Have you been assigned to a task force? Are you leading one?
The task force is intended to be a short-term venture. Its primary goal is one of urgency with an expectation of being resolved, it is not a lasting ongoing group.
This group or team usually assembles quickly and then just as quickly dissipates. Having a spot in the group means your expertise is required. It is required right now.
The goal is to solve the special problem or need.
A committee on the other hand, may carry a lasting place in your community, a special interest group, or within any organization.
Sometimes there is a marketing committee. There may also be an event planning committee or a committee assigned to provide budgetary oversight. It might be an annual, seasonal, or cyclical activity, however, the essence of urgency usually only occurs when timelines or milestones start to slip away with limited or no action.
Which is it?
Things that are urgent tend to change. The contents on a list of urgent items will shift. There may always be an urgent list but it won’t include the same contents.
When the manufacturer notices an emerging high failure rate on a product or system, they may create a task force to get to the root cause and provide a solution.
An unexpected virus, in software or in people, may require the urgency of a task force, not a committee.
It is important to recognize the difference.
A task force that doesn’t resolve the problem doesn’t usually become a committee.
The committee often lacks the urgency of the task force.
Call them by name, because without a label an urgent problem may last too long.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.