ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with members in 163 different countries. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that assist particularly in facilitating international trade.

And now, ISO is working to develop ISO 50501 which is the world’s first set of international standards around innovation management. More than 50 experts from 47 countries have met over several years in order to create a shared language and benchmarks to help any organization manage innovation.

But how do you go about setting standards for an emerging practice? In a recent presentation about the ISO process, Alice de Casanove laid out the objectives, missions, and objectives of their efforts and broke the analysis into four essential sections:

Systems: defining the process and organization of innovation.

Terminology: defining a common language on innovation management.

Tools and Methods: establishing the useful tools that support innovation management processes.

Assessment: develop criteria to assess the quality of an innovation management system.

They’re looking to define standards that support business, public sector, and not for profit organizations in marketplace innovation, value chain innovation, process improvement innovation, organizational culture innovation, product and service innovation, as well as social innovation.

In another article, Håkan Ozan laid out the principles that are the core of the new standard. These principles are helping them define ISO 50501.

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

At IdeaScale, we are very excited to see what ISO comes out with. There is still a lot of confusion around innovation (even at its most basic level: what does innovation mean?). Having a standard will certainly help innovators around the globe consolidate some of their understanding.

ISO plans to release their standardization recommendation in early 2018. To learn more about IdeaScale and ISO 50501, download a one-sheeter on the subject here.

By Rob Hoehn

About the author

Rob Hoehn is the co-founder and CEO of IdeaScale: the largest open innovation software platform in the world. Hoehn launched crowdsourcing software as part of the open government initiative and IdeaScale’s robust portfolio now includes many other industry notables, such as EA Sports, NBC, NASA, Xerox and many others. Prior to IdeaScale, Hoehn was Vice President of Client Services at Survey Analytics.

Featured image via Shutterstock.