What Does Responsibility Mean?

Oct 16, 2013 2:15 PM ET

Kimberly Liu brings more than 10 years of financial services and brand strategy experience to her role at PwC. As a manager on the US Corporate Responsibility team, she develops initiatives that leverage the strengths of PwC’s people to positively impact the marketplace and environment. She focuses on the firm’s external US Corporate Responsibility reporting, as well as scaling pro bono, employee engagement and environment programs.

I was just returning to my house after an early morning coffee run as the film crew arrived. It was our third day of filming and I had somehow been convinced to come out from behind the camera and be interviewed with my three year old son. As a part of the Corporate Responsibility team at PwC, I felt the pressures of having “the answer” and the fact that I knew the question beforehand left little excuse for a less than perfect response.

What does responsibility mean to me?

Not corporate responsibility. Responsibility.

Today, people are bombarded with streams of information through their phones, tablets and laptops. Our challenge is finding a way through the noise by captivating them with our story. Aside from a 140 character tweet, videos are one of the quickest and richest ways for us to engage with people both within and outside of PwC. The format alone, however, cannot create a dialogue. We have to use it as an opportunity to share who we are in a personal way and allow the viewer to reflect on who they are.

Our idea for the videos was to show the many voices of PwC coming together to tell our corporate responsibility story. Building this script, for me, was a process of really understanding who we strive to be as a firm. While reviewing endless drafts, I couldn’t help but wonder what did our people actually think? So, we decided to also put our people on the spot and ask them. We had no idea what we would capture or how it would come together.

I started the daunting task of recruiting participants. My stretch goal was to get twelve. When we reached ten, I was relieved. Twenty, I was shocked. Thirty, I was panicking about how we were going to squeeze them all in. Who knew so many people were willing to put themselves out there to tell our story? We ended up filming 38 people over four days. What an experience it was to meet each person and hear each story.

So, what does responsibility mean to our people?

Doing it right.
Taking something and making it better. 
Helping others because I can. 
An opportunity to think beyond myself.
My commitment to making a difference.
To give a damn.

There I was, trying to get my son to sit still in his playroom while the film crew got ready. While convincing him the sound boom was not going to bite him and trying to listen to final instructions from the film crew, I was desperately trying to find the perfect answer.

For me, responsibility is always acting with integrity. That’s something my Dad constantly tells me (even as an adult) and it reminds me responsibility is not something that just happens. It’s something that we have to share, nurture and pass on to the next generation.

What does responsibility mean to you? Check out our Corporate Responsibility story through this video