The solution to their challenge is what they call the IdeaLab. IdeaLab is a web-based application which CDC employees are encouraged to use to post their ideas, comment on others’ posts, and vote on the quality of the posts and comments. Submissions are attributed and authenticated in real time. Ideas are categorized according to CDC organizational goals, and related ideas are affinity-grouped using tag clouds.
The CDC hopes that the IdeaLab will:
- Increase connectivity of CDC employees who support multidisciplinary, evidence-based solutions
- Promote scientific crowd-sourcing and peer-2-peer networking to build ideas, enable virtual piloting and refinement of ideas, and foster rapid implementation and adoption of the best ideas
- Foster retention and sharing of institutional memory
- Improve interactions among networks of knowledge
- Improve orientation for and assimilation by new employees
- Accelerate health impacts by increasing employee-driven innovation and improving organizational efficiency