I just had an attendee at GAM ask me an interesting question. (This is no reflection on the current session – it is quite excellent. However, that does not stop the creative mind from wandering. In fact, good presentations get you thinking about some of the best [if not sometimes unrelated] ideas.) His question: "Why don't presenters use Google glasses so they have the presentation right there in front of them?"
Now the first thing I did was advise him that I did not believe the technology to be currently available to the public. His Google search (and think about how circular that made the entire conversation) proved I was correct. But then, as I started to come up with other reasons why the idea might not work, I stopped and forced myself to practice what I preach.
Rule number one for anyone who wants to instill and practice creativity: The natural reaction to any idea is to explain why it won't work. Before you allow yourself to do so, identify three reasons why it will work.
So, as I thought about it, I was stopped, gobsmacked by the concept. And, after ruminating on that one for a while, I started thinking about how this might impact the way internal auditing works.
One idea: You're sitting in the exit interview with the auditee. They ask a question – an important question, a key question, a question that gets to the heart of your report – and you do not have the answer available. Further, you do not have the auditor who would have the information. How would you like to be able to access the workpapers just by touching your glasses?
Don't think of why it wouldn't work; think of how it would work.
And, as you start to accept the idea, you begin thinking of even more ways that internal audit might use this new tool to do things better.
It was refreshing to hear an auditor thinking about future technologies and how they might impact us. And it was exciting to think about how those technologies might make the practice of internal audit better.
And it served as that reminder that we have to look at everything, listen to everything, and be ready for everything. Google glasses isn't even here yet. But we have to be getting ready. And there are new "things" coming up every day. And we have to get ready for them. But getting ready isn't just thinking about the risks for the organization. It is also thinking about the opportunities for the organization and, maybe more importantly, for our profession.