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Difrent
Feb. 5, 2019

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Karen Cleale, Delivery Director

What’s your background?
My background is as an outcome-oriented digital programme lead – I’m generally the person called in when you need to get the job done. I’ve worked both strategically and operationally, leading delivery on large transformation programmes across the public and private sector, including for NHS Digital, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Home Office, Mite, Cabinet Office, FCO Services and the McGraw-Hill Companies.

Describe your role at Difrent
At Difrent, we make a big promise to our customers, and as Delivery Director, I ensure that we deliver on that promise, every time.

Too often I’ve seen programmes/projects where great work has been done by individuals in the team, but it doesn’t all hang together, and ultimately, they don’t deliver on the cost, quality, intent or user expectations. At Difrent, my role is about applying my experience to ensure that the sum of the parts meets the intended outcome, about building great products in the shortest time possible and leaving a positive legacy with our customers.

The most exciting part of my role is working through our teams and with our customers to take an initial problem statement, plotting a path to the outcome and then ensuring that we land that delivery, every time.


Who are you outside of Difrent?
In my heart I’m a sporty adventurer – I’ve done all kinds of stuff including RideLondon100, a few half marathons, climbed Mount Kinabalu (including trekking through the rainforest with leeches in my socks), I have my paraglider club pilots license, and I’ve dived, skied, sailed and rock climbed.

More recently, I’ve paused my adrenaline junkie ways for the adventure of a young family. I have two boys (1 and 4) who are just awesome! Being a mum is the best thing I’ve ever done – life through their lens is hard, hilarious and heart-warming. My boys keep me grounded but also remind me to view things through another’s lens, by changing perspective, you can often find far better solutions. So now I get to adventure with my family, and I’m looking forward to teaching my eldest to kayak in the summer!


Who would you invite to dinner, dead or alive?
Honestly? I wouldn’t. Right now, my idea of the perfect dinner is actually a picnic by the river, sunshine, children, laughter and my extended family – maybe going on a mythical bear hunt or having a water pistol battle. Somehow, guests like Steve Jobs, Steven Hawkins and Churchill would be out of place!

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