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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Tips

The Benefits of Using a Group Travel Agent

The two most common responses we hear when group travel is brought up are, “It will cost the company more to use a group travel agent than for me to book the trip myself,” and, “My group isn’t big enough for me to use a group travel agent.” So you might be surprised to learn that taking advantage of Christopherson Business Travel’s Group Travel and Incentive Agents can really be cost effective and save more time than it takes to get everyone to agree to offering the trip in the first place.

Take the following scenarios for example. In a corporate office, the main travel planner is sometimes also an executive assistant or office manager. This person might get a request like this from their boss: “Please book travel for such-and-such group in 3 weeks. They’re going to such-and-such destination. Add in a couple of excursions, don’t forget to include the spouses or significant others, and make sure the hotel is 5 star or above. Oh, and by the way, the company can’t spend more than $X on the trip.” Or, the company’s travel planner may be asked to plan a trip for a group or team that will be paying for the trip on their own. The total cost needs to include transportation, hotels, food, and excursions.

I can say from personal experience that putting together group trips like this can be very time consuming and often complicated. The number of days spent researching all of the possibilities can take as long as taking the trip yourself, or longer. The number of emails and phone calls that need to be made to vendors can mount up faster than getting through TSA. Then comes pricing out the trip. It’s like trying to fit all the things you purchased while traveling into an already full carry-on bag and then stuffing in it into the plane’s overhead compartment.

Group Travel and Incentive Agents Are Actually More Cost Effective

Myth-Breaker #1:  The notion that it will cost the company more to use a group travel agent than to book the trip oneself is false. Using a group agent usually saves you money on the bottom line. A group agent will look at the timing of the trip and can help strategize once the common interests of the group have been decided. They can look at multiple locations that would fit the group size, culture, and type of meeting. The agent also has the ability to send out a “request for proposal” to several hotels and transportation companies to gather the best pricing and set up contracts with the airlines that will hold pricing in some cases. They also can negotiate additional amenities to offset the cost.

Additionally, the group agent will most likely have worked, or built relationships, with certain vendors in the past that can benefit the customer and help provide discounts. They can also tap into their resources and network to make sure the VIP customer is well taken care of. They can provide all the forms and documents necessary to make sure all travelers are accounted for. Plus, hundreds of options to increase the fun factor of the trip are at their fingertips. When it comes to helping to stay on budget, they know how to negotiate with the best of them. When you consider all of the cost (and time) savings that a group agent brings to the table, you can see that it really does off-set the expense of what it costs to use such an agent. And the executive assistant, office manager, or travel arranger can get back to work on all of those other projects that have a higher priority in their job.

Group Travel and Incentive Agents Can Plan Trips for Any Size Group

Myth-Breaker #2: The idea that your group isn’t big enough to use a group travel agent is also false. Having a group of less than 10 travelers can, in some instances, be considered a group. There is no travel industry standard about what number of travelers constitutes a group. A group of five could be considered a group and group discounts could apply. And in fact, it really makes sense to use a group agent when your group is smaller as they might have influence with vendors who can help lower costs or provide additional amenities that otherwise would not be offered. The group agent can also be the point person for all the travelers to make their arrangements with and pay for their trip if need be, and the agent can give the group’s arranger a breakdown of all of the travel plans which could include: costs,  departures, arrivals, hotel room confirmations, and special requests of each traveler. There really is a lot that a group agent can do for a smaller group and the cost is minimal when compared to the overall planning time necessary for such a trip.

So just remember that at Christopherson Business Travel, we have group and Incentive Agents who are part of the total travel management program we offer. Just ask your Account Manager to introduce you to one of the agents when planning the next trip for a group of people.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Sports Apps for the Business Traveler

If you’re like me, you want to stay updated on your favorite sports team(s), even on a business trip. Whether it’s to find the latest news or to check scores, two of my favorites apps are:

  1. ESPN’s ScoreCenter X
  2. NBA Game Time

On both of these apps, you simply select your favorite teams and you’re set to receive their quick updates wherever your business travels take you. Should you need a few more recommendations, here is a list of the top sports apps according to Yahoo! Sports:

