“Perfect” corporate VIP security in terms of international travel or overseas assisgnments requires thick steel plates and a self-contained air-supply. Further, the VIP or senior executive in question should never meet with another person face-to-face, since people are inherently unpredictable–high risk! Obviously, since that scenario is never going to happen in real corporate life, the challenge is to find the sweet spot, the balance between too-little and too-much security. How does one calibrate between the two extremes?
Corporate VIP Security: Goldilocks and the Three Fears
Probably the dominant fear among those tasked with corporate VIP security is erring on the “too-little” side of security. This failure mode is highly visible and consequences can potentially be catastrophic, and so receives the most attention. Hence the desire to constrain an executive’s actions with a multitude of limitations. But excessive restrictions can hinder the VIP in question from effectively completing the job they have been tasked with on their overseas assignment, the “too-much” problem. If the executive can freely meet with local business partners and travel to locations that need to be evaluated, it may become hard to reach agreements and complete deals. This kind of hidden cost can damage overall corporate interests.
The third fear is that of being caught unaware by rapid developments. Our FoneTrac application for smartphones (Apple or Android) is the perfect tool for keeping up-to-date in real-time regarding events that could impact corporate VIP security. That fear, at least, has somewhat of a technical solution.
Discussing Overseas Travel Security with Your Senior Corporate Executives
Now, presumably, if you are reading this blog post you are probably the human resources manager, or perhaps a vice president that deals with the international travel and international security needs of your senior executives and or employees. With respect to senior executives, in particular, let’s be frank. These type of people tend to be so-called “TYPE A” personalities, and they are not use to being told what to do! In fact, they like to take risks, and they may not be the best judge of what constitutes risky behavior, and they may be quite optimistic in terms of what might actually happen.
As consultants working with corporate or senior executive security in an international setting, we recommend that you sit down and have a frank discussion or a frank meeting with your senior executives. This personality type, will not be used to being told what to do yet they are usually highly intelligent, and will respond well to planning out scenarios. Appeal to their better instincts!
For example, you might mention the best case scenario. That would be that they go abroad, and nothing happens, and they have such a fantastic time that they actually have some time to go to the beach, or catch a cultural institution such as a museum. Then, there is the worst-case scenario. They get off the plane, and are immediately kidnapped, a political revolution ensues, and they spend the next 10 years caught in a political rebellion and imprisoned in some dungeon in some bizarre country.
Life, is usually somewhere in the middle, of course. At this point you can start to be more realistic and discuss different scenarios, and different trade-offs between convenience and security. For example, they can use our FoneTrac app to check in on a daily basis using their iPhone or android device. This is not a serious inconvenience.
Secondly, we can alert them via our GlobalSecur service, and advise you on projections about the political stability in various countries, and that may impact whether or not they choose to bring their spouses and children along with them. But, as recent events in Paris show us, no one can truly predict the future, and it is always a good idea to plan out various scenarios.
We hope that no one ever has to really face the trade-off between convenience and security, but good planning recognizes that this trade-off exists, and that events that are unpredictable do happen. Contact us for a consultation, today.