Social Networking Helps V.A.

The U.S. Veteran’s Affairs Department recently solicited advice from employees through an internal Website to find innovative ways to reduce a backlog of benefit claims filed by veterans. The department received about 3,000 ideas for improving processing and 6,000 comments.

“This is what social networking is all about — how do we get the organization to help improve itself,” says Baker, who writes a blog for a different networking site established for the V.A.’s 7,000 IT employees. “That’s the power of the masses. Hierarchical management [structures] are important for getting things done, but they’re rotten for communication. You need to figure out what good ideas are coming from folks in the field. I assure you, everything we’re doing to improve things at V.A. has already been thought of by those 7,000 people.”

V.A. and White House officials will consider the recommendations as they develop a strategy to revamp management of benefit claims.

The U.S. Veteran’s Affairs Department recently solicited advice from employees through an internal Website to find innovative ways to reduce a backlog of benefit claims filed by veterans. The department received about 3,000 ideas for improving processing and 6,000 comments.

“This is what social networking is all about — how do we get the organization to help improve itself,” says Baker, who writes a blog for a different networking site established for the V.A.’s 7,000 IT employees. “That’s the power of the masses. Hierarchical management [structures] are important for getting things done, but they’re rotten for communication. You need to figure out what good ideas are coming from folks in the field. I assure you, everything we’re doing to improve things at V.A. has already been thought of by those 7,000 people.”

V.A. and White House officials will consider the recommendations as they develop a strategy to revamp management of benefit claims.

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