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unemployment innovation challenge great article , Your post is very informative and helpful for us to improve my knowledge and skills.
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Great great article. Important the point on how we view workers. 2003 I worked on an amzing experience at Mercedes-benz, were older workers (accountants) ready to be fired became process innovators and cost savers. Though it was a total breakthrough, soon managers started to view them again in the old way. I asume yearly bonusses are incentives to quick and easy cost saving procedures like job rationalization and job rationalization technologies

David michaelis

In a way you are talking about mis employment,when people are working without explorer motive,just to adjust.
Mis employement leads to high level of frustration which is a lose lose proposition for both sides.Employer and employee.
From there the road to becoming a discardable worker is a short one.
The big shift is happening in unpredictable ways,which institutions are Not capable of digesting. The innovation will
Happen from outside,and force the institutions to die or change.

Victor Mamou

Thanks John, despite these innovative approaches, I can't help myself being optimistic about unemployment. Hopefully you McKinsey guys can make politician more proactive on this one!


great thinking.
Its not clear to me that organizations know how to identify and hire individuals whose passion creates valuable contributions to the business. I have personal experience where explorer passion was a hindrance. Growth is limited to volume increase and other simple tools.

Debra F. Cole

The lack of true transparency & he failure of not reporting M3; the real unemployment is only reported based on an system of farm and non farm job numbers. Furthermore, when one is unemployed for a long period and are no longer collecting unemployment, they are no longer counted as the unemployed. With all the true unemployment is somewhere between 42 to 46%! And if you count those that are trying and working three or more jobs and still are below poverty level; this is not recovery econocally speaking. As much as the new Technology and Start-ups many fail, and can not get the funding. We need a better more effective system to re-educate and change the structure of the system or we will unwind the whole economy which will have a Global financial crisis and the Middle Class will be evaporated!!!


John - Let's grab the imperative and run with it.

This then becomes the wonderful opportunity for thinking about what we want as humans, that the current economy does not provide for.

Here are some examples of goals we could set and work out how to incent engagement and participation. And this would not necessarily be just as volunteers. (1)

1. More fulfilling lives. More fulfilled lives. Where people of all generations have a right to a sense of purpose right up to their dying breathe.

2. Learning how to go about achieving #1 - in education, in social services, in environmental and transportation and housing planning,

3. Acquiring skills that make us more emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent, so we can collaborate together with more joy and less angst to learn how to make progress in #2

4. Working out how communities can distinguish themselves at something (like an Olympics for communities instead of individuals - think about what a breakthrough it was to have the original Olympics provide an alternative to wars for gaining admiration and social kudos for physical prowess. We need the next breakthrough for communities/tribes for showing off community prowess) So that as we do #1,2,3, communities can look at each other and say 'how did they do that?" just like soccer teams look at the teams who beat them and work out how to not be beaten next time.

5. Working out what is important to us as humans - and how to measure it, and how to get better at "taking care" of what is important to us. I brought this up at the SVFI4J event where John Hagel spoke last week: We focus on what we measure, and now we find that we don't measure what matters to us, than we should not be surprised that we don't improve what matters to us. Like the quality of our lives, how much where and how we live, contributes to our thriving or suffering.

(1) We value the tracking of 'usage patterns" (eg browsers, mobile phones) because it helps businesses understand how to create value.
There might be ways to have constant experiments that people could participate in on an opt in basis and receive compensation for. Each action might warrant a micro payment. Participants who are adaptive and quick learners could be highly sought after as pioneers in value creation.

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