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Book Review

Intelligent Governance: A Prototype for Social Coordination

Intelligent Governance: A Prototype for Social Coordination

by Gilles Paquet, Christopher Wilson

Striking the 'right fit' between resources, processes and outcomes in complex environments, where different groups have something to contribute towards joint outcomes, even though they partake in joint operations in the pursuit of their own objectives — this is what intelligent governanceis all about. It is the practical application of an evolving worldview that is a less conflictive, more intelligent, more cooperative and a wiser mode of human coordination.

This short book proposes some guideposts for intelligent governance.

It does not put forward a rigid blueprint or a recipe that could mechanically and blindly be followed, but a prototype for a process of inquiry seeking to help organizations find a way forward (through innovation and value adding), some general indications about the most toxic pitfalls likely to materialize — mental prisons, lack of mindfulness, etc. — and comments about the most promising opportunities or initiatives likely to nudge the coordinating inquiries into successful directions.

As professionals know, each situation must be contextually ascertained, its complexity and circumstances fully appreciated, its plurality of stakeholders and their worldviews taken into account, its various dynamics probed, and the wayfinding for the organization or the socio-economy must be understood, as distilled by a mix of self-organization and the work of evolving inquiring systems constantly fuelled by social learning.

The assemblage of sensors and levers on which we focus constitutes an enabling core checklist for a wide range of inquiring processes in order to avoid major pitfalls and to elicit the most promising wayfinding and stewardship.

Gilles Paquet is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Governance of the University of Ottawa, and Editor in Chief of Visit his website

Christopher Wilson is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Governance of the University of Ottawa, and a senior consultant on collaborative governance and partnership in the public and voluntary sectors.

You can purchase a copy of this book through:

Table of Contents

Preamble Not a Plan, But a Prototype, and Indications Along the Way

Introduction Escaping from Mental Prisons and Designing New Arrangements

Part I : Reframing

Chapter 1 : Beyond the Blinding Search for Simplicity and Certainty

Chapter 2 : On Collaboration

Chapter 3 : Designing Social Learning

Part II : Refurbishing

Chapter 4 : Delta Knowledge and the Drift from Leadership to Stewardship

Chapter 5 : Social Practice, Strategy and Accountability

Part III : Scheming and Wayfinding Virtuously

Chapter 6 : Collaboration in the Absence ofAffectio societatis

Chapter 7 : Culture Governance and the Strategic State

Conclusion : Governing Intelligently

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