Re: "Governance"
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2015 11:30:22 -0700 (PDT)
> On Aug 25, 2015, at 10:47 AM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at] 
>> wrote:
> I write a blog on Cohousing US and want a tag for “Governance”. Catya is 
> questioning whether that is the best word—do people understand it or look for 
> it. So I’m looking for a term that people might understand better. 

Of the options suggested as alternatives for “governance"

“Management" is going out of style because of the association of top down 
hierarchies and a ‘upper class'. The preferred term now is “leader.” Groups 
need leaders even when self-organization is encouraged.

Community Structure or organizational structure, I like, but structure sounds 
static. As Jerry said, it doesn’t imply “doing." Governance should be flexible 
and adjusting to needs.

I found a quote by Stafford Beer who taught operational research and management 
cybernetics in the UK.

"Cybernetics is the science of effective organization.”

Sociocracy developed out of Quaker practice and cybernetics. I’m not sure how 
to get the Quaker influence in but “Organization” is good because it suggests 
both a noun and a verb. And is about doing something. You organize to do, and 
you have an organization.

The first book on sociocracy published in 1988 was subtitled "The Organization 
of Decision-Making."


Organization & Decision-Making



I think we need all three, though Governance also has the connotation of “the 
government” and too often viewed as “other.”

What do you think?

Sharon Villines
Sociocracy: A Deeper Democracy

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