Raising Your Internal Audit IQ: Education through Education


The author heads to New York to teach. . . and learn.

One of the most fulfilling activities I engage in is serving as a volunteer instructor for the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). I’ve always been a fan of the IIA’s simple yet elegant goal for the internal audit profession: “progress through learning.” Their volunteer Instructor program stays true to that mantra by leveraging the time and talent of the professional community to help perpetuate the development of internal audit professionals.

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Office Space and the GRC Space


Have you covered your basis with managing change in your GRC program? Review these tips to minimize the headaches in your office.

Most of us firmly entrenched in office/cubicle/workspace environments are familiar with the movie Office SpaceFor those that aren’t familiar with the plot, the film provides insights into the mundane life of a software engineering company, covering all the standard office clichés:

  • the demanding boss with annoying catchphrases
  • “efficiency experts”
  • mass layoffs
  • printers that never do what you want them to do
  • themed parties (Hawaiian shirt day!)

Though bombing at the box office in the late 1990s, it’s now achieved cult status with its satiric take on office culture.

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Getting the GRC Plane Off the Ground (And Keeping It There)


Achieving lift in your GRC program involves a variety of moving parts. By following a plan, you can get your GRC program to soar.

I have had the pleasure of working in the governance, risk and compliance (GRC) space for some time now, and one simple question that continues to come up is, “where do we start?” If you’re just starting your GRC journey, when you survey your landscape you’ll likely find contrasting personalities, specialized nomenclature and inflexible technology systems. Aligning operations and processes that have operated independently is no easy feat!

If you’re interested in optimizing your business operations through GRC, but feel immobilized as to what the next steps are, this blog post is for you. Based on my experiences in the industry, I’ve found the following five steps (all industry-neutral) to be the critical tasks to complete as you kick off your program.

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Technology: A Powerful Force for Good


Technology aided the investigation and helped first responders tend to the victims of the Boston attacks.

The past week has been a trying and challenging one for all Americans. During the events of Boston Marathon Attacks, my eyes were glued to the live broadcasts available online. Even though I was across the country, the updates, broadcasts and information connected me with the event as though it was down the street. “Tragedy” is the first word that came to mind, followed by emotions such as fear, anger and sadness.

Yet, the human spirit is a potent thing. On the second day, after the initial shock wore off a little bit, I started to see something absolutely amazing. In all the emotions that were swirling around the tragedy, people from all over the country began to reach out to support Boston and those affected by the explosions. We weren’t a country of people divided by ethnicity, religion, language, or wealth… we were a family that began the long healing process. Through these events, people were empowered to offer help and support through a variety of technologies. Consider the following acts of goodwill that were possible due to the inspired efforts of professionals within the information technology field.

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Left Brain/Right Brain: Broaden Your Perspectives with Creative Pursuits


Don’t tackle 100% of your challenges with only 50% of your head. Use both sides of your brain to overcome your current GRC obstacles.

I’ll be the first to admit that my brain gets really, really tired sometimes. I’m sure we can all relate to the mental fatigue that comes with staying singularly focused on identifying, analyzing and solving problems, moving seamlessly between one issue and then moving directly on to the next. Most of our minds are likely occupied with numerous issues, concerns, paradoxes and so forth, and it’s all we can do to keep focused on the task at hand. I’m also guessing that many of us have had a strong desire to simply turn off our brains and enjoy a bit of mental silence. It is with this in mind that I write this blog.

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March Madness: Picking Your GRC Priorities


Your GRC picks don’t have to be shredded after a bad first round. Learn what questions you can ask to better sequence your GRC deployment.

The productivity drop you felt last week can only mean that March Madness is upon us. For Americans, the last half of March means we all become sports analysts – predicting the outcome of college basketball games for teams from Spokane, Washington to Fort Meyers, Florida. Each year, my coworkers, family members and even my neighbor’s children fill out their brackets to see who can make the most accurate picks across the 63 games of the NCAA basketball tournament. (I’ve never been a fan of counting those “play-in” games).

Each of us has a different method for making our decisions and we all leverage a different body of knowledge. Some of us reference actual knowledge of college basketball coaches and players, some look up stats and win/loss records, some “crowd-surf” the tournament and make picks based on popular opinion, while others (particularly the kids that get involved) make picks based on team mascot “awesomeness” or best color. (The kids have a point; in real life you’d always go with a Cowboy over a Duck, right?)

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What’s Your Elevator Pitch?


General Squier’s technological achievements led to modern Elevator music. How would you summarize your accomplishments?

This week marks the anniversary of the birth, and death, of a true American original, Major General George Owen Squier (March 21, 1865 – March 24, 1934). Besides his distinguished service record, Squier was a scholar, holding a Ph.D. from John Hopkins and being an elected member of the National Academy of Science. He was also an accomplished inventor, having discovered a way for the telephone to send multiple messages across a single line (multiplexing). However, the general’s most recognized achievement is one designed to not be recognized at all. Whether you’re shopping, having your teeth drilled or riding in an elevator you’ve likely been exposed to (don’t worry, it’s not contagious) Muzak – a term the general coined himself.

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