DorobekInsider.com: As heard on the May 1 edition of the Daily Debrief

Friday - 5/1/2009, 2:53pm EDT

Items that we mentioned today on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris

* WSJ op-ed: Obama’s Federal Suggestion Box by Brian Carney, a member of the Journal’s editorial board, and Isaac Getz, a professor at the ESCP Europe School of Management in Paris, France. They are the co-authors of “Freedom, Inc.,” due out in October. An excerpt:

The president’s intention is admirable, and he’s right to say that “Americans across the country know that the best ideas often come from workers — not just management.” But American workers also know that even in the private sector, management often does little to implement their ideas. If the president really wants to take government workers’ ideas seriously, he should know that there’s a lot more to it than setting up an email address and telling workers to fire away.

There are good reasons the suggestion boxes at most companies collect more chewed-up gum and recommendations to “fire my boss” than valuable ideas. Workers know that the bureaucracy will strangle even good ideas with “suggestion-review committees” and rules on who is eligible to offer ideas, what kind of ideas will be considered, and how to decide what constitutes a “good” idea.

It doesn’t have to be this way: Toyota’s plants in Georgetown, Ky., and Fremont, Calif., benefit from a continuous flow of their employees’ ideas. But copying this model isn’t easy: GM co-owns the NUMMI plant in Fremont and has tried to emulate its culture — with little success, as the administration is well-aware.

See and/or read President Obama’s weekend address here … and get information about TSA’s Idea Factory — an Digg like online suggestion box — from the National Academy of Public Administration’s Collaboration Project.

* DefenseSolutions.gov: The Defense Department’s New Idea Portal. (Hat tip: Armed with Science on Twitter.)

DefenseSolutions.gov is a portal through which innovative companies, entrepreneurs, and research organizations can offer potential solutions to the Department of Defense. This portal, and the team behind it, are designed to encourage companies that have never considered doing business with
DoD to participate. Our process depends on direct communication with you when you submit an idea that is attractive in an area where we need a solution. The review process is continuous to avoid internal delays in decisions and review.

* DorobekInsider.com: Steve Ressler — GovLoop’s 10K man… and counting

* The Daily Debrief’s December 2008 interview with Katie Jacobs Stanton , then principal of Google’s new development team. She is now with the White House’s new media team.

* On the move: Today is the last day for GSA’s John Johnson. Hear his Daily Debrief “exit interiew” here … and my conversation with Johnson on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Government IT Solutions Spotlight here … and Frank DiGiammarino of the National Academy of Public Administration moves to the White House after today. The DorobekInsider post on that here .

* Federal News Radio’s Amy Morris’s column: Turn Off, Tune Out, UnPlug