Glossary OF Terms



Accountability is keeping the agreements we make. To be accountable is to deliver an outcome within agreed upon resources, timing and constraints. Transactionally, accountability is a covenant, with the person assigning accountability also agreeing to assign authority. The covenant is that the person accepting accountability is also extended authority needed to achieve the outcome.  


Accountable refers to having stewardship over the outcome within the authority provided to access resources while delivering the outcome within agreed upon constraints and timing.   


Align means outcomes and resources at all levels are arranged to produce the target outcomes in a way that ascends to the organization reaching its goals.


Alignment occurs when all resources are focused on producing outcomes that most directly lead to the organization’s goals. Effort not aligned with the assigned objectives and goals is production waste. Objectives and goals not aligned with the organization’s objectives and goals is strategic waste. In strategic waste individuals or teams may deliver everything asked of them but, being assigned outcomes that do not promote higher level goals, result in waste.


A process resulting in a shared understanding.


Conflict is more than one interpretation of the same situation. Resolution of conflict is accomplished through communication, resulting in a shared understanding, although not necessarily agreement, of those differing interpretations, a reduction in bias and a broader shared perspective.

Conflict Management

Conflict management is a process suspending judgement of what is right to pursue a shared understanding of the perspectives being offered, then critically combining those perspectives in a way that reduces bias.


Contention is an interaction or series of interactions in which one constituency seeks to impose its will over others.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a rational problem solving process occurring within a defined context. The process collects evidence, evaluates the evidence to develop a hypothesis, tests the hypothesis and uses the results of the test as further evidence used to refine the hypothesis. This refinement continues until the hypothesis is refined sufficiently to resolve the problem. Critical thinking reduces guessing and promotes the pursuit of evidence in place of conjecture.


A decision is an allocation of resources against an intended outcome. Where resources are not allocated and an outcome is not defined, there is no decision.

Discrete Resources

Discrete resources can be conserved and expended independent of time. Discrete resources are typically tied to capital resources.


Governance is the rules by which people interact to make decisions, delegate and execute.


Innovation is change that increases the value of the organization.


Landscape is the environment or context in which an organization or individual operates. Landscape can be internal or external. Landscape can have advantages and challenges. It is often organized using frames of reference relevant to the organization’s context.


Leadership is exhibiting behavior that promotes achieving target outcomes.  A leader’s role (i.e. what they deliver) is to develop other leaders.


Used generally, an outcome is a work product defined by qualitative and quantitative measures.  Business outcomes have one-degree separation from enterprise business results (e.g. gross revenue, net profit, gross margin, earnings before interest and taxes, etc.)  Senior executives are accountable for business outcomes.

Perishable Resources

Perishable resources are linked to time and expire with the passage of time.  


A process is a documented repeatable established means of converting inputs from a supplier into outputs used by a consumer.


Resources are the assets expended to deliver outcomes.  Resources are either discrete or perishable.


Structure is the relationship between different elements that are part of a portfolio.