Serving a Niche
Imagine if you had the flexibility to delegate your organization’s high level projects to a responsive, dedicated, and creative group of individuals able to effectively manage objectives and priorities, think strategically, and produce extraordinary results. Like many people, your first thought might be that this is the role served by your senior and mid-level managers, and you would be right.
However, as managers find themselves stretched beyond capacity while trying to effectively manage time and responsibilities, they may find themselves looking for some alternative solutions to existing business processes. Enter the peer based committee, also known as an employee task force or action committee.
When operating under clear expectations and direction from management, peer based committees can fulfill an important niche, bridging the gap between strategic planning and the organization’s daily operations.
If we think of the peer based committee’s objectives as strategic in nature, then it makes perfect sense that the committee’s structure and composition are based on several strategies designed to produce results.
First, let’s address the committee’s purpose. Defining the goals, objectives, and responsibilities of the committee builds a solid foundation by providing direction and establishing expectations for the committee and its members.
Committee composition is our next strategic initiative. Ideally, our goal is to establish membership representing a cross section of the organization’s departments and job functions, while also maintaining an efficient group size. This strategy provides a varied level of knowledge and expertise, helping to
ensure that committee business is handled with objectivity and a complete perspective.
After defining the committee’s composition, the process of candidate selection can begin. This could perhaps be the most strategic initiative of all, because the committee’s success and effectiveness are dependent upon having the “right” people involved.
The best candidates are those that have proven their ability to consistently go above and beyond expectations, and are respected by their peers and management. In other words - the committee should be comprised of the organization’s future leaders. This is an excellent opportunity for them to gain experience and visibility while building important leadership skills.
Providing Guidance and Support
The committee’s effectiveness is highly dependent upon having an open channel of communication with management, allowing for a frequent exchange of vital information to ensure that tasks and timelines are on track with expectations.
Establish a schedule of periodic meetings in which the committee can provide management with a complete update on current assignments and activities, and receive direction for new assignments and objectives.
When committee members have successfully demonstrated their ability to work together to manage existing projects and expectations effectively, they will be ready to assume responsibility for projects that are more strategic and complex in nature. Continuing to provide challenge and reward will aid in the professional development of the committee members, resulting in a highly professional, strategic, and effective peer based committee designed to help you achieve more.