  • NBA Game Time – homepage feature videos of top plays as well the latest NBA headlines and columns
  • ESPN ScoreCenter – all-around sports app; home page features the scores of relevant games that happened or are in progress
  • Red Ripe Media’s Pro Football Radio & Live Scores – radio play-by-play of every single NFL game right on your phone
  • MLB.com Full Count – live look-ins to key plays and important moments from every MLB game; videos of games that are in progress
  • NFL ’12 – customizable content to feature favorite teams; fantasy football highlights and analysis; “Thursday Night Football” games available to watch for free during regular season (iPad only); radio feature allows you to listen to every game live
  • UFC.TV – order live events and watch on your phone; chat with other fans during events and create scorecards for fights; free videos of knockouts and submission victories available; fights as far back as Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock available on-demand from the video library
  • WatchESPN – access to every ESPN TV channel, except ESPNEWS and ESPN Classic
  • Yahoo! Sportacular – good app to have if you’re trying to sync things with your Yahoo! fantasy football app
  • Sports Illustrated Magazine – for people who are really into Sports Illustrated; easier-to-read content in comparison to the ESPN The Magazine app; also offers exclusive, app-only content not seen in the print version
  • NBC Sports Live Extra – watch live NFL on NBC games, full event replays, and highlights from top games featured on the network
Categories
Business Travel Choice Humanitarian

A CHOICE Opportunity in Kenya

In September I had the opportunity to return to Kenya with CHOICE Humanitarian and help build a school house and desks. This trip was more unique than any other I had been on as it was the first time I’d ever led an expedition. More importantly, it was the first corporate expedition I’ve ever been a part of; I had six coworkers with me.

Christopherson Business Travel and its employees participate in CHOICE Humanitarian’s Corporate Partnership Program. This program is a way for us to do our part in the global initiative to end poverty. The ability for us as employees to contribute through an automatic payroll deduction, which Christopherson then matches 2 to 1, allows each of us to make a larger impact than we could have on our own. As part of this program, Christopherson has also elected to fully fund 4-6 employees to go into the field together each year to work and better understand firsthand the poverty and situation of those we seek to help with our donations.

CHOICE is unique to many non-profits in a few ways:

  • Everything they do revolves around the notion that enabling self-reliance is the best way to end poverty.
  • They don’t approach people and tell them what they “need.” Villages located in the regions in which CHOICE works approach CHOICE for help.
  • CHOICE stands for Center For Humanitarian Outreach and Inter-Cultural Exchange. As I’ve found, CHOICE expeditions are as much about what I learn and receive from those I’m helping, as they learn and receive from me.

My first CHOICE Humanitarian expedition was to Bolivia in 2003. I have since traveled to Bolivia again, Mexico, Kenya twice, Nepal twice, and Guatemala with this amazing group. Still, I have yet to experience anything that has had a more profound impact on my life than that first week in Bolivia’s Alto Plano.

The benefits are certainly ten-fold. And for Christopherson, we find our partnership with CHOICE to be just one more way for us as an organization to build not only a corporate environment of team members and business associates, but a family. Please feel free to contact me, or CHOICE, with any questions you may have on how you can get involved and/or implement a similar program at your company. Without question, it will be worth every second.
Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Tips

Airline Loyalty Programs Strategy

Business travelers looking to accumulate and use airline travel points or miles might consider taking advantage of credit card offers. Most credit card companies offer sign-up bonus points that can be used toward first-class upgrades, airline club lounges, free checked bags, and free tickets. The majority of frequent-flier miles are currently earned by flying a particular airline but earning points through buying (with a credit card) is another way to accumulate additional travel award point or miles.

Airline loyalty programs have been around since 1981 when American Airlines first introduced AAdvantage. These programs promote loyalty for an airline brand and offer travelers several options for redeeming earned award points. Although the programs have enjoyed much success, travelers should be aware that airlines usually only allocate a limited number of seats per flight for redemption of award travel, giving preference, of course, to seats that generate revenue over those that are free. Some programs also have expiration dates.

There are many websites business travelers can use as sources for finding the best loyalty program deals and managing awards points. Here are just a few:

  1. FlyerTalk.com
  2. FrequentFlier.com
  3. ThePointsGuy.com
  4. WebFlyer.com
Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Tips

A Business Travel Guide to Tipping Etiquette

Did you know the word “tip” supposedly came from a pub owner who used it years ago as an acronym for ‘To Insure Promptness’? Essentially, tips are a reward for those who provide prompt and attentive service. But the two questions I’m always asking myself are:

  1. Who do I tip?
  2. How much do I tip?

Tipping etiquette varies worldwide, but I have found that (for the most part) when tipping a percentage of a bill, the average is 10-20% of the charge prior to tax. For baggage assistance the average is $1-$2 per bag. When paying a percentage of the bill, some people, for convenience, will take the amount of the tax and double it, while others might quickly figure out 10% of the charge and then double that.

