Responsible Project Management


I was lucky enough to be at the Responsible Project Management draft manifesto launch this month and even luckier to be presenting some results of my research which I'd used to pose the question how do we begin a responsible conversation?

Already, I've listened to several discussions between project managers about this topic. Invariably, the discussion drifts towards programme managers and portfolio managers likely having more responsibility of things such as the UN sustainability goals. Yet, surely this is missing the point of social principles: we must all have these principles in mind.

The old-fashioned hierarchical leadership model is being challenged by technological advancement of the internet and everyone having a phone. Taking the example of climate change, there is no one person or one country who is responsible for the planet, we are all responsible for our future survival. In the same way as parents are leaders of the future generation, we all need to step up to thinking about the future whether experts in climate change or not. There is enough data available to recognise that resources are being depleted.

I ask myself 'what is my contribution going to be?' Apart from watching my consumption (and wastage), life is also to be lived, so some consideration about what life is about is perhaps helpful. Ethics I believe is a broadening, essential consideration. We're increasingly being asked to consider diversity, privacy, kindness to the elderly, the infirm, those with poor mental health, and to be respectful to other people's views. Yet, there is also a need for collaboration and to find shared intention - like the UN sustainability goals. Now we need to talk to one another about them.

It is already challenging to get people to talk - we seem to prefer short texts and social chit chat, rather than more meaningful story-telling and deeper understanding/discussion. Television in my view has challenged the attractiveness of 1:1 discussion....it's easier to watch and think you've participated. My goal is to engage people in deeper conversations, and then how to have a responsible conversation.

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