Barry Wakelin joins ClearPeople

Barry Wakelin

Hi Barry, welcome to ClearPeople!

Hi, Good Morning!


How has your time here been treating you so far?

Great! It’s been really interesting getting to know all of the talented people who work here and to understand how they work together as a team. And of course getting up to speed with all of the client projects we’re working on – we’ve got some truly great clients.


Can you tell me about your role here at ClearPeople?

My role is Operations Director, which really means I’m in control of our delivery and managed services capabilities. My focus is set on improving our profitability whilst delivering great quality to our clients.


What were you doing before ClearPeople?

I actually ran a business called Panacea up until 2010 when we sold that to K3 Group. It’s mainly an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), Business Intelligence and Customer Relationship Management business. I was then offering advice and helping Microsoft partners to grow and as part of that I worked with one such partner for about three years to sort out their operational issues and transform their profitability. 

How long have you been in IT?

I began developing games on the BBC Micro back in the 1980s! My first job was developing complex solutions to monitor the effects of heat and cold as well as G-Forces on integrated circuits used in applications like Tornado strike jets. 

What’s your philosophy towards work? 

You’ve got to enjoy work and to be as committed as you can to give the most to your clients.

What do you love most about your job?

I love seeing positive improvement. Being able to improve processes that can make a significant difference to the way a company operates is very fulfilling.   

If you had all of your clients on speaker phone right now, what one piece of advice would you give them?

Be realistic. Spend more time on training people and making people happy. I have been doing IT projects for over 30 years and yet as an industry we seem to keep falling into the same traps. We don’t allocate enough time, we’re not realistic about our ability to understand our users’ requirements and spend lots of money on technical gadgets, and then spend little on the important stuff which is about driving user adoption, user experience and getting people to use these systems in a way that’s going to drive the business value that we’d all hoped to achieve in the first place. 

Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?

Well, there have been two in my career. They were both extremely focused and driven. However, what I learned on my own watch was how you can generate more value by being more experimental and to think out of the box a bit more to drive more business value. The combination of working on profit combined with being a bit more inspirational is a fantastic combination. 

If you could sing one song on X-Factor, what would it be?

My favourite song probably is going to be something from the Pixies. I could probably actually sing a bit like Black Francis does, given that he’s not exactly in tune either! I would perhaps sing “Tame” which involves a lot of shouting.

If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?

Well, I guess on an island I won’t have comms, so there’s not much point in bringing my phone or Surface. I would struggle to survive without music, so my MP3 collection would be ideal. My bike - if I can keep fit on the island that would be great – although cycling in sand is not ideal if it’s a desert island. Obviously if I can bring my wife, that would be fantastic.

Author bio

Jeremy Kramer
Jeremy Kramer
Business Development Consultant
I help clients to see the business value of .NET technologies and build effective digital strategies. As well as developing meaningful long-term relationships with clients, I love all things tech, and stepping out on the tennis court. Some say that Roger Federer learned how to play from watching me.


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