Elk Kin helps senior leaders deliver their best for their customers, their organisations, and for themselves by bringing clarity to challenges and focus to growth plans.

We take a human-centred approach to business.

We analyse the needs of customers, your team and leaders to build sustainable performance, looking through three lenses:

Customer Needs

Business Goals

The Needs of you & your teams

Leaders we work with value our help to align and focus these priorities, leverage strengths and look for pain points. We find the disconnects. We use human-centred tools and techniques to help you get out of the complexity and into action.

Every leader can benefit from our experience and apply it in their own unique way. We never use the same solution twice. We work fast, but we never make quick fixes. Our results are immediate, and deliver business growth and improvements to your customer experience.

Helping leaders lead with a strong sense of purpose: that’s our purpose.

We can help where you need it most

Customer Experience

Customer Experience

Translate customer needs into business action


Problem Solving

Diagnose the disconnects in the business inhibiting growth


Strategy Implementation

Translate customer needs into business action

Our Tool Kit

Customer Experience

Customer discovery
Customer insights
Customer corridor
Customer journey mapping
Service design
Improvement roadmaps

Go To Market Strategy

Design thinking
Product development
Customer Value Proposition
Customer Personas

Business Planning

Planning workshops
Action plans
Plan on a page
Role definition
KPI & Objective setting
Incentive & commission planning

Implementation Support

Project Management
Change Management
Team training
Capability Development programs

About Karen

Karen’s passion lies in developing purpose led strategies for organisations and community.


A senior leader across multiple disciplines including Customer Experience, Innovation, Marketing, Product Management, New Product Development, Sales and Operations in the Corporate market. Karen’s track record in leading various functions has given her a deep understanding of business and of building high performing teams.

Karen has led change in complex environments to build organisational wide commitment to customer centricity and innovation delivering significant improvements for customers and the business. Karen’s strength lies in her ability to translate complex information into a narrative to inspire action within the organisation and implement improvements with measurable results.

Karen’s passion lies in developing purpose led strategies for organisations and community. Karen previously led the Optus Business Corporate Social Responsibility program, is a founding member of the Gidget Foundation and Cowboys Community Foundation and is currently Chairperson for The Generous and the Grateful.

Karen currently leads a start-up fashion business – One P Design that is focused on creating a clothing range for women in business. In addition new start up CandleXchange, a circular model for candle refill and container reuse.

Karen also offers her insight and practical experience in customer experience, innovation, change management and leadership to the corporate and not for profit sectors in way of thought leadership, content creation, training and mentoring.

Why the name
Elk Kin?

Elk – The elk or wapiti is one of the largest species within the deer family, Cervidae, in the world, and one of the largest land mammals in North America and Eastern Asia

Kin – noun “one’s family and relations”

For Karen life is all about family. Her immediate family is made up of Ella, Lorraine and Karen. Add to that her extended family and all the women in her life she now considers family.

Karen relates to Elks as they are social animals who live in same-sex herds with 10-20 females who come together in much larger groups to support each other as they migrate to higher ground.


  • Karen’s coaching strength is anchored in her intuitive human centred approach to everything she does. Add this to her purpose-led approach and it is a recipe for something quite special. She asks the non-obvious questions to push me deeper to gain my own insight. She has helped me cut through all the noise in my life and gain clarity on what’s really important to me and what I have to offer. She has set me up for the next career in my life and got me really excited and confident to move into it. 

    Senior Innovation Leader
  • Incredible day Karen! You were born for this! Just reviewing the output and its incredibly distilled. Just so appreciative and excited! THANK YOU SO MUCH! A HUGE thanks again for a really productive, worthwhile day with so many outputs for us to move forward. Really exciting for us! It sure is your calling Karen, you’re brilliant.

    Co-Founders Shirvington & Fisk Interiors
  • Karen, I just want to say thank you for your time and efforts with my business. Simply put, you are amazing and so good at what you do. I’m really thankful to have you coaching me on this journey. My spirits and energy towards growing and expanding my business thrive after our meetings. I am so pleased with the outcomes so far and can't wait to see where to from here. 

    Director The Hamper Spot
  • Karen has extensive experience as a practitioner of Customer Experience, Innovation and Leadership. I have worked with Karen for 7 years and through that time she has always been my first go-to person for problem solving. She has an incredible blend of strategic thinking and implementation ability. A rare and highly sought after capability set. Karen was there at the beginning of the Customer Experience movement in Australia and I have not found anyone more knowledgeable and practical in its application. She will help keep it simple and effective for any client. I rate Karen amongst the best Customer Experience professionals in the country. 

