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 or protocol 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 opinion 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 why doing something stands in the way of (more) effective response to an organizational driver (i.e. an organizational requirement).

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).

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).

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.