Day 2: Coast Guard Innovation Expo

Harnessing the Innovative Power of Internal Stakeholders

Coast Guard Innovation

Click image to view video in YouTube.

Day two of the expo started early with junior enlisted Guardians eating breakfast and networking with Coast Guard senior leadership including the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) and the Commandant. These senior leaders understand the significant role junior members play in making change happen in the Coast Guard and wanted to ensure the members were involved in that dialogue. To watch a video and listen to an interview with the MCPOCG, click the picture on the right for YouTube or here for higher-resolution CGVI video.

After the breakfast, the day kicked off with a keynote speaker followed by panel discussion sessions and networking with the various exhibitors.  But, throughout the day, this idea of harnessing the power of internal organizational stakeholders resonated as several conversations revolved around ways to empower innovation at the lowest levels in an organization.

One panel discussion in particular continued to add to this dialogue. The industry and governmental panel titled Innovation Management: Harvesting Ideas for Exponential Efficiency Improvement discussed ways organizations can tap into their internal audience and use idea management tools to capture, manage and evaluate the ideas.

Coast Guard InnovationA spokesperson from Dell talked about the company’s use of a private, internal forum called EmployeeStorm. This tool is an offshoot of the external idea management tool called IdeaStorm, which is used to gather and manage ideas. EmployeeStorm is worldwide with approximately 80,000 employees engaging, discussing and voting on ideas ranging from product upgrades to critiques of company policies, facilities and benefits. The EmployeeStorm team monitors and forwards the suggestions to the right departments for consideration.

While EmployeeStorm is a great tool, what peaked my interest is how the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is using a tool called IdeaFactory. IdeaFactory enables employees to submit, rate and comment on innovative ideas to improve TSA and keep the nation’s transportation systems secure. TSA leadership engages in the conversation while the IdeaFactory Team tracks the ideas. IdeaFactory even employs icons so users can check the status of their idea. According to the panelist, IdeaFactory is about to be launched across the Department of Homeland Security including the Coast Guard. Stay tuned to the Compass as this initiative takes shape…

To read more about what was said during this panel discussion, as well as the other panels, search Twitter for #innovation and #uscgexpo. Or, review the Coast Guard’s Twitter feed.

Tomorrow is the last day of the Coast Guard Innovation Expo. People who are interested in seeing the exhibits can do so for free from 8:00am to 12:30pm tomorrow.

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