    Kerryn Ross Director Innovation, EY
  • I seriously can’t thank you enough for your generosity of spirit and knowledge, with a brilliant dose of genuine passion for coaching us in our fledgling business - thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Founder New Technology Innovator
  • I cannot thank Karen enough for the support and assistance she provided in transitioning my career from a health clinician into a strategic and educational role within Health.  Karen's warm and caring approach was key in building my confidence to change my career direction. She is an amazing coach and her level of expertise and experience in the job application and interview process resulted in me being the preferred applicant. My new position has been life changing for both myself and my family. She definitely has a gift!

    Senior Health Clinician
  • We have engaged Karen’s skills and talents to assist us on numerous projects across our business. Professional sporting organisations such as ours are complex, competitive, fast paced and have a large number of very passionate stakeholders and departmental owners. Karen has been instrumental in assisting our business in realigning to a broader strategic focus by working across all business units and very quickly being able to identify areas of concern and providing insightful and strategic direction in mitigation and reshaping. The impact of the work Karen has been able to deliver has improved processes, efficiencies and communications across the business which in turn has had a profound impact on the bottom line and improved the way we do business. Karen has also provided services to our business as a professional mentor for some of our Managers the feedback has been very positive and this support has seen these Managers really lift in their confidence and capability in the way they get more from their own teams. In summary Karen has been a godsend to our business and our people and we will continue to engage her services above all others. The skills, insight, integrity and positive energy she brings to our business is really valuable, she is the ultimate professional and we trust that our projects are safe in her hands.  Highly recommend!

    Fiona Pelling General Manager – Community, North Queensland Toyota Cowboys
  • Just wanted to pop you a short note of gratitude for the work you did with me and my team, the benefit of which we are experiencing daily! Your ability to assess our team, its dynamics and processes and provide a roadmap forward with both authority and empathy has provided a sustainable platform for a marked improvement in the marketing team’s efficiency and effectiveness. The team felt heard and empowered after spending time with you and I felt like I had a partner on a daunting but rewarding journey. Even though you’re no longer with us on a daily basis, your wise counsel echoes around the team as we make the conscious effort to have honest conversations, make feedback a natural part of our processes, and walk often in the shoes of our internal and external clients.

    Jacqui James-Eggins Chief Marketing Officer, North Queensland Toyota Cowboys
  • Karen is gifted in being able to clearly identify and articulate the connection between the purpose of a business and its requirements for customers, employees and stakeholders. She has the people capability and the technical project management skills to work within an organisation to bring the people together to focus on delivering the business purpose and customer outcome. Karen’s belief supported by her integrity and honesty makes her an incredibly strong partner to work with during these transformational periods. All this combined she also wants to see the outcome – from start to finish. She is a real partner focused on delivering your outcomes.

    Greg Tonner CEO, North Queensland Cowboys Former Vice President of Sales, Optus Business
  • I would like to say a massive thank you to Karen for her time, effort and expertise that she has brought to our community and programs. Karen is very generous with her time, especially at short notice, and the quality of her work is nothing short of outstanding. We were lucky enough to have her host our Customer Discovery Workshop, for budding entrepreneurs, corporates and SMEs alike, during our Go Program in the first half of 2018. Her expertise within this field ensured that all participants left with a well-rounded understanding of what customer discovery actually is, the tools you need and how to use them, and some specific techniques to ensure you get authentic answers from customers! Our audience loved it, see what they said: “I hope the coming events will be just like this one – this is the best one since the program started!” and “Fantastic delivery, only improvement is that more time would have been amazing! Thanks Karen!”. We were also lucky enough to host Karen as one of our judges at our final Pitch Night, where not only did she give all those who pitched great advice, but she has also started mentoring one of our student entrepreneurs!

    Ally Clarkson Macquarie University Incubator
  • I have had the pleasure of working alongside Karen in large corporate and start-up settings. Karen brings innate skill in customer experience to her work, combines it with knowledge gained from broad ranging commercial experience and supplements this with a natural ability to absorb and integrate complex work and project contexts. In short, Karen is the real deal when it comes to creating valuable, targeted and actionable insight to leading and coaching change. Her articulate, intelligent and empathic approach enables successful evolution and transformation projects, whether this be enhancing customer experience, innovation capability, business design or organisational structuring. She is particularly skilled at supporting teams and individuals through the most challenging components of transformation, using a purpose driven approach to build pathways from status quo to desirable and sustainable outcomes. Best of all she does this with a simplicity and clarity that makes her not only incredibly effective, but a joy to work with. 

