Responsibility is a value we hold highly at Centric Consulting. It’s listed among our core values as “practice responsible stewardship,” but being responsible isn’t just practice. It’s a way of being.

A few months ago, a new technology book called The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data, hit the online store shelves. In it, author Michael Patrick Lynch writes that the technology tools that make us powerful also make us less responsible. He speculates that the abundance of data available to us – as individuals and as businesses – allows us to become more powerful knowers.  But, he says, “We must strive to be more responsible, understanding ones.”

Responsible Stewardship Defined

Webster defines it as:  The obligation to carry forward an assigned task to a successful conclusion; a duty, obligation or liability for which someone is held accountable; a form of trustworthiness; the trait of being answerable to someone for something, or being responsible for one’s conduct.

But responsibility also means the ability to respond:

  • To respond to changing dynamics affecting our clients every day, sometimes hour by hour.
  • To respond to the ever-increasing array of new technologies, conducting due diligence to know which ones have merit and which ones don’t.
  • And to respond with leadership and respect for the needs of our own employees who tackle challenging business problems and deliver excellence each and every day.

At a university commencement speech, the speaker addressed college graduates by asking: “What values guide your life choices?”  Responses spanned the spectrum from respect, honor and accountability, to grace, courage and fun.  But “responsibility” topped the list.  The recent graduates in the audience recognized that finding the right job – and striving to do their best in all aspects of their career – was their personal responsibility. Whether you’re in your early career, a mid-level manager or seasoned executive, being responsible for yourself, and respond to others, go hand-in-hand.

I encourage you to read the book and to become an informed citizen in this data-driven world that we live in.  If knowledge is power, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of both.