Carolyn Saint, CIA, CRMA, CPA, is vice president, internal audit at 7-Eleven Inc.

Can We Make Internal Auditing "Agile"?

Posted on Jul 2, 2014

The Idea: Companies and IT developers are increasingly using agile, rather than “waterfall,” methods to create systems and applications. “Where the waterfall approach is based in predictability and processes, an agile approach focuses on adaptability and response time to changing requirements.” Could we do the same for internal auditing?

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What Are You Reading?

Posted on May 15, 2014

The Idea: If you’ve been reading my blog posts, you know that I’m always reading Harvard Business Review online. It’s a fabulous place for inspiration, idea generation, and staying current. But what business books are you currently reading? That was a question once posed to me by the then-CEO of a company I was seeking to join as chief audit executive. Back then I didn’t have a great answer — I was reading a lot of industry/professional magazines but nothing in-depth. That interview question changed everything: The next time I was asked, I wanted to have a great answer. Read on.

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The Power of Civility

Posted on Apr 15, 2014

The Idea: I had the good fortune to be invited to an Open Compliance and Ethics Group (OCEG) Leadership Council last year. We were treated to a presentation by Dr. Christine Pearson, Professor of Global Leadership at Thunderbird University, called “The Power of Civility.” Every participant at the Council remarked on it as one of the high points of the event and its impact on me has endured ever since. 

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Internal Audit Business Model Canvas

Posted on Mar 12, 2014

The Idea: My first GSD blog post introduced the Business Model Canvas as a way to understand strategy. Back then I said, “To be relevant to strategic conversations, you need to have a point of view on what’s strategic. A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value … The Business Model Canvas is a cool tool for capturing a business model on one page.”

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The Key to Credibility Is Specificity

Posted on Feb 25, 2014

The Idea: A lot has been said about details. “The devil’s in the details.” “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” “Retail is detail.” “Measure three times before you cut once.” Details are sometimes relegated to the domain of small minds and non-strategic thinkers. Not for me. Details are the currency of internal auditors who seek to be valued business partners. Trusted. Credible. 

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Genchi Genbutsu

Posted on Jan 3, 2014

The Idea: Genchi Genbutsu is a Japanese phrase and Lean Management concept that translates as “go there and see for yourself.” 

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Improving the Odds of Large Program Success

Posted on Nov 4, 2013

The Idea: I try to feature one idea in each blog post but this time, I’m going to go for two: 

  • First idea: Internal auditors can improve the likelihood of large program success.
  • Second idea: Never miss an opportunity to capitalize on a failure.
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Get Your Hands Dirty With Data

Posted on Oct 2, 2013

The Idea: If the best training is hands-on training … how do we improve our training on data analytics? Teach yourself statistics.

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GSD: Getting Stuff Done

Posted on Sep 23, 2013

First. Blog post. Ever. When I was asked to be a blogger, I didn’t know what I’d find to write about. What theme would my blog have? Why would anyone read it? Then I thought of all the really interesting blogs I’ve read that contain really cool ideas — ideas that I’ve taken from theory to execution. And it came to me — my blog theme would be “Getting Stuff Done” — a tag line I’ve become a bit notorious for using! 

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