Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why Jobs Summitt Will Fall Flat

As some of you know, for my day job I am a Six Sigma Black Belt, statistical process control analyst, process improvement specialist or whatever you want to call it. What it all boils down to is that I'm a problem solver. As somebody who solves problems for a living, I can pretty much guarantee that if this summit identifies anything that actually works, it will be something the rest of us knew months ago.

There are basic rules that need to be followed if you genuinely want to solve a problem and the summitt is following only one of the three.

1. Know the size and impact of your problem. If you don't know this then what's the point.  You may not even have a problem to solve. This is the only rule the summitt is following because we know the unemployment rate.

2. Determine the root cause of your problem. This is most effectively done by listening to the voice of the customer. In this case the customer would be employers. In order to really solve unemployment, analysis must be done which determines why the employers are laying off people or not hiring more people. This information can only be gathered from the employers themselves. Guess who isn't represented at the summitt.

3. Once the root cause of the problem is identified, brainstorm ideas that will fix the cause and not just treat the symptom. Perform a risk analysis to ensure that no unintended consequences of your actions will be felt. The summitt cannot possibly do step 3 because it isn't doing step 2.

That's it, that's the basic guide to problem solving. A very simple and time testing process that works if it's used.  The most critical piece of fixing any problem is to know what's causing it -- and who does the summit have to give them that information? Labor Unions, academics and campaign contributors.

I guess we should be grateful that he's at least finally getting around to looking like he's doing something about unemployment.

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