ISO technical committee on innovation management systems

Work meeting in Bergamo, Italy

So in this early Spring month the ISO Technical Committee 279 Working Group 1: Innovation Management Systems met again in the crisp air of Bergamo, Italy. The previous meeting was in Dublin, Ireland in October last year (a meeting I had to skip because of conflicting engagements) and the one before that was in Oslo, Norway where we got a lot of proper work done. At this meeting we were approximately 40 representatives from 23 countries representing the total 64 countries in the committee. We were scheduled to spend no less than four consecutive days in Bergamo to further the ISO standard draft documents.

The committee is currently having two main objectives; firstly to finalize the Innovation Management Principles and secondly to fill in the contents of the standard according to the ISO High Level Structure. Since an innovation management system is still a management system it will follow the same guidelines as any of the management system standards.

Innovation Management Principles
The principles are the core of the standard. They are such that for an organization to be considered innovative (in the eyes of the standard) it needs to fulfill the principles (to some extent). The innovation management principles describe what characterizes an innovative organization and are mainly intended to operate as guidelines for improvement. I will here provide you with a brief insight of the principles, but must put to your attention that this is work in progress and may not be the end result.

  1. Realization of value.
  2. Future-focused leaders.
  3. Purposeful direction.
  4. Innovation culture.
  5. Exploitable insights.
  6. Mastering uncertainty.
  7. Adaptability.

The principles are not presented in any particular order and they come with a prolonged description that I have intently discarded here. I may present and analyze them in depth one-by-one in a later article.
160404 ISO 4

High Level Structure
The second undertaking of the committee in Italy was to progress with the development of the actual standard document. In general you can say that it “must” be aligned with the ISO High Level Structure (HLS). This way it will be similar in structure to the Quality Management Systems standard (ISO 9000) and thus recognizable to system management professionals around the globe. This makes the dissemination easier for ISO and adaption easier for most organizations. Quite a delicate move.

We ended the Bergamo meeting mid-stream and will continue working with the two above-mentioned areas in Beijing in September 2016. The progress is relatively slow – primarily due to the requirement of having decent consensus among 64 nations with completely different cultures and backgrounds – but much work is also conducted in between the ISO meetings in the national mirror committees. The current projection of the first publication of the standard is expected to be released in October 2018.

Meanwhile I will keep you updated of the progress and development.