Building a Museum in Eight Months

First Meeting – Finding a reason why the world needs this museum

A partial view of the gallery that will house The Museum of Internal Auditing

A partial view of the gallery that will house The Museum of Internal Auditing

When I first got the call from Judy Burke, VP of Governance for the Institute of Internal Auditors, I thought this was going to be a difficult process. She called me to set up a meeting to explore designing and building a museum about Internal Auditing. First, I knew nothing about internal auditing as a profession and didn’t think that I knew any internal auditors. Second, it sounded like a really dull subject. I could not have been more wrong.

Preparing for that first meeting, I went to the web for information. Wikipedia had this entry:

“Established in 1941, The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is a guidance-setting body. Serving more than 180,000 members in more than 170 countries and territories, The IIA is the internal audit profession’s global voice, chief advocate, recognized authority, and principal educator, with global headquarters in Altamonte Springs, Fla., United States.”

Unfortunately, That didn’t really clear anything up for me.

At our first meeting, I asked a lot of questions and listened carefully as they described the work that they do. I got a sense of who they are even if I was still a little cloudy on what they actually did. They were passionate about their work and at the same time a little hesitant about sharing their story.

I had a difficult time figuring out what they did because in my own mind, I was stuck on the word audit. It has strong associations and not a lot of them are pleasant. It took effort for me to get past that word but once I did, I could see that internal auditors are necessary in all of our lives. This was going to be an important part in writing their story and designing this museum. Many guests to this museum will have similar reactions to the name. The trick will be to get guests past this mental obstacle quickly so that we can get to the real story.

But, is a museum dedicated to internal auditing something that the world really needs? And do I really want to spend the next eight months making it happen?

The answer to both questions is an emphatic yes. Yes, finding a way to tell their story in a museum form is something that needs to be done because this is a group of people who dedicate their careers to making the world a better place. If telling their story in this way will persuade others to help them do their work or to follow their path in the profession, then the world will be a better place for it. And yes, finding and telling stories like this are exactly why I am in this business. I want to make the world around me a little better by finding people like this and then sharing their story with others.

This is the first post in a multi-part article about the process of designing and building the Museum of Internal Auditing. The next article will cover the first steps we took to make this museum a reality.