Governance is distinct from government in that it concerns longer-term processes rather than immediate decisions. Governance is a set of continuous processes that usually evolve slowly with use rather than change dramatically (as with a change of government). There are three categories of processes to cover the interactions between the government, the public service, and the citizenry. The engagement process covers the interaction between citizens and government; the consultation process covers the interaction between public servants and citizens; and the implementation process covers the interaction between the government and the public service.
The result of the governance focus on processes instead of decisions is that the primary concern is goals rather than rules. In the perspective of governance what is important is the objective rather than the rules of behaviour for achieving it. Various levels or locales of jurisdiction may pursue the same goals with distinct instruments, different priorities, and alternate agendas. This is often both unsurprising and inevitable – even those "singing from the same hymn-book" may do so in a different key, to a different accompanying instrument. The goals of governance cannot really be achieved by micro-management, because there are no means of detailed enforcement.
In contra-distinction to the formal roles within government, governance processes are oriented to performance. Specific tasks are not necessarily assigned to specific roles because the point is for everyone to "pitch in" and work toward the common goal. The main concern is the purpose of the various governance processes, and numerous people in various roles can provide an assortment of contributions depending on their circumstances.
Governance takes the larger view of social objectives, so it involves the coordination of efforts rather than the implementation of specific programs. How it all fits together is more important than exactly who does what to whom by which means. This is the systemic perspective as opposed to a focus on the individual practice, or player, or process.
The "bottom line" for governance is outcomes rather than the outputs of government. One dramatic way of illustrating this point is to word it as follows: whereas the point of government outputs is the effort expended, the point of governance outcomes is the effects produced. One of the reasons people are often impatient with governments is because, despite the reports of great efforts expended, the results produced (the outcomes) are often unacceptable from the point of view of the citizenry. People who want to "re-invent government" are hoping that those in government will adopt a new focus on outcomes to replace outputs.