JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —
The Air Force’s Personnel Center’s new Innovation Cell hosted an inaugural innovation symposium Jan. 15-16 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. The event featured guest speakers, presentations, an expo and also served as the platform to launch an internal idea crowdsourcing campaign called “Wild Ideas.”
The symposium was a significant milestone in highlighting AFPC’s need for innovation and the ultimate impact it will have on Air Force operations and readiness.
“Innovation is about people … people identifying areas in which their innovative solutions will improve AFPC operations, through collaboration, directly impacting Airmen’s experiences with AFPC,” said Capt. Melinda Monahan, Innovation Cell chief. “AFPC Airmen – military and civilian – are our greatest strength; combining their innovative and creative ideas will enable AFPC to provide more efficient and accurate talent management and care solutions.”
The AFPC mission of providing talent management and care solutions for Airmen and their families directly impacts operational readiness for Air Force units around the world. The rapidly changing global landscape and emerging national security requirements demand an agile and flexible human capital management infrastructure that can provide commanders the right talent at the right time.
Additionally, ever-changing technology and increasingly challenging communication environments demand the same agile and responsive framework that can provide Airmen, retirees, and family members the best care solutions possible throughout the life cycle of their respective situations.
“A culture of innovation, based on AFPC team members’ talent and creativity, is the most important solution to enabling efficient and accurate AFPC capabilities in the future. A culture of innovation, often in the absence of additional fiscal resources, relies on AFPC’s people … our most important resource,” said Maj. Gen. Andrew Toth, AFPC commander.
One of AFPC’s very own innovators, Tech. Sgt. Cherrod Overbey, was recognized during the symposium. He created a bot to automate the permanent change of station orders authentication process. On Feb. 28, he’ll be one of six Airmen presenting his idea to Air Force senior leaders at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida.
The symposium also launched an internal idea campaign called “Wild Ideas” and features a cartoon named “Betty the Yeti,” who is a wanderer, a trailblazer, and an innovation enthusiast. The campaign submission period will run through Feb. 28.
Military and civilian Airmen assigned to AFPC can submit their ideas through the AFWERX Ideascale platform. After the submission phase, the AFPC team will have the opportunity to vote on the ideas they want to see rise to the top. Those ideas will be reviewed by subject matter experts and the top submissions will have the opportunity to make their pitch in an open showcase at AFPC.