The ultimate goal of the IDEA Lab is a more modern and effective government.
Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius established the HHS IDEA Lab to improve how the Department delivers on its mission. This effort was started as a response to input from the workforce and public to promote advances in organizational management centered around three core beliefs:
- Every individual has the ability to improve the health and well-being of Americans;
- People are more powerful when working together; and
- There is a solution to every problem.
Government agencies may be prime examples of administrative structures that have calcified over time and become resistant to change. Yet, change is both necessary and imminent, as new technology, communication methods, and generational interest conflict with current ”tiered” organizational structures and government agencies learn how to manage the “flattened” organizational models that are succeeding elsewhere. Further, the challenges that HHS faces in serving its mission in the 21st century are evolving and increasingly complex, requiring the organization to adapt and change its approach to finding solutions.
The IDEA Lab exists as the bridge between the old world and a vision of a new, networked world, where value is found in an individual’s talents, as opposed to their position in a hierarchical structure. The foundational effort of the IDEA Lab is to overcome barriers to communication and collaboration between organizational siloes and practices that prevent people from working together. The approach the IDEA Lab takes is based on four tenets:
Innovation is a direct result of the freedom to experiment.
Design is critical to effectively communicate ideas.
Entrepreneurship allows us to take advantage of underutilized talent.
Action, above all else, is encouraged.
Finally, the IDEA Lab itself is an ever-evolving experiment. We will be constantly adjusting our existing platforms, pathways, methodologies and tools to meet the needs of the Department and the innovators with HHS’s organization and in broad communities beyond it. Check out the IDEA Lab Calendar to see what we are up to, and reach out to us on the IDEA Lab Blog, Twitter, or Facebook Page at any time and be sure to check out the great people involved with the IDEA Lab and the projects they are working on!