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Action Committees: A Micro Paper

By Bhavini Kumari 17th January 2023

What is an action committee?   

An action committee is a group of people within a department or different departments who work together temporarily (for a stipulated period of time or until a goal is achieved) to complete a specific designed project or task and then disassemble. This committee is assigned certain powers of action and decision-making, as well as increased responsibilities for inquiry, analysis, planning, and research for the duration of its existence. A task force, project group, task group, or problem solving group are all names for an Action Committee.

The goal of its formation is to use the skills, expertise, and experience of its members to solve an unusual organisational problem. When an organisation faces any problem, whether simple or complex, that is beyond the capabilities of an individual or even an entire department to solve, the action committee usually steps in. Such groups can be formed during the launch of a new product, the selection of a new assignment, or the negotiation of certain terms and conditions.


What is the purpose of an action committee?

There are no hard-and-fast rules governing what an action committee may or may not do. The organisation that appoints and decides to label the action committee determines its entire nature. 

Characteristics of an action committee:

  • An action committee is focused on a specific desired outcome.

Action committees are usually assigned to a specific project and are expected to produce a certain output for that project. As these groups concentrate on one task at a time, they can generate solutions that would otherwise get missed.

  • An action committee is precise and small.

Action committees are typically made up of the people deemed necessary and competent to complete the task at hand. The team is set out to be agile, focused, responsive, and productive. They are usually small in size because a small group is known to accomplish more than a large one.

  • An action committee is only in place for a limited time.

Most action committees disband once their project is completed. They are designed to be a short-term group of people who meet only long enough to complete the task at hand.

  • An action committee can be unidisciplinary, multidisciplinary, or cross-functional.

A multidisciplinary or unidisciplinary action committee brings together people from various parts of an organisation or within a department. Bringing together the necessary talent is the most effective way to ensure that all of the required expertise is available to complete the task at hand. The action committee can also be formed by bringing together members of an organisation or by bringing in new talent (one that is without baggage).

  • An action committee can be viewed as a business unit, but it is not a substitute for leadership.

An action committee can be considered a self-contained business unit that operates within or in conjunction with particular rules. (The rules governing the actions of this committee can be different from the systems and processes of the whole organisation or even one of its departments.)

  • An action committee eliminates silos.

Action committees increase teamwork by allowing employees who would not normally work together to collaborate. It boosts morale by providing employees with a larger platform to express ideas. (Within the action committee, all its members are on the same page.)

  • Action committees are quick.

Action committees produce faster solutions when a group of people work together to complete a task that is being watched by the entire organisation for positive results. As task-specific work is delegated to the committee, higher-level managers and administrators are left to deal with larger issues. The action committee also works quickly because it follows its own standard operating procedures.


Who can benefit from an action committee?

  • Action committees can help start-up organisations identify and set up the best systems and processes by testing them out initially through this committee.
  • It can also benefit an organisation seeking an entrepreneurial team to support it.
  • Action committees come in handy when an organisation is struggling to grow, has encountered inertia, and is looking for a team to add a fresh perspective or innovate.
  • Action committees can help mature and potentially ageing organisations complete specific tasks or overcome obstacles.
  • Organisations where goals and objectives are not being met due to a lack of creative or new approaches
  • Bureaucratic organisations where the majority are reluctant to change in sight of changing market dynamics
  • Organisations where there are many variables at play and the root cause of challenges is unknown.


What are some organisational challenges that can be resolved by an action committee?

  • An organisation in which teams work in silos and departments do not collaborate with one another. An action committee can help by increasing collaboration and teamwork.
  • Organisations that have reached a point of inertia Action committees can provide support and point them in the direction of new resources.
  • Action committees can offer training programmes to organisations seeking joint training opportunities.
  • Organisations are attempting to increase empathy and sympathy within their teams and departments. An action committee can aid in the integration of teams and departments.


What are the advantages of forming a multidisciplinary action committee?

  • Organisational tasks or challenges that affect the entire unit typically involve the participation of people from all sectors to brainstorm solutions.
  • Members of an action committee bring information and insights from their fields that can be critical in solving a problem. Furthermore, more information and insights can lead to a more rapid and effective solution.
  • Different people's perspectives in a group can help understand a task better and avoid missing small details that would otherwise be overlooked.
  • Multidisciplinary action committees foster innovation and creativity.
  • The cost of failing isn't as high, and the ways to measure success can be used in other areas.
  • Small-level implementation leads to rich insights that can be applied to other areas of the organisation.


What are the advantages of forming a unidisciplinary action committee?

  • In an unidiscplinary action committee, goal alignment occurs more quickly.
  • There is more empathy in a unidiscplinary action committee group.
  • When people from the same domain collaborate to complete a task, work gets done faster.
  • A unidisciplinary group's work quality is much richer and deeper; the type of quality differs from that of a multidisciplinary group.

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