Gallup Leader Speaks in QC

August  26, 2014

      Jim Clifton knows how to fix the US economy, but it'll require a major change in emphasis by business and education. And that's the subject of a new book by the chairman and ceo of Gallup, who'll be the featured speaker Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.

It's called "The Coming Jobs War" and Clifton says the key to renewed job growth and a healthy US economy is entrepeneurs - and somehow finding the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates at an early age.

      "If you have a thousand kids in high school, we know how to line them up by I.Q., by their ability to learn. But if you said line them up by their ability to build a business, we can't do that."

      He and others are now working on ways to identify these future business leaders.

      Clifton says if US companies are to remain competitive in the world, they must also focus on their employees, and not just on maximizing profits. 

      "Until you maximize what I call employee engagement, you don't create new customers, you don't get new ideas, you don't open new markets."

      He thinks raising the number of employees who feel like their work matters, and look forward to work each day, would go a long way to boosting the US economy.

      The Chamber of Commerce annual meeting begins at 11:30 am Wednesday at the River Center in Davenport.