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Department of Transportation

Empower & Enable Employees to Use Common Sense

Everything we do in the government has a system. More often than not, these systems are inefficient, costly, and lack common sense. This does not mean government workers have no common sense, but more likely, they have to operate within a system that denies them the use of common sense.


An example: My office has no light-switch. We can't turn off the lights when we leave, and I have 6 double-tube fluorescent lights over my cube. I also have a window, so I don't need the lights, I never use the one that's integrated into my cube. The hallways have way too many lights as well, we could turn off 2/3 and still see perfectly well.


If the bureaucracy would make it easier, or just possible, for everyone to use common sense, the government workers would be able to be so much more effective. Unfortunately, the 'old school' thinking from an aging workforce remains in charge and unless we change the culture to join the 21st century, our systems will remain inefficient.


You had 56,000 ideas on how to save money. Perhaps half of them were good, but may never be implemented because the people with the ideas are not empowered to put them into action. If you change that barrier, and foster a new culture of personal leadership in this field, you will see big improvements.


Henning Thiel



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Idea No. 222