Inforchannel: Brazilian companies adopt ISO for innovation

ISO 56002 promotes the governance of innovation among companies of all sizes and segments

Innovation is a latent demand these days. However, in a context of large and rapid transformations combined with exponential technologies, companies feel completely lost about how to keep the business attractive and profitable in such a volatile environment. For this reason, ISO 56002, of innovation management, was launched, in which Palas, innovation and management consulting firm, emerged as a pioneer in its formatting and implementation process. In just two years, the norm has already been adopted by nearly 200 companies worldwide – six in Brazil alone. The largest of these is AirBus, one of the companies, from the aeronautical sector, with more than 150 thousand employees.

Founded in 1947, with the intention of helping in the reconstruction of companies devastated by the Second World War, ISO – International Organization for Standardization, is a non-profit institution based in Geneva, Switzerland. Anchored on the principles of isonomy (which in Greek means equality), the organization has over 22 thousand technical standards, more than 180 management system standards that aim to establish worldwide standards for business management. With 164 member countries, ISO has consolidated itself as one of the most important international references when it comes to standardization and management models.

Based on eight pillars – strategic direction, approach by processes, value realization, leadership focused on the future, collaborative culture, adaptability and resilience, uncertainty management, and insights management – ISO 56002 defends that an innovation can be a product, service, process, model, method, or a combination of any of them.

The format

With all this credibility and know how, in 2013 ISO created an international study group, ISO TC-279, in order to map the best innovation practices of all member countries. Over the years, many countries have actively collaborated, as was the case of France, Canada, Portugal, Russia, Spain, England, and Brazil itself, which contributed with the ABNT 16.501/2011 standard. Here in Brazil, the knowledge sharing process took place through the ABNT/CEE-130 group, which was attended by Alexandre Pierro, founding partner of Palas.

To date, there are already nine standards that encompass the innovation management system. ISO 56000 is the standard that determines vocabularies and fundamentals. ISO 56002 is the standard that sets the guidelines for implementing the management system and is the only one that can be certified via a conformity certificate.

In addition, there are also ISO 56003, which helps companies through tools and methods for innovation; ISO 56004, in charge of assessment; ISO 56005, of tools and methods for intellectual property management; 56006, of tools and methods for strategic intelligence management; 56007, of idea management; 56008, of tools and methods for measuring management system performance; and 56009, which is a practical guide for innovation.

These governance models have been widely sought after by companies of various sizes and segments in the search for better innovation management. “We have more than 100 companies in Brazil seeking to understand the applicability and benefits of ISO’s innovation management system. This shows that Brazil is in tune with the best innovation management practices in the world,” explains Pierro.


Based on eight pillars – strategic direction, approach by processes, value realization, leadership focused on the future, collaborative culture, adaptability and resilience, uncertainty management and insights management – ISO 56002 defends that an innovation can be a product, service, process, model, method or a combination of any of them. However, the concept of innovation is characterized by novelty and value. In short, this means that ideas without the manifestation of value are not innovations but inventions.

The terminology of the main standard with the number two is an indication that it is a standard of guidelines and not of requirements. In other words, it points paths, but understands that there is no single recipe for all companies. “Innovation is a very broad, vast, and complex field of study. ISO understood that what works in one company may not work in another. Therefore, in addition to deeply understanding all these norms, the professionals involved in the implementation process must have a deep knowledge of innovation methodologies and tools to achieve really effective results,” argues Pierro.

The certification process, via a conformity certificate, is simple. ISO 56002 can be implemented in companies of all sizes and segments. It is possible to implement it in a single department or in the company as a whole. There are also cases of implementation in several units at the same time, even in different countries, in the case of multinationals. The first step is to perform an assessment, which evaluates the level of adherence of a company in relation to the pillars of the standard. After that, the implementation process begins, which takes from four to six months, depending on the level of complexity and maturity of the company in relation to the theme. When the management system is ready, a certifier performs the certification audit, which, if approved, issues the ISO 56002 compliance certificate.

In Brazil

A total of six Brazilian companies have already adopted ISO 56002. The first was MZF4, a nylon transformation industry located in the capital city of São Paulo. At the same time, CSI Locações, an equipment rental company based in Fortaleza, Ceará, also obtained the certificate of compliance with this standard.

The third company was Palas, which decided to try out this management model in its own processes. “Even though we are specialists in innovation and participated in formatting the standard, we noticed many gains when we carried out our own implementation, such as, for example, the definition of goals and better management of business risks,” says Pierro.

In May 2020, it was Atento’s turn, one of the largest employers in Brazil, a multinational in the Contact Center business. “Today, we can say that innovation is part of our culture and is among the company’s main investment priorities, aiming to improve our offer and bring the best results for our clients,” highlights Maurício Castro, the company’s director.

Three months later, Stefanini, one of the largest technology companies in Brazil, adopted the ISO 56002 governance model. In September 2021, it was Messer Gases’ turn. Still this year, five more Brazilian companies will be innovating based on this international framework, one of them being a public company.


The benefits of ISO 56002 are enormous, but vary from one company to another. In addition to access to tax incentives through the Good Law, companies that adopt the model realize the benefits of a well-defined process for innovation management, with risk mapping, evaluation of opportunities and establishment of resources for innovation, such as infrastructure, knowledge and even budget.

In the case of MZF4, for example, the company more than quadrupled the representativeness of revenue from innovative products, jumping from 2.5% to 11%. The company also registered an increase in brand value, a drop in turn over, a reduction in bank interest rates, and an increase in exports. “Today, besides being an innovative company, we have a more engaged team, better processes, and more tangible results from thinking and doing differently,” says Fabrício Saad, the company’s CMO.

However, for Alexandre Pierro, the greatest advantage of the implementation process of this standard is to transform ideas into results. “We see many companies with sophisticated innovation labs, generating great ideas, but that, for lack of well-defined processes, end up never leaving the paper. With ISO 56002, ideas are taken seriously. We put creativity on the invoice,” emphasizes Pierro.


Published in InforChannel on September 14th, 2021: