a. a system of principles for guidance in practical affairs.
b. an attitude of rationality, patience, composure, and calm in the presence of troubles or annoyances.
Maybe instead of focusing on policy … or even the softer term of guidance, companies should start first by defining their corporate philosophy as it relates to business travel.
The full definition of the word philosophy includes investigation into understanding truths of humanity and defined systems of thought. In the grand scheme of our existence, these certainly are paramount. However, I think the underlying nature of the word captured in the two parts of the definition I’ve included here are entirely applicable to the subject of corporate travel, too.
First, a corporate traveler should be given a rational and simply stated set of principles that guide their choices. This will help them understand the reasons the company directs them to certain ways of planning business trips, the information that is collected along the way, and the goals underlining the policies guiding the specific rules the company sets. I think it should be common that a traveler can be asked at any point what the philosophy of their company is towards business travel and that they can reply with a set of simple of points.
Second, a philosophy is an attitude. The philosophy your company has towards business travel will define how you deal with disruptions, industry changes, new technologies and economic shocks. A corporate travel philosophy will help your company decide how to react to the sharing economy, consumer technology being used by travelers and if and where open bookings could fit into your program. If you are struggling with these topics today, maybe you need an attitude adjustment (e.g., a refined philosophy) to get you through successfully.
What is your company’s travel philosophy?
If you have one, I’d love to hear what it includes. If you don’t, but agree it is a sound way to define and communicate your travel program to travelers, what are you going to do?