October 12, 2012
In the weeks after scandal erupted earlier this year over the General Services Administration’s extravagant spending on a 2010 conference in Las Vegas, the agency was already introducing new programs to save money.
In late May, GSA launched the Great Ideas Hunt, a program that asked employees nationwide to suggest ways GSA could reduce spending and improve operations. After receiving 632 ideas and 20,000 comments from employees in all 50 states, the agency settled on 40 ideas worth implementing; the top five of those are expected to save the agency more than $5.3 million.
Speaking on a panel at The George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, acting GSA administrator Dan Tangherlini spoke about how employee crowdsourcing was an innovative tool that not only saved money--it resulted in new ways of thinkings for GSA employees.
“[The Great Ideas Hunt] is a way of erasing some of those organizational barriers . . . and challenging everyone in GSA to come up with ideas for us to save money or do things more efficiently and effectively,” said Tangherlini. “Normal organizational barriers were being subverted and overcome [and] most importantly . . . a dialogue [was] built around these ideas.”
The top five ideas include:
For Tangherlini, the Great Ideas Hunt represented a step in the right direction—demonstrating the power of technology to encourage collaboration and collective thinking.
“That’s the question,” said Tangherlini. “Can we find ways to take this technology and use it to overcome those barriers so that we can begin to share, so that we can begin to create, so that we can begin to innovate, so that we can address those critical issues.”Are there ways you can share cost saving ideas within your agency?
October 12, 2012