos, conflict, and suffering that was unimaginable and unforeseen just four years ago. Hardly any experts or institutions predicted the wars and revolutions that have engulfed the region. And those same experts who missed the coming catastrophe continue to struggle for answers as to why it's all happening.
American businesses are among the best run in the world, but Fortune 1000 leaders still haven't mastered organic growth. They talk a good game about growing their customer base, but then they go back to their offices, shut their doors, and either acquire competitors or -- worse yet -- cut their prices even further. They do this because they've given up on organic growth.
The employee engagement movement started in the late 1990s and then went full steam ahead in 2000. Organizations everywhere began systematically measuring employee engagement. That intense interest is now evolving into deeper thinking about company culture. Top leadership teams are seriously considering what kind of culture they want and need to win more customers.