I think we all heard that as children.
I doubt we often heard our parents say, "Who's responsible for this tidiness?"
Which is why a lot of people - managers and project teams - don't actually like responsibility. It's much easier - and much safer - to follow the plan, stick to the budget, and tick all the boxes. And if the project outcome isn't achieved, at least it's all tidy.
But What Is Responsibility Anyway?
Quite simply, it's the ability to respond.
We respond to stakeholder interests and concerns, to make sure projects are not only designed to address those concerns but also to ensure they continue to be relevant. After all, initial analysis is never perfect, stakeholder groups are not homogeneous, and people's aspirations can change over time.
We respond to change. Risks emerge, assumptions become invalid over time (if they were ever true). Local changes, national level changes, even global changes - all can affect projects. Changes in government or policy. A conflict escalating or resolved. A change in the weather, even.
And the 'R' is Results-Based Management isn't only about results - it's about responsibility.
Responsibility - primarily - to our target groups and beneficiaries, who are depending on our support for transformation. And to our donors, to deliver the development results we so optimistically offered. To our teams, too - so their efforts have a purpose.
And in Results-Based Management, responsibility is shared. It's not just the domain of managers with their log frames and elite development language. It's shared between donors and planners, managers, implementers and communities.
And when there's a common, shared vision of the results we want to achieve, we can all step up and be responsible for delivering positive measurable change for the communities we serve.
And if you want to know how to get there, and develop a reputation for successful community transformation, you have to be willing to take responsibility.
And if you want to learn those skills, join one of our training courses, or join our online RBM / M&E course and let's make that happen together.