18 Using Lean Audit Principles to Underpin Cultural Change in the Wider Organization

I mentioned at the beginning of this book that properly embracing lean ways of working is much more than just about following a check the box approach to a series of efficiency oriented good practices. My experience, as a CAE, and working with other audit functions, is that those functions that follow the spirit of lean can become important catalysts for improvements across the organization. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the best audit functions can trigger a recognition of the need for certain cultural changes in the wider organization. This may seem a rather grand claim to make, and it was not initially something at the forefront of my mind when I started implementing lean ways of working. However, over the years, I think those functions that operate in line with these principles exemplify the best of what internal audit can be and demonstrate how audit can effectively operate at the top table. Phil Gerrard (CAE, Rolls-Royce) captures the progressive, value adding mindset I am talking about:

“My view is I’m here to make this a better business tomorrow than it is today, through better understanding of the risks the business is taking, leading to better decision-making and overall a control environment that manages to a level of risk that management has set, as opposed to a woolly, we are improving and we’ll get there in the end, type of approach.”

I don’t want to say that it ...

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