What does it mean to be agile in business?

30th October 2019Hannah-Ruth Cahill

Agile: just another fancy business word?

To survive in today’s fast-paced business landscape, we’re all having to up our game. ‘Agile’ seems to be the latest business buzzword (sorry to our Bid Writer, Gareth McCann – we know how much you dislike these). But what does it mean to be agile in business? Is this just another corporate fad, or a mindset we should all adopt to help achieve our business goals?

An agile business is one which can respond, adapt and change in a positive, proactive way. Being agile should be about looking ahead to the future, doing your market research, predicting potential pitfalls and implementing solutions that are aligned with your business growth. Sometimes, though, it’s about expecting the unexpected; making timely, informed decisions about current news or events that provide a solution, instigate change and pitch your business ahead of the competition.

All very well and good - but how can this be achieved?

Businesses need to be empowered through their two fundamental assets; people and technology.

Firstly, implementing agile technology is a must; as your business grows and develops, so too should your products, software and tech. Technology should be about making life easier, providing your chosen tools and platforms work seamlessly together. You may have a cutting-edge travel booking tool for instance, but to add real value you need to ensure this is aligned with data insight and MI capability. Our Go2Insight platform visualises financial reporting on your business travel spend; with an intuitive interface, you don’t need to be an MI whizz to access insight on your travel. It’s all right there at the touch of a button.

Your agile tech should be underpinned by continuous planning and prioritisation, delivered by the best people for the job. In addition, adapting your company culture to one of innovation, creativity and progress – and ensuring you have company-wide buy in – is essential to achieve a cohesive vision for your business.

Clarity and Thomas Cook Sports: the dream team

It goes without saying that having the right processes in place is fundamental to any organisation, especially when the unexpected happens - such as the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Thomas Cook have been a household name in travel for as long as we can all remember, trusted by millions for their package holiday deals. With thousands of jobs on the line, it was time for the travel community to rally round and act quickly to ensure minimal disruption – for both customers and former employees.

In a head-spinning 48 hours after hearing the news, we had a new Clarity Sports division, comprising of the complete Thomas Cook sports team – 17 in total. Achieving this in such a short space of time called for a reactive and collaborative approach, not only with the former Thomas Cook Sports team, but various departments across Clarity, including HR, IT, Finance and Operations. We are exceptionally proud of everyone’s efforts and are delighted to have the new team on board; they bring a wealth of expertise and experience to Clarity, managing travel for sports clubs both UK-based and further afield.

But what about former Thomas Cook Sports clients? A number of Premier League football clubs and Premiership and Pro14 rugby clubs, previously managed by Thomas Cook Sports, were facing imminent travel chaos following the liquidation of their former travel management company. Thankfully, the team worked tirelessly to ensure their clients’ plans were not disrupted, even while their company faced imminent collapse. Their professionalism and commitment ultimately saw a seamless transition from Thomas Cook Sport to Clarity and no travel plans were disrupted.

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So, is it important to be agile? The simple answer: yes! Being agile enables your business to achieve great things; to withstand the unexpected and always remain one step ahead. To find out more, why not download our Change the Game rulebook and learn about how we can help you achieve an agile, transformational approach to managing your business travel programme.

Find out how brighter business travel can boost your bottom line.

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