Account for (v.)
to take the responsibility for something.
Accountability (principle)
Respond when something is needed, do what you agreed to do, and accept your share of responsibility for the course of the organization, so that what needs doing gets done, nothing is overlooked and everyone does what they can to contribute toward the effectiveness and integrity 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 that cannot (for now at least) be backed up by reasoning or enough evidence to prove its relevance or validity to those who are considering it.
Consent (principle)
Raise, seek out and resolve objections to decisions and actions, so that you can reduce the potential for undesirable consequences and discover worthwhile ways to improve.
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)
Regularly review the outcome of what you are doing, and then make incremental improvements to what you do and how you do it based on what you learn, so that you can adapt to changes when necessary, and maintain or improve effectiveness over time.
Coordination
The process of enabling individuals or teams to collaborate effectively across different domains to achieve shared objectives.
Delegatee
An individual or group accepting responsibility for a domain delegated to them, becoming a role keeper or a team.
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 responsibility for a domain to other(s).
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 towards achieving your organization’s overall objectives, so that you can make the best use of your limited time, energy and resources.
Empiricism (principle)
Test all assumptions you rely on through experiments and continuous revision, so that you learn fast, make sense of things and navigate complexity as effectively as you can.
Equivalence (principle)
Involve people in making and evolving decisions that affect them, so that you increase engagement and accountability, and make use of the distributed intelligence toward achieving and evolving your objectives.
Evolve (v.)
to develop gradually.
Flow of Value
Deliverables traveling through an organization towards customers or other stakeholders.
Governance
The process of setting objectives and making and evolving decisions that guide people towards achieving those objectives.
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.
Metric
A quantifiable measure used to track and assess progress, evaluate outcomes and determine success
Need
The lack of something wanted or deemed necessary (a requirement).
Objection
An argument – relating to a proposal, agreement, activity or the existing state of affairs – that reveals consequences or risks you'd rather avoid, or demonstrates worthwhile ways to improve.
Objective
A (specific) result that a person or team or organization wants to achieve; an aim or a goal.
Open Team
A group of people who are invited to contribute to the work and governance done in a domain 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 unintended consequences.
Pattern
A process, practice or guideline that serves as a template for successfully responding to a specific kind of challenge or opportunity.
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, who then becomes the role keeper.
Role Keeper
An individual taking responsibility for a role.
Self-Governance
People governing themselves within the constraints of a domain.
Self-Organization
Any activity or process through which people organize work. Self-organization happens within the constraints of a domain, but without the direct influence of external agents. In any organization or team, self-organization co-exists with external influence (e.g. external objections or governance decisions that affect the domain).
Semi-Autonomy
The autonomy of people to decide for themselves how to create value, limited by the constraints of their domain, and by objections brought by the delegator, representatives, or others.
Social Technology
Social technology is any process, technique, method, skill or any other approach that people can use to influence social systems — organizations, societies, communities etc. — to support achieving shared objectives and guide meaningful interaction and exchange.
Sociocracy
An approach for organizing together 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)
Record all information that is valuable for the organization and make it accessible to everyone in the organization, unless there is a reason for confidentiality, so that everyone has the information they need to understand how to do their work in a way that contributes most effectively to the whole.
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 to a driver.