Family help abroad
When we talk of executive protection we tend to talk primarily of reducing danger for our target client, whether this danger be from attack, accident, or embarrassment. Protective services is about risk management – vulnerability management, actually – not risk elimination, and its goal is to maximize the ability to be productive within an environment of risk. Because of this, we often also discuss the role of the protective specialist as facilitator, freeing the client to do productive work, and leaving the non-productive, or organizational work, to the protective specialist.
When discussing protective services abroad, we tend to discuss health issues and issues revolving around physical danger, such as kidnapping. We sometimes forget that in many overseas circumstances the issue that can be most destructive is not physical danger, but the psychological condition of the client’s family. This is particularly true in areas that are culturally different, yet not fraught with danger.
An example of this is taking an assignment in Central (and sometimes even Western) Europe. While there will be comparatively little likelihood of physical danger, the environment is sufficiently different that, without appropriate preparation, the client’s family is likely to have great trouble fitting in, and, in some cases, may even end up going back home. Whether or not the client stays alone or returns, their mission and productivity will, if they are appropriately family oriented, be damaged.
In most cases these problems can be prevented through appropriate use of the protective services staff, which is either in a position to make the family aware of the cultural differences they will encounter, and help them have at their disposal the tools to deal with the stressful situation, or to acquire the information from people like us.
By taking advantage of this internal or external expertise, the transition to comfortable living in a new environment can be more easily made. This leaves the client free to deal with business issues, rather than being preoccupied with avoidable family issues. This is an important service that we, as professionals can offer. Make use of it!