Went to a tea party today. Aside from attending “Dan’s Bakesale” in the mid-90s to help “Dan” raise funds to subscribe to the Limbaugh Letter, I’ve never attended a true political rally until today.

Some signs called out the need for more emphasis on personal responsibility. We’ve always emphasized this with our children (my son wears his watch 24/7 because he is personally responsible for getting to where he needs to be on time).

We’ve also taken great personal responsibility for our small business. In nearly eight years of operation we’ve never taken a loan, always paid our subcontractors (whether the client paid or not) on time, and been true to our tax obligations.

David Murray reminded me in his newest post of another responsibility, the employer’s responsibility for educating employees. Absolutely crucial. I would push that another step further – employees have a responsibility for actively engaging in the dialog, for seeking out information, for thinking strategically, for doing the right thing.

We talk about getting employees to be more responsible for their own healthcare decisions, to be accountable for their roles, to be innovative and cost conscious. It’s all responsibility. And, while the employer certainly has responsibilities, our culture has moved beyond the point where employees must be coddled and parented.

Courageous internal communicators can move the needle on this one. We can engage internal stakeholders on the topic of responsibility, collaborate with HR on accountability measurements, ensure new programs consider and connect with a message of responsibility. Might even influence the broader market and government. May even encourage some employees to get engaged in new and bold ways. Tea party anyone?