Company insight The power of partnership

Travel and hospitality is an industry of connection – connecting people, connecting places and connecting services. The global pandemic has struck the way our industry connects with guests, but it has also highlighted the importance of business partnerships. To keep pushing the industry forward, many businesses have doubled down on partnerships to strategically connect their services. One such partnership is Ireckonu and Rufus Leonard. Ireckonu CCO Chi Chan and Rufus Leonard CEO Laurence Parkes share where they get their inspiration as leaders, and how to build strong, meaningful partnerships.

Where do you look for inspiration or learnings? Chi Chan: Reading is the key. Valuable information and signals are everywhere, you just need to be disciplined and find time to read regularly. Sharing this information with peers and partners also helps create a constant dialogue of growth.

Laurence Parkes: Nurturing a meaningful Twitter network makes for an efficient injection of relevant but seemingly serendipitous insights that spark new ideas or help me connect with interesting people.

What are the most important attributes of successful leaders in the current climate? CC: You must lead with trust and understanding. Treat everyone with fairness and empathy. Finally, surround yourself with great talent.

LP: Creating an environment for people to be awesome. Inspiring people with a general direction and then getting out of the way. This is as true with our partnerships as it is with colleagues in our agency.

employee board, hit-squads, clubs. We’re also fans of co-creation workshops with clients and their customers as they are an efficient and thorough way to generate ideas, test hypotheses and reap the benefits of true collaboration.

CC: We’re focused on creating ideas that matter in [the] hospitality business. This follows two tracks. Firstly, we create ideas together with customers. This is about fast iterations, learning through those iterations and giving customers the chance to gift it back. Secondly, it is about stitching the real trend signals together to create something that matters, while timing its introduction to the marketplace correctly.

How does your partnership strategy enable results for your business and your customers’ businesses? LP: We understand that you get as much out of a partnership as you put in, so we invest our time in the most meaningful partnerships. Being an independent agency means we can partner with the best of breed, always – hence our partnership with Ireckonu. The right partnerships enable us to deliver the innovative solutions

“We’ve continued to help our customers achieve their business objectives while growing the people on our team.”

Chi Chan

How do you generate great ideas in your organisation? LP: Listening openly to people throughout the organisation. At Rufus, we have multiple forums for ideas to bubble up: an

Hotel Management International /

that clients crave. But they also broaden our perspectives, so we continue to hone our expertise and thought leadership, which feeds into other areas such as content marketing and new business.

Chi Chan, CCO, Ireckonu

Laurence Parkes, CEO, Rufus Leonard

CC: We encourage a co-ownership approach so we can create alignment through shared goals with the internal team and customers. At this moment, we are forming a deeper relationship with Rufus Leonard following a recent successful delivery. Rufus has over 30 years’ experience in design and technology, and we have many customers that need digital agency help. This is an example of a perfect match for us; we’re helping each other scale up while supporting Ireckonu’s clients.

What is your biggest business achievement despite the pressure of 2020/21? CC: We’ve continued to help our customers achieve their business objectives while growing the people on our team.

LP: Partnering with Ireckonu, we delivered the first milestone in The Student Hotel’s digital experience ecosystem, which is driving sustained competitive advantage, resilience and growth. ● |


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