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Negotiating the Unique Concerns for Business Continuity and Risk Management When Senior Executives Travel

There are unique aspects and intricacies when C-Suite executives travel on business.  This entry is dedicated to providing a short overview of how Corporate Travel Managers can apply best practices to their own Executive Suite’s business travel.

There are vast differences between Executive Suite travel and other business travel. Just a few of the additional considerations include Executive family members, level of profile, recognizability, kidnap and ransom (K&R), and increased tendency to go off-policy. The challenges and inefficient resource utilization resulting from this behavior often causes travel managers to pause and reevaluate their own strategy. Let’s uncover some reasons for non-compliance and review the effects of non-compliance that some of our travel manager audience might recognize.

Causes of Non-Compliance with Travel Policy:

  • Minimizing the seriousness of threats
  • Personality, “The Commander’
  • Disagrees with risk assessment due to past experiences
  • Too busy
  • Special services, such as Executive Protection, are too expensive or draw too much attention

Effects of C-Suite Non-Compliance with Travel Policy:

  • Rogue booking results in absence of travel data and limits, or eliminates, communications and access to location intelligence
  • Last-minute travel detail discovery, or sharing, stresses multi-department resources who must quickly pivot to provide advice, secure immigration documentation and executive protection, perform hotel/destination safety assessment, and implementation of IT risk mitigation elements, etc.
  • Non-compliance by executive level increases likelihood others might embrace non-compliance

How Travel Managers Can Improve Compliance

  • Document concerns and behaviors (maintaining confidentiality)
  • Share concerns and behaviors with policy-abiding executive travelers and ask them to help you with the conversation
  • Have a conversation. The conversation will be better received if conducted citing genuine concern for traveler/other staff and family well-being and safety, as opposed to a hardcore discussion citing non-compliance
  • Conduct policy and resource training with the Executive Suite and their travel arrangers. Schedule regular EA check-ins
  • Host a Travel Risk Road Show to introduce Risk Intelligence and Security, Emergency Response and TMC partners and showcase their services (food and small giveaways will bring the crowds)
  • Promote, promote, and promote the program some more, using organization communication channels

In a later entry, we will share some proven strategies for mitigating these compliance risks, and for improving policy compliance amongst your company’s Senior Executive group. The GBTA Risk Committee’s resources include expertise negotiating these challenges from the perspective of Executive Protection, Corporate Travel Management, and Private Aviation.