Listed below are some tipping standards for business travel in the United States:

  • Courtesy Shuttle Driver: $1-$2 per person
  • Taxi or Limousine Driver: 15-20% of the total fare and an extra $1-$2 for help with bags
  • Porter/Doorman: $1-$2 per bag
  • Bell Staff: $1-$2 per bag if they deliver them to your room
  • Room Service: $1-$5 per night depending on the number of people in your room (It is best to tip daily since different staff members could be cleaning your room.)
  • Valet Parking: $1-$2 when car is retrieved (Tipping when they park the car is optional and not expected.)
  • Restaurant Waitstaff: 15-20% of the bill, excluding tax (Watch the bill. Many restaurants automatically add 15% gratuity for parties of six or more.)
  • Wine Stewards: 10-20% of the wine bill only
  • Buffet Service: $1-$2 per person dining
  • Bartender/Cocktail Waitress: 10-15% of the total tab
  • Concierge: tipping not necessary for general requests like directions or restaurant recommendations, but if the concierge arranges for tickets or reservations, tips can range from $2-$5
  • Skycap: $1/bag or $2/bag if they take the bag to the check-in counter

I recommend the following websites for additional information and international tipping guides:

  1. Conde Nast Traveler
  2. Esquire
  3. Forbes
Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Business Travelers Upgrade to Economy Plus: It’s worth it!

Have you ever thought about paying to upgrade your coach class seat to United’s economy plus?

On a recent trip, where I traveled from JFK to Amesterdam, I checked into doing just that. In the end, I decided to go ahead and pay for the upgrade and I must say–it was worth every penny! With the 3-4 extra inches of leg room, I didn’t feel as cramped, not to mention the seats were a little bigger so I didn’t feel like I was sharing a seat with the person next to me. It was also so nice to have the priority boarding so I could stow my luggage!

I personally recommend taking advantage of this option to any business traveler, especially those taking a long haul flight.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology Travel Tips

Christmas Gifts for the Business Traveler

My list of Christmas gifts for all the business travelers I know is completed earlier than ever before! Actually, now that I think about it–I should send this to my own family as suggestions for me! I

If you have a road-warrior on your list, perhaps one of these ten suggestions will be helpful. Enjoy!

  1. SCOTTEVEST Women’s Trench Coat: Includes 18 pockets, with clear inside pockets, zipper and magnetic closures on pockets, and water bottle holder. Comes in red, black, mud, mist, thyme, periwinkle and paprika.
  2. Cube Laser Virtual Keyboard: It’s compact, and allows quick, error free emails while traveling with only your iPad or Smartphone. Laser projects a full-size keyboard onto any flat surface.
  3. Mushroom GreenZero Wall Travel Charger: The coolness of this one is that it shuts off automatically when your device is completely charged – awesome!
  4. Quirky Contort USB Hub: Four-post USB hub and cord manager, with a flexible neck to protect your USB devices.
  5. UWater G4 Chrome MP3 Player: Smallest, 100% waterproof player. Great in the shower, on or off  the road, or for scuba diving.
  6. Violight Sonic Travel Toothbrush: Perfect for travel, the office, gym, and more.
  7. iHome Rechargeable Mini Speakers: Size-defying sound, collapsible speakers used together or singly with great sound.
  8. Six Language Travel Translator: Travel the world and never be at a loss for words.
Categories
Business Travel

National Car Rental Provides Ease for Business Travelers

Traveling for business (or pleasure) can be extremely frustrating so I always like to plan with ease in mind. That is why I always rent with National Car Rental.

Renting from National Car Rental

National’s Emerald Aisle, available to all Emerald Club members, is flawless. After deplaning, I follow the signs for “rental cars.” Simple. At the car rental center, I bypass National’s counter and go straight to their Emerald Aisle where all the cars are located. Simple. (And there’s always a customer service representative in the Emerald Aisle just in case you do have a question). I choose any car from the Aisle and drive away. Simple.

