Innovation is a process and, as such, in addition to being managed, should be developed in an environment that inspires an innovation culture, transforming ideas into actual results. And one of the ways to successfully implement innovation is to work collaboratively, including different areas of the company in this process. To do this, you can set up an innovation committee in your business.
Members of the innovation committee are responsible for leading organizational change to move the company towards a culture that encourages and sustains innovation, and reviewing it regularly to ensure that the strategies, initiatives, goals, plans, and objectives related to innovation stay on track. It is a great option for companies that want to innovate but have few resources to invest in innovation. This is because, in this model, the company can use employees who perform other functions and activities, but who are also interested in enabling innovation in the organization.
If your company does not have an Innovation Committee yet, but is thinking of creating one, read this post to find out what it is, why it is so important and how to set up your committee.
What is the Innovation Committee?
Innovation Committee is a group of employees committed to thinking about innovation and assisting in making strategic decisions inside the company, they are responsible for setting priorities, implementing the innovation culture, allocating resources, and making important decisions related to innovation.
What are the key roles of the innovation committee?
The role of the innovation committee varies from company to company, but in general its key activities include: creation and evaluation of innovation portfolios, driving efforts that should be carried out, enabling actions that promote the innovation culture, selecting and prioritizing ideas and projects, ensuring the allocation of resources and project feasibility, monitoring innovation KPIs, communicating the results achieved around innovation to the entire organization and providing the means for innovation efforts to be implemented (training, tools, systems, etc.).
But where should you start to create your company’s innovation committee?
Now that you know what an innovation committee is and how it works, let’s get started by setting up the committee following these steps:
1. Define your innovation strategy
Strategy is the foundation of everything. Before gathering people in a committee, define your innovation strategy. The company must have a strategic plan focused on innovation, in which it will define the areas where it will innovate, identifying budgets and goals that are aligned with the other business objectives.
2. Develop an innovation culture
In addition to the innovation strategy, it is important for the company to also have an innovation culture before bringing people together for a committee. After all, although the committee has a strategic role, innovation cannot be restricted to this group. And leadership is an essential part of this work, as leaders need to be convinced and convince their employees of the importance of innovation. Otherwise, it will be difficult to disseminate this philosophy to employees. For innovation to be part of the company, it is important to create an open environment where all employees have the chance to present their opinions and ideas.
3. Select the right participants
When considering who will be in the innovation committee, it is natural to want to choose participants who demonstrate an innovative spirit or have a strong interest in innovation. However, this is a big pitfall because the innovation committee should not be an Innovation Squad. The innovation committee is the catalyst for innovation in the company. Therefore, the committee itself does not require innovative participants, but members who can facilitate the innovation process.
The next trap you can fall into when setting up the committee is wanting to fill it with members in leadership roles, such as managers and directors. And that creates a big problem: making sure their agenda is compatible with the committee’s agenda. And then there’s the last pitfall, you announce to the whole organization: “Let’s start an innovation committee, who wants to be part of it?” Innovation is a hot topic right now, and many people will want to participate without even realizing what the committee’s mission really is.
But after all, who should be part of the Committee? The innovation committee must be composed of a group of professionals with diverse backgrounds and activities, and generally by people from all hierarchical levels, including people who occupy strategic positions in the company, but not exclusively them, as already mentioned.
It is important to have employees from the Technology areas on your committee, after all it is difficult to innovate without it. The Legal department should also be included to assist in drafting contracts, confidentiality clauses, etc. Human Resources, Marketing and Communication, Data and Finance are strategic areas that should also complement your committee. Having a representative from each of these areas will allow the committee to have a better performance and a comprehensive view of innovation across the entire organization.
4. Set up an innovation committee with engaged participants
Another very important factor when setting up a committee is having members who actually want to be part of it. People who get involved and want to find new answers and innovation practices for your business. Thus, it is important to understand the team and know who are those employees that are most interested in innovation and who can be the facilitators and replicators of innovation culture for the organization.
5. Set the committee meeting agenda
The innovation committee should meet periodically to define strategies, discuss how to use available resources to implement ideas, assess the feasibility of proposals, prioritize projects, improve results, and drive innovation in the company.
It is important that committee meetings do not become bureaucratic, taking away the actual importance of driving and promoting the company’s innovation process. Hence, the committee’s agenda should always keep the team inspired, and may include events, benchmarking sessions with companies from other sectors, visits to startup incubators and accelerators. The primary objective is to provide a positive development agenda for committee members.
6. Analyze your results
It is extremely important to evaluate innovation results. That’s why it’s critical for the committee to choose a specific set of KPIs. These indicators will measure the organization’s success in relation to specific parameters of innovation projects. Data from analysis of programs, projects and investments are essential for making future decisions, and knowing what to measure is fundamental to managing any innovation process. And it is with this specific item that the committee guarantees the continuous improvement of the organization through Innovation Management.
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