Account for (v.): to take the responsibility for something.
Accountability (principle): Respond when something is needed, do what you agreed to do, and take ownership for the course of the organization.
Agreement: An agreed upon guideline, process, protocol or policy designed to guide the flow of value.
Alignment: The process of bringing the actions of all parts of an organization in line with the organization’s objectives.
Backlog: A list of (often prioritized) uncompleted work items (deliverables), or (drivers) that need to be addressed.
Check-In: A brief disclosure where you share something about what’s up for you and how you are, revealing thoughts, feelings, distractions or needs.
Chosen Values: A set of principles a team (or an organization) has chosen to collectively adopt to guide their behavior in the context of their collaboration.
Circle: A self-governing and semi-autonomous team of equivalent people who collaborate to account for a domain.
Complexity: An environment where unknowns are unknown, cause and effect can only be understood in retrospect, and actions lead to unpredictable changes. [Snowden and Boone]
Concern: An assumption why doing something (even in the absence of objections) might stand in the way of (more) effective response to an organizational driver.
Consent (principle): Raise, seek out and resolve objections to decisions and actions.
Constituent: A team (e.g. a circle, team, department, branch, project or organization) who delegate authority to a representative to act on their behalf in other team or organizations.
Continuous Improvement (principle): Change incrementally to accommodate steady empirical learning.
Coordination: The process of enabling individuals or teams to collaborate effectively across different domains to achieve shared objectives.
Delegatee: An individual or group accepting accountability for a domain delegated to them.
Delegation: The grant of authority by one party (the delegator) to another (the delegatee) to account for a domain, (i.e. to do certain things and/or to make certain decisions) for which the delegator maintains overall accountability.
Delegator: An individual or group delegating a domain to other(s) to be accountable for.
Deliverable: A product, service, component or material provided in response to an organizational driver.
Domain: A distinct area of influence, activity and decision making within an organization.
Driver: A person’s or a group’s motive for responding to a specific situation.
Effectiveness (principle): Devote time only to what brings you closer toward achieving your objectives.
Empiricism (principle): Test all assumptions through experimentation and continuous revision.
Equivalence (principle): Involve people in making and evolving decisions that affect them.
Evolve (v.): to develop gradually.
Flow of Value: Deliverables traveling through an organization towards customers or other stakeholders.
Governance: The act of setting objectives, and making and evolving decisions that guide people towards achieving them.
Governance Backlog: A visible, prioritized list of items (drivers) that are related to governing a domain and require attention.
Helping Team: A team of equivalent people with the mandate to execute on a specific set of requirements.
Intended Outcome: The expected result of an agreement, action, project or strategy.
Key responsibilities: Essential work and decision making required in the context of a domain.
Logbook: A (digital) system to store all information relevant for running an organization.
Need: The lack of something wanted or deemed necessary (a requirement).
Objection: A reason — relating to a proposal, decision, existing agreement or action — that reveals unintended consequences, or viable ways to improve.
Objective: A (specific) result that a person or team or organization wants to achieve; an aim or a goal.
Open Domain: A domain that is accounted for by a set of people who are invited to contribute when they can.
Operations: Doing the work and organizing day to day activities within the constraints defined through governance.
Operations Backlog: A visible list of (typically prioritized) uncompleted work items (deliverables).
Organization: A group of people collaborating toward a shared driver (or objective). Often an organization subdivides into several teams.
Organizational Driver: A driver is a person’s or a group’s motive for responding to a specific situation. A driver is considered an organizational driver if responding to it would help the organization generate value, eliminate waste or avoid harm.
Pattern: A template for successfully navigating a specific context.
Peer Domain: Two peer domains are contained within the same immediate superdomain, and may be overlapping.
Primary Driver: The primary driver for a domain is the main driver that people who account for that domain respond to.
Principle: A basic idea or rule that guides behavior, or explains or controls how something happens or works.
Role: A domain that is delegated to an individual.
Self-Governance: People governing themselves within the constraints of a domain.
Self-Organization: Any activity or process through which people organize their day-to-day work without the influence of an external agent, and within constraints defined through governance. In any organization or team, self-organization and external influence co-exist.
Semi-Autonomy: The autonomy of people to create value within their domain, further limited by their own governance decisions, and objections (including those of the delegator and of representatives).
Sociocracy: A mindset where people affected by decisions can influence them on the basis of reasons to do so.
Sociocratic Circle-Organisation Method (SCM): An egalitarian governance method for organizations based on a sociocratic mindset, developed in the Netherlands by Gerard Endenburg.
Strategy: A high level approach for how people will create value to successfully account for a domain.
Subdomain: A domain that is fully contained within another domain.
Subdriver: A subdriver arises as a consequence of responding to another driver (the superdriver) and is essential for effectively responding to the superdriver.
Superdomain: A domain that fully contains another domain.
Superdriver: see subdriver.
Team: A group of people collaborating toward a shared driver (or objective). Typically a team is part of an organization, or it is formed as a collaboration of several organizations.
Tension: A personal experience, a symptom of dissonance between an individual’s perception of a situation, and their expectations or preferences.
Timebox: A fixed period of time spent focused on a specific activity (which is not necessarily finished by the end of the timebox).
Transparency (principle): Make all information accessible to everyone in an organization, unless there is a reason for confidentiality.
Value: The importance, worth or usefulness of something in relation to a driver. Also “a principle of some significance that guides behavior” (mostly used as plural, “values”, or “organizational values”).
Values: Valued principles that guide behavior. Not to be confused with “value” (singular) in the context of a driver.
Waste: Anything unnecessary for — or standing in the way of — a (more) effective response of a driver.