Q: How Can We Use The Responsibility Process™ in the Federal Government?

On yesterday’s every-second-Tuesday-of-the-month no-cost Ask Christopher Avery tele-training I answered 8 insightful questions selected from dozens submitted by you the call-in audience. Most questions give me an opportunity to demonstrate how Responsibility Redefined™ actually redefines (i.e., shifts the paradigm of, changes the conversation about, or confronts our mental models of) responsibility. Here’s a fun example:

Q: Christopher, how can we use the Responsibility Process™ in the Federal Government?

This question comes from a serious student of Responsibility Redefined™ who is employed in the Federal Government, and I’ve had a number of similar questions recently (more about that below), so I addressed it. I answered:

A: You already are (using the Responsibility Process in the Federal Government).

Think about it.

The Responsibility Process is inside you and everyone, even workers in the Federal Government. It regulates how we each choose (generally unconsciously) to avoid or take responsibility for our lives and situations. So you can’t not use it every moment, unless everything in your life is always perfect.

The Responsibility Process is a relatively recent discovery (follow the links to learn more about the Responsibility Process) about how we respond to mistakes, upsets, and issues in our world. We are just learning how to direct and apply the power of the Responsibility Process. So far, we’ve had amazing results using Responsibility Redefined as the central organizing principle in a team leadership skill-building curriculum, as a self-leadership practice, and as a culture-shaping tool. We’ve also discovered quite a bit about how to teach people about their own Responsibility Process.

So, about the Federal Government, consider why someone would ask about using the Responsibility Process in a specific industry sector. What’s the underlying assumption? Slow to change? Poor working conditions? Bureaucratic? Poor leadership? Stultifying management? Un-enjoyable workplace? Dis-engaged workers?

I can only speculate. Two weeks ago I was visiting the Federal Government of a neighboring country (to the USA) introducing Responsibility Redefined to 7 top officials. They loved the concept, were very interested, and posed a similar question. One said: “I suppose this is much more likely to be effective when introduced in the private sector?”

To which I answered: I can imagine leaders in the private sector may be quicker to want to learn about Responsibility Redefined™, but that does not mean the Responsibility Process is any less operative in the public sector. In fact, the assumption that the public sector is a place where people can not be expected to be interested in taking ownership shows that the Responsibility Process is sorely at work… if you know what I mean ( i.e., cultural conditioning toward Denial, Lay Blame, Justify, Shame, Obligation, and especially Quit).

So back to my answer to the Ask Christopher Avery question. I said that since the Responsibility Process is already at work everywhere, then the questioner might consider his or her workplace to be prime real estate for developing awareness of Responsibility Redefined. I reminded that Responsibility Redefined is not a management tool. Rather it is a self-leadership tool that invites others to follow you. I suggested the questioner could teach it to peers, and could start a leadership study group.

And lastly, I suggested the questioner could procure an invitation for me to introduce Responsibility Redefined™ at a government leaders conference. It is interesting that I’ve had audiences in two national governments in the last year, neither of which has been the USA.

Posted in Ask Christopher Avery, Leadership, Responsibility on 07/09/2008 02:46 pm
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