    Dr Lara Moroko Academic Lead - Macquarie University Incubator & Founding Partner, The Fisherfolk Collective
  • Karen has been able to draw on her vast knowledge and experience to provide coaching and advice, for both personal leadership and strategic planning. Karen has the ability to listen to what you are experiencing, and advise different strategies and approaches to take, which provide clarity and build self-confidence to take the next step. Feeling that she truly cares in the steps that you are taking, the ability you have, and the balls that you juggle as a mother to young children while trying to keep your career on track, is reassuring.  Karen’s ability to think strategically and provide advice on longer-term planning allowed me to re-think approaches, and drill down into how the longer term picture translates to the day to day activities for my team and myself to ensure we achieve success. Karen’s support and guidance is so greatly appreciated, I would highly recommend for others to work with her.

    Sam Johnstone Community Operations Manager, North Queensland Cowboys
  • Karen is one of the most capable individuals I have had the pleasure of working with. Her ability to simplify and create clarity out of complexity is phenomenal. Her ability to analyse, synthesis, understand and articulate customer centred strategies is world class! I have seen her help organisations, teams and individuals put customers at the heart of their businesses. I would recommend her to any organisation wanting to sharpen its focus on customers. Thank you, Karen, for your passion insight support and professionalism

    Samantha Kennedy Head of Australia, New Zealand & Asia Pacific, Pivotel Group
  • Karen's ability to wade through the whitewash of intensity and diversity of thought we live with daily, it honestly astounding. The clarity she is unearthing with her probing questions, constant insight and ninja level excel has left me speechless a few times, and believe me that doesn't happen too often. I feel lucky to learn from her as we progress. While the improved mental health of our exec is vital of course, our ability to boost our impact and inspire our amazing volunteers and supporters in a measured, strategic manner, will indeed help us fulfil our purpose and to change the way material aid is delivered to help survivors thrive.

    Carmen Lee Platt CEO and Founder, the Generous and The Grateful
  • Karen’s ability to challenge your thinking and view things in a completely different way is exceptional.  Our business was going through a period of change and while the changes were exciting, everything was a little overwhelming as well. Karen was flexible in her approach to allow for my way of thinking but structured enough to achieve clarity on the situation with tangible outcomes and actions. This has resulted in a more efficient and a more profitable business.

    Clare Ley Co-Owner, Pilgrim Sailing
  • Karen’s work and capability were instrumental to supporting the development of the Incubator innovation culture and community. Her expertise in design thinking, lean startup, facilitation, training, and business partnering are second to none. She demonstrates how a design thinking, customer-centric approach can be used in problem-solving across a startup’s journey. It was a pleasure working with Karen and learning from her wealth of experience. I look forward to an opportunity to work with her again in the future.

    Felipe Rios Ribeiro Innovation Program Lead, Macquarie University Incubator
  • We have been fortunate to have Karen Platt as our Expert In Resident for the past 12 months at the Macquarie University Incubator. During her tenure her contributions have always been extremely valuable and well received by our startups. From my perspective I’ve not seen an EIR that is as engaged and committed to the start-ups journey and to the process of supporting and nurturing them during this challenging time as Karen. Her intelligence, high EQ and ability to connect with people is always evident in all interactions – ensuring she is held in high regard by all. Her strong contribution to the team, valuable insights, and warm personality have ensured that we looked forward to her time with us each week.

    Melissa Ryan Director Incubation & Entrepreneurship , Macquarie University Incubator
  • Karen has an amazing ability to challenge assumptions. As a start-up & founder, she really pushed me to question everything ...which ultimately made us better and generated great ideas. Her workshops were excellent, and her knowledge of the start-up space really showed. She also has an amazing network, which she was very generous in introducing us to. I would highly recommend Karen

    Fab Capodicasa CEO, Hoosh Marketing
  • I found Karen's startup incubator workshop on Customer Discovery, Validation, and the Business Model Canvas and her Design Thinking approach to be highly engaging and very impactful. I believe it will be apparent to anyone who takes Karen's workshops that she cares deeply about entrepreneurs and does everything she can to help them succeed. I also found Karen to be a great resource for connecting to the right people. She has an impressively large network and clearly likes connected people to create win-win outcomes.