When I return my car, I know I’ll be welcomed with a friendly representative once again. National’s customer service is always outstanding. One time I made an off-the-cuff remark to the National rep when I returned my car stating that it was so busy in the Emerald Aisle when I had arrived, that I only had two cars to choose from. I wasn’t complaining, but rather commenting on my situation. I then proceeded to the airport. By the time I went through security and reached my gate, I had an email from the manager of that particular airport location letting me know how sorry she was that there wasn’t a wider selection of cars. She informed me that there would be a free rental day on my next Emerald Aisle statement. Now that’s customer service. Again, simple.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

Business Travel Insurance Protection

business travel insurance protection On a recent trip to Southern California I hurt my foot which resulted in an emergency visit to the Urgent Care Center. I unfortunately spent the rest of my travels limping (and having to stay away from the beautiful beaches of Southern California), but luckily, I had previously purchased a TravelEx business traveler insurance protection plan that covered me with full emergency medical protection as well as additional insurance benefits. Any medical expenses I incurred outside of what my personal health insurance provider covered were completely taken care of. This was quite a relief since the medical bills reached well over $800 for this one hour urgent care visit.

TravelEx Business Travel Insurance Provides Peace of  Mind

The TravelEx Business Travel Insurance Program cost me $120 for a multi-trip plan. This was definitely a wise investment as it covers all my trips for an entire year and has provided great peace of mind. I would highly recommend this to all business travelers–whether traveling for work or personal vacation.  In addition to the medical coverage, the plan also includes, and is not limited to, the following:

  • Trip Interruption – $1,000
  • Trip Delay – $750
  • Lost Baggage – $2,000
  • Baggage Delay – $600
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation – $1 Million
  • Emergency Medical Expense – $50,000
  • Primary Rental Car Damage – $50,000

If you are interested in the TravelEx Business Travel Insurance Program, please contact an Account Manager at Christopherson Business Travel and they will be happy to help you select the business travel insurance best for you and your company.

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

New Christopherson Business Travel Website: CBTravel.com

It has been my pleasure over the past few months to work with an amazing team of people in updating Christopherson Business Travel’s company website, CBTravel.com. We are thrilled to provide both our current clients and prospective customers with a new look, more meaningful content, and the ability to learn more about our company and the business travel management solutions we offer.

We look forward to continually enhancing the experience we provide via our website and hope you check back often as we prepare to release new travel technology over next few months and share additional insight about our travel management programs.

We also appreciate any feedback you would like so share.

Categories
Business Travel Vacation Travel

San Francisco Luxury Hotels: Perfect for Business or Pleasure

our Seasons Hotel San FranciscoAndavo Travel (the vacation division of Christopherson Business Travel) recently held its sixth annual AndavoMart at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco, CA. This annual event brings our travel advisors from across the country together for a weekend of hotel site inspections, networking, educational presentations, and travel supplier meetings—all part of our efforts to ensure that Andavo Travel’s expert advisors remain in the top tier of those booking luxury vacation travel.

The weather in San Francisco was incredible and it was easy to fall in love with that city!  Our Andavo advisors were able to visit and tour five hotels, and can now personally recommend which one might be right for you during your next stay–whether for business or pleasure. Given our connection with Virtuoso, a network of the world’s finest travel agencies, we are able to add the following complimentary amenities when you book through us.

Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco
• Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
• Continental breakfast daily, for up to two in room guests
• One $100 lunch credit per room, per stay, in Seasons Restaurant

Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square
• Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
• Continental breakfast daily, for up to two in room guests
• US $100 Ghirardelli Square gift card per paid night (can be used at any outlet in Ghirardelli Square, or applied to your room rate if you’d rather)

Fairmont San Francisco
• Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
• Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests
• $100 Food & Beverage credit, to be utilized during stay

Ritz Carlton San Francisco
• Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
• Continental breakfast daily, for up to two in room guests
• $100 Food & Beverage credit, to be utilized during stay

St Regis San Francisco
• Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
• Continental breakfast daily, for up to two in room guests
• Lunch for two in Vitrine restaurant, once per stay

Let an Andavo advisor pair you with the right property, based on their firsthand knowledge of these incredible hotels.

Categories
Business Travel Travel News

Move over Delta, there’s new competition in town: Alaska Air Offering Salt Lake to Seattle Route

Alaska Airlines will soon be offering non-stop flights from Salt Lake City to Seattle.

Why is this such important news? Here are two reasons:

  1. Healthy competition will lower fares in that market.
  2. Corporations currently tied to Delta’s high fares and inability to negotiate contracts can now go to an alternate vendor–Alaska.

Now, Delta is still my favorite airline out of Salt Lake City by far, and they have many loyal fans, but this great news for Alaska. The newly scheduled service will begin April 4, 2013.

