Danny M. Goldberg, CISA, CGEIT, CCSA, CIA, CPA
Today I had the great honor of speaking on critical thinking at the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Trinidad & Tobago Chapter. As this was my initial exposure to “international” speaking, I was a bit nervous and apprehensive. As I travel almost on a weekly basis, I never have time to enjoy the city and culture. This past weekend, I researched the area and my anticipation increased greatly.
As the day went on, I slowly bonded with the audience and broke down any perceived barriers. I was most intrigued by the language of internal auditing, which, yes, I will compare to the language of love. Bottom line is internal auditing, no matter the culture or the country.
I found it very unique that the mayor of the Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, started the day out with a proclamation for the internal auditors. I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people at many chapters over the past five years, but never have I had the lead-in speaker be the mayor! He proclaimed that week “Internal Auditor Awareness Week”! Pretty cool…
I also found that the challenges of the Trinidad & Tobago internal auditors are similar but somewhat different from those in the US, which is where I am located. We are all about adding value as internal auditors in the US, but to me, there seemed to be more of a “wall” of independence in Trinidad & Tobago. Yes, value is important, but we must also play the role of the police, to a certain extent.
We spent the day discussing critical thinking and spoke in length about the importance of interpersonal skills and listening as a major part of that. The general themes of the session were: “It is not what you say, but how you say it.” and “It is not the first question you ask, it is the next.” Most of my exercises still hit home in Trinidad & Tobago and the bottom line was: Auditing is similar to the language of love—regardless of where you are at, you can still speak the international language of internal auditing!
I could not have asked for a better experience than speaking at the IIA Trinidad & Tobago Chapter. They could not have been more hospitable to the Texas boy visiting.
Read Danny Goldberg’s recent Journal article:
“Communication the Missing Piece,” ISACA Journal, volume 3, 2012