A Meeting With: Alison Freer

The director of consulting, learning and digital transformation at durhamlane on what drives her professional and personal life.


A Meeting With...Alison Freer, director of consulting, learning and digital transformation at durhamlane
First published in the Journal and Chronicle/ 10-03-2017

What is the best thing about your job?

Working with a fast-paced, dynamic young team, able to make things happen very quickly. I work with such fascinating people including clients and colleagues. When we’re having conversations about leadership and growth, I am privileged to get close to the hearts of business leaders and their teams, and get to know them really well. 

What is your proudest achievement?

My two teenage sons and seeing them grow into fantastic people with loads of potential. Workwise, taking on the role at durhamlane – to be part of a leadership team of a fast growing business is an honour.

What advice would you give to someone starting in your career?

Be open to opportunities to work with large organisations as well as small and agile ones. Expose yourself to as many different industry sectors as you can; it’s really important that you have insight into as wide of a range of businesses as possible.

Which individual has inspired you most and why?

My mentor, John Redpath, who founded CPCR, a company I worked with in my mid-twenties. John not only talks about leadership but he’s a great everyday business-leader, somebody who works in the heart of business all the time, even now in his seventies, with great energy. It was John who first introduced me to durhamlane.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Go with the opportunity where there’s a really good values fit. Whether that’s a business opportunity, a job opportunity or anything else. Things didn’t work out as well when I’ve gone against this.

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What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career so far?

Navigating the 2008 economic crisis while running my own business and having two children under six. I learnt huge resilience and even though I didn’t always know how things would work out, I learned to find a way through uncertainty and new opportunities.

How is your business going to change in the next 10 years?

There’s talk of the ‘digital human’ and AI, I’m not convinced we will ever lose the need to connect at a human level, being able to share the air in the same space. However, technology is shaping us in new ways and it’s exciting to consider new possibilities for business and the future of work. Will we be as digitally advanced as predictions suggest?

Connect with Alison on LinkedIn or call her to talk about your leadership aims 0191 481 3800