To read more about this new route, click here.

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Business Travel

Business Travel Cost Savings: Part 1

The account management program is a valuable part of Christopherson Business Travel’s unique value proposition.

When Christopherson’s business development team is awarded a new account, they include the account management team to assist in consulting each new customer on the importance of a managed travel program.

The account managers, also known as the client consultative services team, have developed a program that will not only help companies better understand the value of managed travel, but also provide programs to show cost savings, cost avoidance, and return on investment. I will be emphasizing these particular points in this post. In parts 2 and 3 I will touch on other cost saving measures such as vendor negotiations, creating an effective travel policy, and compliance with that policy.

Business Travel Cost Savings, Cost Avoidance, & ROI

Travel spend is often listed as one of the highest costs of a corporation’s expense portfolio. It is our job to help those companies manage a travel program that provides savings to counter the costs of maintaining such a program. Here is an example of how we, together with our partner Travel GPA, can do that for you:

  • We find specific travel savings opportunities for your company by selecting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure your corporate travel program.
  • We run “what-if” scenarios to analyze the impact of behavioral changes.
  • We explore the impact of shifting full-size and higher rental car reservations to intermediate-size vehicles.
  • We analyze the impact of shifting more expensive hotel nights to alternative, less expensive properties.
  • We determine whether online booking options will create the savings you require.

Upon working through this analysis process, we then provide a summary recommendation to your company. Here is a sample summary recommendation provided to one company which resulted in potential savings of more than $94,000:

  1. Shift 113 airline ticket purchases to 7 days or more in advance of travel – Savings $14,873
  2. Accept lowest offered fare on 245 transactions – Savings $30,221
  3. Shift 614 agent-assisted transactions to online transactions – Savings $11,665
  4. Shift 59 hotel bookings to the Upscale tier – Savings $7,100
  5. Shift 101 car rental bookings to Intermediate-size – Savings $3,716
  6. Cut airline ticket exchanges by 108 transactions – Savings $26,829

Total potential savings – $94,404

Savings recommendations are based on shifting 50% of current booking practices to better performace areas of that particular program. Percentages can be modfied based on the goals set by the company.

 

For a full business travel program analysis please contact our client consulting services team. And if you have any questions or points you’d like me to address in future posts regarding corporate travel managed programs, please respond in the comments section below.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Quick Business Travel Tip: What to Do if Your Flight is Delayed Due to Weather

In light of the recent hurricane, I wanted share one quick tip for business travelers encountering weather delayed flights and cancellations:

Airlines will generally waive change fees if flights are affected by weather delays and cancellations. However, they will usually only allow this once. So before you make any changes, think carefully when rebooking your flight as second changes can be very costly. To change a flight for the second time usually means you would need to pay the change fee plus any additional airfare increases.

So again, really think about your travel plans when rebooking that cancelled flight!

And to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy, you are in our thoughts and we wish you safe travels in getting home.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel News

Delta Changes Baggage Policy: What this means for business travelers

Beginning January 15, 2013, Delta Air Lines will be changing their baggage policy to match that of other airlines. More and more airlines are now only checking bags through to the destination on the ticket, as opposed to what is on the itinerary. Currently, Delta will check your baggage through to the final destination, regardless of how many tickets are created to get you there. Starting next year, that won’t be the case.

Let’s take a look at this new policy and what it means to you, the business traveler. Often, there are times when it will save money to split an itinerary and issue two or more tickets. These savings can be quite significant for business travelers, particularly those flying internationally. In fact, as a business travel management company handling travel for hundreds of companies worldwide, we have seen numerous itineraries where splitting a ticket actually saves several thousand dollars. Currently the agents at Christopherson Business Travel, check that option when trying to find the best price on an itinerary. Under the current policy, this doesn’t create any significant issues for the business traveler. However, under the new policy, it would only make sense to split a ticket is if there is sufficient time for business travelers with checked luggage to pick up their bags at baggage claim, then re-check in for the next leg of the split ticket, re-check the bags, clear security (again), and board their next flight.

Also, in addition to the extra time needed for baggage claim and re-check-in (if a ticket is split), business travelers would also need to pay additional baggage fees since they will be paying for each airline they fly on. This can add significantly to the cost of travel since it is likely that one or more of the carriers involved would be one on which the traveler doesn’t have status.