    David Cyrus Head of Marketing, Hoosh Marketing
  • Karen is a true professional. I found Karen's degree of business knowledge combined with her infectious enthusiasm to help start-ups on their road to success, to be truly inspirational. Karen's ability to communicate the foundation principles of business, in particular those around the customer discovery journey, to start-ups at the Macquarie University Incubator, has played a major role in the success of many young startups including Invicta Prospects Group. Karen's innate drive for creativity and entrepreneurship has seen her successful in two of her own start-ups and the real life perspective she provides (having been in the start-up trenches herself) is refreshing and priceless for all young entrepreneurs. I highly recommend Karen and look forward to following her continued success.

    Shane Acorn Cofounder, INVICTA Prospects Group
  • I was fortunate enough to be taught and mentored by Karen whilst resident at Macquarie University Incubator. Not only was she a fountain of knowledge re start-ups and the innovation space at large, she also provided ‘short-cuts’ as a result of ‘skinned knees and elbows’, having ultimately successfully walked the long and jagged SME road as a founder. Her advice was direct and sincere without the textbook phrasing and ‘round about ways’ of many in the industry. Ultimately she is a winner with the compassion needed to not only provide guidance but to humanise its delivery.

    Edmond Sorich Director, GLIA Diagnostics
  • Karen is a very knowledgeable person in all matters related to launching a company, she understands very well what needs to be done for early start-ups to better prepare and pave the ground to success, anyone considering company creation should contact Karen to get assistance confirming a more sophisticated business model and value proposition plan.

    George Hernandez Founder & CEO at sofiri.com
  • It is rare to find an individual who has the depth of knowledge and the toolkit for 'best practice' that Karen possesses in all things 'Customer'. It is even rarer when that teacher has a wealth of practical real world experience both as a 'gritty' founder of start-ups and at the highest executive levels. As a resident Start-up at Macquarie Incubator, I was fortunate to be able to tap into that incredible wisdom and experience that Karen generously and effectively shares.

    Matt Russell Founder and CEO of Bundlfresh
  • Karen helped us in our very early days to gain insights into our business - especially in relation to our customers; gaining important perspective when viewed from their eyes. Karen has a deep knowledge of her content and a clear structure and style in communicating it. We will miss having Karen around the Incubator and wish her the best with growing her own businesses.

    Bernard Orenstein Co-Founder at Proxima Capital
  • Karen has an exceptional understanding of how to help start ups build the foundations to be successful. Through a structured process centred around customer experience and our business value proposition, Karen was able to help surface areas that we needed to rethink or spend more time understanding. The impact for our team has been clarity on our purpose, goals and objectives. Karen is a connector and has a deep network of people we have been able to speak with across many different functions in corporate and the start up community. Finally, her real life experience and business acumen means that she is able to advise across a broad range of industries and stakeholders, it would be great to have the opportunity to work together again.

    Rebecca Sebastian Co-Founder, Melo
  • Karen's diverse and extensive business experience across multiple industries was highly valuable. She got an in-depth understanding of our model, our objectives and the bottlenecks we were facing. Karen helped us dissect and see the problems clearly from an objective outsider point of view. She provided practical, effective and relevant strategies and support. The team and I enjoyed working with her with her great momentum and the energy she brings to the table.

    Samuel Philipos Founder, Benevolence Financial Group
  • I have now worked with Karen in two very different environments - a large corporate and a start up incubator. It is a rare skill to be able to thrive and add incredible value in both, and Karen certainly does that. Always starting from a point of deep customer centricity, Karen is able to work with corporates, non for profits and start ups to define the opportunity and through a structured approach, guide them to develop a plan, and advise through to implementation. I would not hesitate to recommend Karen to any organisation and look forward to working together again.

    Maja Paleka Co-Founder, Melo
  • Karen was an absolute delight to work with! Her extensive business experience along with her charismatic energy made what could be quite a stressful process, super easy. She asked just the right questions, to get an in-depth idea of our business model, customer journey and leakages in our business. Fortunately for us, Karen also has experience within mental health, so she was able to provide us with practical and effective next steps. I would highly recommend Karen to anyone that is seeking advice with their business.

    Nicholas Evbuomwan Co-Founder, Recharge Wellness Services
  • I have had the privilege of working with Karen through the Macquarie Incubator Group. What a great facilitator she is- knowledgeable, engaging, creative and fun. She has a great ability to challenge your thinking, without compromising your confidence, and taking you out of your comfort zone. I would highly recommend Karen as a mentor for any start-up. She truly understands the journey to success.  

    Elizabeth Jones Co-Founder, beHub

Contact Us

Contact us directly

Karen Platt, Director
Phone 0411 474 003
Email karen@elkkin.com.au

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