Thursday, October 25, 2007

Metagaming, Economics, and Global HR Compliance

Today I am going to talk about the LEAST talked about 2007 Nobel Prize, the one in Economics, awarded to three U.S.-based economists - game theory pioneer Leo Hurwicz, Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson. After half a century of work in a little-known but massively cool area of game theory, it’s about time.



Before I get into explaining their area – known as mechanism design theory (MDT) – I must explain that as a person who barely squeaked by with a “B” in Dave Denslow’s Economics class some 30 years ago at the University of Florida, I am hardly in a position to analyze, much less pontificate, over a heady topic such as this. Still, it is the Blessing of the Blog that its author can spout forth in both wisdom and ignorance, and the reader can read or roll his/her eyes and move on. Motivated by the early watchers of the night sky who were able to connect the dots and assign meaning and function to what appeared to be chaos, suffer my ramblings as I cobble together my theory on how MDT can transform your business. Perhaps I can shed a ray of light or two on the gloomy night sky of global workforce compliance in the process.



A recent economist described MDT as exploring “the gap in knowledge between buyers and sellers, and the costs and consequences for the efficient operation of a market.” Wikipedia describes it this way:



“Mechanism design is the art and science of designing rules of a game to achieve a specific outcome”



It is a form of “Metagaming”, which Wikipedia describes as:



“...a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game.”



Getting creative within a hornet’s nest of federal and state HR bureaucracy presents a number of challenges; this is precisely the story behind the success of I-9 Advantage and our evolving suite of workforce compliance services and products..



Here’s a beautiful example of metagaming at its core, also from Wikipedia:



“There is a special set of moves in chess which allows a player to win in four moves. Competitor A has been watching Competitor B play chess, and the past five games in a row Competitor B has attempted to use this four-move win. When Competitor A sits down to play against Competitor B, Competitor A will be metagaming if he/she plays in a way that will easily thwart the four-move checkmate before Competitor B makes it obvious that this is what he/she is doing.”



That, dear reader, is why I get so stoked about what we are doing. In a world where government regulations continue to hammer industrial clients with potentially collossal fines and sanctions, I-9 Advantage is thinking several moves ahead and guiding our clients through these murky times.  I-9 Advantage has quietly become the leading provider of I-9 and workforce compliance solutions because we have, quite simply, shattered the box.



Rooted in Total Quality Management, infused with Design for Six Sigma, and encrusted with the desire to shake up the legal status quo and give U.S. and global employers a smarter solution, the attorneys and experts at I-9 Advantage are all driven by a common vision of excellence.  It is our curiousity, our willingness to take things apart, analyze them, and reinvent them, that has led to the industry revolution we have triggered.  As we disrupt, those disrupted are grumbling, but that’s part of the process. 



Just like the guy whose four-move checkmate no longer works.   Talk to me if you need to no more about what we can do for your corporate peace of mind.



No comments:

Post a Comment