(originally posted by By Brittany Ballenstedt via NextGov)
The Homeland Security Department is expanding the Transportation Security Administration’s interactive IdeaFactory across the entire department, an agency spokesman said Thursday.
Larry Orluskie, a DHS spokesman and project manager for the departmentwide rollout of the IdeaFactory, told Wired Workplace that the new Web 2.0 platform will enable DHS’ large and dispersed workforce to submit and collaborate on innovative ideas to improve the agency. “Addressing employee morale was really part of the birth of it,” he said. “TSA did it as a way to get some feedback and ideas to help increase morale. We’re expecting it will do the same thing.”
The departmentwide rollout builds on the tremendous success TSA has had with the IdeaFactory. As of August, for example, TSA has received more than 9,000 ideas and more than 78,000 comments on those ideas, Orluskie said.
Because of the large increase in feedback that’s expected with the departmentwide rollout, DHS decided to create an IdeaFactory council that will manage the ideas and determine how to implement them. The council will be used in addition to an interactive tool that allows employees to vote on the ideas.
The department will evaluate the technology and train council members and subcomponent leaders on how to use it, all with the goal of implementing IdeaFactory across the entire department in January, Orluskie said.
“I like the idea that it’s Web 2.0; it’s interactive,” he said. “It’s not like some agencies that have an e-mail concept, where you send an e-mail or complete a form template on a Web page with your idea. IdeaFactory is interactive – you put in the idea and people vote on it and submit comments. It can even spin around and morph into another idea.”
At Navstar, we’ve notice the success of the TSA and the creativity they have employed to make changes for the better in the organization. We feel the DHS is being innovative and an agent of change by expanding this program. Other Agencies should take a cue from DHS and consider such programs for themselves. You will be surprised what creativity and innovation can lie within your own workforce.
Rachel Winchester is a Social Media Practitioner, Innovator, and Trainer. You can follow her on twitter @m3ta4