Analysing IIA Global President’s 2016 Missives

One of our most popular posts last year was the analysis of the words of the Richard Chambers, the Global President and CEO of The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).

Before we start we should note that Chambers’ blogs are clearly marked as his personal views and that they may not represent the views of the IIA.  Having said that, as we noted to some controversy last year, the blogs have a prominent place on the IIA webpage.

In 2016 by our count Chambers wrote 37,140 words in 1,825 sentences with a Lexical Density score (we dont know really what it means either) of 13.22!

It is through those words that we have the opportunity to understand the thinking of one of the profession’s leading voices.  

This week we will look at what was said.  

Next time we will look at what was overlooked.


Firstly we want to make an observation about the reactions to the words.  Each of the posts have the opportunity for comment – and indeed the phrase “look forward to your comments” is the top ranked phrase of 2016.

Yet for some particular and concerning reason rarely does anyone ever take up the opportunity.

We as a profession cannot bemoan that our leaders are not accessible and at the same time not take up the challenge of intellectually sparring with them.

I wonder whether it is a product of the medium of communication – would there be better engagement if the weekly missives were a podcast or a video? (As a point of reference from our experience, video as a means of generating engagement is a much more powerful tool than just words).

Not surprisingly, Internal Audit and the Audit Committee are the top themes of the body of work.  

We would be concerned if they were not.

Nor were we surprised that the next on the list were management and risk.  Indeed these words are nearly always used in conjunction with each other which begs the eternal question of what is management’s role other than to manage risk!

Culture (102 times) showed up more than the Board (99) times.  

Granted that it was a close run race but if we had of done this analysis say 20 years ago we are happy to bet that that would not have been the case.  

Culture now matters!

There is a strong focus on the role of international standards and that is to be expected from a professional body such as the IIA.  What was less expected but perhaps more welcome was the need for audit to act “at the speed of risk”.  

Whether there is a conflict between a strict adherence to standards and an increasingly fast moved risk environment is a debate for another time.


An aspiring or indeed an experienced auditor would be well served to set up an alert each time Chambers’ (and others such as Norman Marks) impart their wisdom.

The internal audit profession is much the stronger for it.

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