It’s been a busy few weeks with lots of travel. I’m already an old hand at negotiating the ridiculous security countrols at Heathow but lately I’ve gotten it down to a fine art – laptop out of the bag, shoes off, jacket off, through the machine, beep, back through the machine, remove belt, step forward again, collect belongings, shoes on, drop laptop etc…
Tomorrow morning I’ve got to do it all over again as I trek down to Spain for a couple of days. I can bear the travel but I can’t bear the economy class breakfast rolls filled with cold bacon and scrambled eggs that they serve on British Airways. Those are probably the most disgusting, inedible, foodstuff ever developed. Come on BA, did some-one really make those rolls, sit back and think “Hmmm, that’s good and I’m proud of this product”?
Once I’ve braved the perils of economy class food, the travel pays dividends because I can glean more information and provide more value through two days of being on site than I can in six months of emails and phone calls. Emailed correspondence doesn’t provide the opportunity to say “ok, that’s interesting, now show me what you mean.” When you ask a question by email the respondent will invariably provide an answer that they think you want to hear rather than telling you the full story.
It’s also the opportunity to build those relationships and increase mutual trust. Make sure you say what you do and then do what you say. You’ll get more information given to you, more questions and issues raised, and as a result, a much greater understanding of the way your organisation works and where the risks to your data are….