I’m sure some will ask why the airlines would do this, and others might say it is simply a means to collect more fees. The reality is that the airlines have decided they no longer want to bear the responsibility for a checked bag when they aren’t even on the ticket. For example, if you were to fly Delta to London and then connect to British Air to Edinburgh and it is done as one ticket, then Delta would be responsible for collecting any fees and for solving any baggage related issues. But if two tickets were issued on this itinerary and Delta were to check the bag all the way through to Edinburgh, they have only been paid for transporting it to London. And what if British Air were to misplace or damage the bag–who is actually responsible for making the customer whole? Additionally, if two tickets are issued, the second airline is not bound to accept the bags if they are heavier or larger than permitted on intra-European flights.

As evident, there are many sides and key issues to understanding this change in policy. Christopherson Business Travel will continue to seek options that result in lower prices for business travel, and we will let the customer decide if the money saved is worth the extra time and trouble. I also expect that business travelers will see all the airlines adopting this policy fairly soon.

To read the full official announcement from Delta regarding these changes, click here.

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Avoiding Unnecessary Hotel Fees While Traveling for Business

Anyone who has boarded a plane in the last few years knows that you’ll pay an additional fee for something somewhere along the way. Whether it’s to check your bags, get a better seat, or even to bring a carry-on bag along, there are fees all around us.

But the next big push in fees seems to be coming from the hotel industry. While some hotels have always charged for in-room WiFi service or movies, a new round of fees are on the horizon as hotels try to offset their costs.

At a recent hotel stay in Michigan, I was charged $3.00 for the small safe in my room, even though I didn’t use it. When I asked about the charge, I was told that it covers the fee for the purchase of the safe, the installation, and the insurance that they carry on them. While some fees seem reasonable (you use it, you pay for it), other fees seem out of line. For example, some hotels are considering charging for using the towels at the pool, fees for housekeeping service, and automatic gratuities for the bell hop or other staff services you may or may not use.

The best way to avoid excessive fees is to review your bill before you check out. Most hotels have a check out feature on the T.V. in your room. Simply go to your room account and look over your bill. If you see anything suspicious, or that needs further explanation, contact the front desk. For example, if you see a gratuity listed for something you didn’t use, or for which you’ve already left a tip, then ask for the charge to be removed. In all cases, review and settle your bill before you depart the hotel. It’s much easier to have your bill adjusted at the front desk than from home once your trip is over.

For more information on hotel fees and how to avoid them, click here.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

How to Accelerate Change

accelerate change in businessJohn P. Kotter wrote an interesting article in November’s Harvard Business Review about how organizations can increase the likelihood, and the success, of making necessary changes. A key component of his strategy is to recruit volunteers who are more naturally adaptable to change, combined with “change agent” type leaders, to offset the natural tendency of some leaders to resist change.

Following are some excerpts from his recommended “Accelerate Change” strategy:

“Organizational leaders are torn between trying to stay ahead of increasingly fierce competition and needing to deliver this year’s results. Hierarchies and standard managerial processes, even when minimally bureaucratic, are inherently risk-averse and resistant to change. Part of the problem is political: Managers are loath to take chances without permission from superiors. Part of the problem is cultural: People cling to their habits and fear loss of power and stature—two essential elements of hierarchies. And part of the problem is that all hierarchies, with their specialized units, rules, and optimized processes, crave stability and default to doing what they already know how to do. To move faster and further, you need to pull more people than ever before into the strategic change game, but in a way that is economically realistic.”

Mr. Kotter recommends looking for volunteers with the following qualities in mind:

  1. A want-to and a get-to—not just a have-to—mind-set.
  2. Head and heart, not just head.
  3. Much more leadership, not just more management. The game is all about vision, opportunity, agility, inspired action, and celebration.

Mr. Kotter proposed the following Eight Accelerators:

  1. Create a sense of urgency around a single big opportunity.
  2. Build and maintain a guiding coalition.
  3. Formulate a strategic vision and develop change initiatives designed to capitalize on the big opportunity.
  4. Communicate the vision and the strategy to create buy-in and attract a growing volunteer army.
  5. Accelerate movement toward the vision and the opportunity by ensuring that the network removes barriers.
  6. Celebrate visible, significant short-term wins.
  7. Never let up.
  8. Institutionalize strategic changes in the culture.

The travel industry is all about change. At Christopherson Business Travel we are rapidly introducing new technology, new systems, and new process. Change is, indeed good and we’re accelerating it.