I haven't yet read Robert Seiner’s book Non-Invasive Data Governance, so my comments here are triggered by a mention of it in a blog post from Certis, Inc., which is an information services company in the oil and gas field. Thanks to them for the tip.
So: 'Non-invasive data governance is built around identifying already in place, de facto standards, and processes to capture and manipulate data. If there isn’t one standard, then “converging” and “formalizing” to one standard that suits all is required. In the new world, data stewards will be recognized “formally” and will maintain “universal” standards for work they have been doing all along…'
If I understand the message correctly, the issue is that top-down data governance approaches meet with resistance, while a proliferation of competing data standards lead to needless complexity and lack of information flow. The alternative being put forward is a more distributed, collaborative approach. My feeling is that the most effective industry standards bodies, exemplified by ACORD, encapsulate the processes of convergence and formalization on behalf of the communities they serve – the communities which also provide the time and expertise for the mission.
Successful data management stems from multiple factors and these vary from place to place and time to time. But it's definitely true that a strong industry standards body can provide the focus, support, and momentum required to make data governance work in our enterprises. LINK