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Mastery Auditing Process

What Is the Mastery Auditing Process?

Have you ever made a New Year's Resolution that you didn't keep?  If you are like most of us, you may have decided that you wanted to lose weight, exercise more, save more money, or spend more time helping others.  Perhaps you have started the new year with the best of intentions, and worked really hard to meet these goals.  But as time went on, your efforts dwindled and eventually the resolutions failed.  Most New Year's resolutions fail - not because we lack the desire, but because we don't do an honest, integrated assessment of our relationships with ourselves, others, and the challenges that lie in our path, followed by a workable plan.  This involves more than creating a wish list of things that we would like to magically improve, or simply exerting a huge amount of energy until we burn out.  It involves looking at your life, how it works, what your capacities are, where your shortcomings lie, making realistic plans, setting up systems to support your efforts, and rewarding what we want to get done.

Make "It" Happen Mastery™ Auditing helps individuals and organizations look at the various types of relationships they have, and perform an assessment in the workplace.  It is a management tool you can use to drive relationship excellence, and obtain results that are not only remarkable, but also sustainable. The Mastery Auditing Process helps you identify risks and opportunities, and create a realistic plan to address them.  Without this kind of study, your efforts are much more likely to fail, like a typical New Year's resolution.

Many people think of auditing as something to be dreaded.  In traditional thinking, it is often the cause of last minute scrambling to get things in order (or at least present the appearance that they are in order.)  Then, the auditor comes in, identifies all the things that are wrong, and people get in trouble.

The Mastery Auditing Process requires a new mindset.  It is a positive tool requiring the participation of all employees, and it is used to identify and target possibilities to See "It", Be "It", Do "It", and Own "It".  Instead of focusing on finding things that don't work, and demonizing someone who is responsible for it, the  Mastery Auditing Process focuses on strategy, culture, and practices within the organization, and how well they help your organization meet its goals.  It is also a risk management tool which requires you to identify potential risks, evaluate them against the risk appetite of your organization, and mitigate them as appropriate.  The Mastery Audit Process help you and your organization Consistently Do The Right Things Right.

Make "It" Happen Mastery™ Auditing is NOT:

  • a personal performance review
  • an opportunity to create blame
  • an opportunity to avoid responsibility
  • a one-time activity you can "check off the list and be done with"
  • an activity only driven by executive leadership

Why Perform Mastery Audits?

Because Mastery Audits use an organization's resources, it is important to have a clear understanding of why they are needed and what benefits they provide. 

The Mastery Auditing Process help performers focus on doing the right things, right by identifying what they are and how to do them.  They provide a systematic overview of the effectiveness of basic organizational practices and key performance practices.  In order to manage properly, we all need good data.  These audits provide data needed to make good decisions and manage well.  The data also helps you assess the current situation in order to lead into the ambiguous future.

The Mastery Auditing Process involves all employees and other stakeholders in helping to assess strengths, weaknesses, and risks.  Involvement of this nature builds ownership of the work and results within the organization, and motivates people to strive to do better.  In this way, the audits improve performance, relationships, and results.  They also help build awareness of risks and how they need to be managed.

The Mastery Auditing Process helps employees to consider the impact of decisions on all stakeholders, which helps them to make good decisions.  Additionally, they can help prepare the organization to justify decisions that have been made if stakeholders question them at a later time.

The Mastery Auditing Process sets the tone for accountability within the organization.  Accountability simply means that all work performed will be reviewed and judged against whether or not it contributes effectively to the goals of the organization.  Accountability is different from blame, in that it seeks to improve processes, rather than point fingers.  It allows for mistakes within certain parameters, as long as improvement is the ultimate result.  Accountability is critical to the success of any organization because it assures that people and other resources are being used effectively.

Finally, the Mastery Auditing Process can help set the tone for external audits if the findings are shared with the external auditors.  If an external auditor follows the path you lay with your own internal audit, you are less likely to be caught off guard than if the external auditor brings solely his/her own perspective to the audit.  It can also help establish a collaborative working relationship with your external auditor, by projecting the attitude that you are very serious about the quality of management in your organization.

Who Should Be Involved In Auditing?

The Mastery Auditing Process requires all people within an organization to participate.  The Mastery Institute helps those managing and leading assess the entire organization based on the relationships, strategy and culture of your organization.  As part of exploring an individual's relationship with him/herself, he or she should perform a self audit, to ensure that their work fits with the strategy of the organization, that they have the resources to do the work effectively, and that they are managing risks properly.  Managers should also conduct audits within their department to make sure that their relationships are working properly and the work is being done effectively and efficiently.  Auditing at different levels helps organizations keep all work aligned with the most important objectives of the organization, and to manage risks.

How To Audit Effectively

The topic of effective auditing could fill many large books.  Here we will only address a few basic concepts to help you get on the right path.

All effective internal auditing is based largely on trust.  When you are auditing someone, they must trust that you are there to help them, not blame them.  Trust implies that you must build a relationship - which can be tricky while you are trying to maintain your independent viewpoint.  An appropriate relationship would be one that is a professional (NOT personal) relationship in which the auditee believes that they will not be hurt in the process of being audited, even if improvements are recommended.  This can be developed by avoiding the use of an enforcement perspective (I'm going to catch whatever it is that you do wrong!)  Instead, you might operate from a support perspective (Together, we are going to identify areas which may cause us to be at risk, and opportunities to improve and innovate so that we may all reap the benefits of working for a successful organization.) 

All Mastery Audits must flow out of the organization's strategy and culture.  You cannot buy a software program which will identify the areas that need to be checked, and use it to maintain a state of control.  Auditing should be planned so that it flows from the organization's strategic plan, and is unique to the culture in which people operate.

The Mastery Auditing Process must focus on assessing internal controls which the organization develops to ensure all stakeholders are satisfied.  The Mastery Auditing Process insists upon a balanced scorecard approach where no one group of stakeholders profits while another is victimized.  Auditing helps ensure that the scorecard stays balanced.

Risk management cannot be performed until the Board of Directors sets an appropriate risk appetite, and it is communicated internally and externally.  Auditing to manage risks must be based in the level of acceptable risk determined by the Board of Directors.

Learn more about the The Mastery Auditing Process.




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