Unleashing Innovation

  • Published
  • By Capt. Ashley Walker
  • 913th Airlift Group Public Affairs

“Innovation” seems like a buzzword that gets thrown around but is lost in the red tape of bureaucracy. Now there is a way to literally throw ideas on the board.

“We’ve asked the Airmen at the unit to throw questions or ideas on our Innovation Board,” said Senior Master Sgt. Clayton Crum, 96th Aerial Port Squadron cargo superintendent. “Anyone can put down an issue anonymously without fear of reprisal and they should know we will take concerns seriously.”

In the three months of the innovation board being placed in the squadron, six ideas or concerns were identified. Some have already been implemented, while others are currently being analyzed and worked.

“Leadership at the squadron and group level are taking these ideas to heart,” said Crum. “If we can’t find some kind of solution at our level, we take it up to the group commander. If there needs to be a change in regulations, the commander will advocate to higher headquarters for those changes.”

When the board was first implemented, Airmen asked for more opportunities for training. Static load training on C-130s was arranged for the following drill weekend. In the Feb. drill weekend there will be the chance to test those skills and more at Green Flag Little Rock exercise.

“Undoubtedly, it is critical for our members to have the opportunity to voice their ideas if we are to carry on our success and continuously improve,” said Jamillah Gonzalez, 913th AG process manager. “The innovation boards were implemented to ensure all levels could voice concerns, provide solutions, and see issues being worked. Ultimately, our members know best what problems need addressing.”

“We’ve had ideas from safety checklists, to digital publications, to loading quick references, to driver rotations,” said Crum. “Airmen have great ideas and bring a different perspective. I encourage everyone of every rank to place an idea on the board.”

Below are the only rules for the innovation board:

1.       Anyone can put an issue or concern anonymously

2.       Be specific when describing the issue

3.       All concerns will be taken seriously

4.       Non-Commissioned Officers will address concerns specific to their section. A general concern will be taken up to the group level

Have ideas? Look for an innovation board in your squadron.

For those who have ideas and need funds to implement, consider submitting squadron innovation fund applications. Contact Master Sgt. Mark Allen or Jamillah Gonzalez with questions.