What is an Executive Committee?

Definition: An executive committee is a group of key managers that make decisions collectively about relevant subjects related to the organization’s proper functioning. It generally applies to the highest level of authority within the hierarchical structure, below the Board of Directors.

What Does Executive Committee Mean?

A executive committee is employed like a mechanism to integrate different departments in their highest decision levels. Every director or manager is in charge of his own division but there are matters that require a cohesive vision to be solved. The committee operates to assess those issues, analyze them and make decisions that aim to support corporate goals.

All members should meet periodically to discuss, exchange and agree to ideas regarding the organization’s performance but there might be information shared between meetings to increase the effectiveness of these encounters. The executive committee should be a place where ideas and strategies are harmonized among all organizational areas to ensure that shared objectives are enforced.

It is recommended to have a clear, pre-defined agenda for meetings to make the most out of them. People participating must be decision makers since outputs should be concise actions to be taken. Monitoring previous agreements should be a part of this agenda at each meeting in order to adjust and control problematic issues as soon as possible. Typically there is a Chairman and a Secretary who are in charge of conducting the meeting to be a productive one.

Example

The Executive Director at a mid-sized manufacturing company is finding difficult to solve conflicts between his managers. The Production Manager says that there is no possible way to lower costs, the Sales Managers complained about production delays and the Finance Manager is alerting about lower profit margins.

Every one complains but there is no specific solution to improve the overall performance. The Director decided to create an Executive Committee formed by its top managers. Meetings are done on a weekly basis to discuss operational subjects and once a month they analyze together key performance indicators to identify potential improvement areas.