In my company’s employee handbook, we address the use of the company-provided computers: “Computers, computer files, the email system, instant messaging and software furnished to employees are Company property intended for business use. Limited personal use is allowed as long as it is not disruptive to business operations.” We go on to address the fact that all files on the computer are company property. It is simple and clear. While the cost of a computer is less than $2,000, they are ubiquitous in most companies. The total IT budget for computers in a large company is significant. The number of business aircraft in a company is quite few, but the total spend is also quite significant. Is there a business aircraft use policy?
Professional development is a given expectation within management. Within aviation, this expectation clearly extends to aviation-specific training. Pilots get recurrent training in simulators, maintenance technicians get recurrent training on the airframe, engine or avionics. Those who do well in those roles, and exhibit professionalism, are the ones we tap for managerial positions within the aviation department. But we do these men and women a disservice when we promote them from a technical position into a managerial position without giving them the tools they need to be successful managers.
Change is inevitable: either through growth or decay. This is true in nature and in business-nature. The aviation department, if part of the business unit structure of the company, can adapt to these changes. But if they are a sideline, a special interest outside of the day-to-day running of the company, they may not be able to adapt and serve the interests of the company.
Individual business units need metrics. Profit centers involved with revenue generation, such as manufacturing or professional services, typically have measures of success similar to those that apply to the overall corporation. Performance of business units that do not deliver a “profit” (in the traditional definition of that word) is more difficult to measure, save for comparing budgeted vs. actual costs.