About Us

Purpose and Alignment Specialists

We clarify purpose, align practice

We help ambitious organisations respond to society’s calls for purpose and accountability beyond shareholder value.

Our work supports the leadership team (1) to research, clarify and set out a relevant purpose. This explains why the business exists and what value it brings to customers, shareholders, employees and wider society.

We then (2) enable teams to align day-to-day work practices with this agreed purpose.

Purpose-led companies are effective through high levels of focused energy, employee engagement and departmental cooperation.

The outcome is a better business that yields stronger financial returns together with more social impact.

Our expertise: think big, act small

Big-picture thinkers, we support boards and executives to wrestle (individually or as a team) with the questions that keep them awake at night.

Beyond the boardroom, as ‘expert generalists’ we connect people across cultures, departments and roles, to foster high levels of cooperation.

We understand culture change, leadership development and employee engagement, so support firms to navigate the ‘people’ questions.

Our capacity to grasp systems and processes means we roll up our sleeves and help align day-to-day practice with agreed aims.

In short, we ‘think big, act small’. We facilitate incremental changes to how work is done, ensuring that the overall system becomes aligned with an ambitious strategic purpose.

We clarify purpose, align practice

We help ambitious organisations respond to society’s calls for purpose and accountability beyond shareholder value.

Our work supports the leadership team (1) to research, clarify and set out a relevant purpose. This explains why the business exists and what value it brings to customers, shareholders, employees and wider society.

We then (2) enable teams to align day-to-day work practices with this agreed purpose.

Purpose-led companies are effective through high levels of focused energy, employee engagement and departmental cooperation.

The outcome is a better business that yields stronger financial returns together with more social impact.

Our expertise: think big, act small

Big-picture thinkers, we support boards and executives to wrestle (individually or as a team) with the questions that keep them awake at night.

Beyond the boardroom, as ‘expert generalists’ we connect people across cultures, departments and roles, to foster high levels of cooperation.

We understand culture change, leadership development and employee engagement, so support firms to navigate the ‘people’ questions.

Our capacity to grasp systems and processes means we roll up our sleeves and help align day-to-day practice with agreed aims.

In short, we ‘think big, act small’. We facilitate incremental changes to how work is done, ensuring that the overall system becomes aligned with an ambitious strategic purpose.

Who We Are and How We Work

Quentin Millington, Founder

Founder Quentin Millington has worked with FTSE-100 companies in various industries. He is experienced with strategic questions as well as day-to-day operations, the challenges of people development, and the complexities of organisational change.

Quentin Millington | Marble BrookAs Chief Operating Officer and in related roles at tier-one investment banks, with budgets over US$100m Quentin led client-facing and operations teams of up to 130 people. He also ran – across US$1bn organisations of more than 1,000 employees – global initiatives to increase productivity, cut cost and enhance service through client-oriented work cultures.

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), Quentin is adviser to the CEO and executive board of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and a member of the Advisory Board of English National Opera. For Engage for Success he chairs a group set up to explore how to harness ‘values’ and ‘integrity’ – organisational alignment – for employee engagement and business gain.

Quentin has an MPhil in Innovation, Strategy and Organisation from Cambridge, an MSc in International Management from SOAS, London and a first degree in Oriental Studies from Oxford. Proficient in Chinese, Quentin has lived and worked in New York, Hong Kong and Taipei.

I chose the name ‘Marble Brook’ to represent the processes and resources that structure work, as well as the free-flowing, less predictable dynamics of a business – leadership and individuals. Often neglected, it is the alignment of systems and people with a shared purpose that determines the success of an enterprise.

Quentin

Our three principles

Our three principles tell you how we work –

Illuminate

Experienced, intelligent and creative, we know how ‘the organisation’ can fall out of step with employee, customer and shareholder demands. We shed light on this difficulty to bring you no-nonsense solutions that meet an ambitious purpose.

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Simplify

The usual consulting mix of jargon and complexity baffles people and costs time and money. With easy-to-use frameworks and everyday language we simplify the process of getting from A to B.

Involve

We support executives to set out their purpose and ambitions. We then involve people at all levels to map out what shifts will optimise alignment. Our inclusive approach lowers resistance, helps people own new ways of working, and shares the burden of change.

Silo-Busting Purpose

Silo-Busting Power of Business Purpose

Well understood business purpose has the power to break down all-too-familiar organisational silos, uniting colleagues across departments and teams. Clear statements of purpose lead to a more effective organisation.

What Business Purpose

Why on Earth Does Your Company Even Exist?

The world’s expectations of business are changing. To thrive, companies need better, up-to-date answers to the fundamental questions of why they exist, and for whom.

NASA Janitor Send Man Moon

Mopping Floors, or Sending a Man to the Moon?

Your organisation’s ambition to change the world can inspire great accomplishments – but only if people see how their own role fits into the wider purpose. Are your people mopping floors or, as NASA’s janitor believed, sending a man to the moon?

40 Hours Work

Why 40 Hours’ Work Makes Only 20 Hours’ Difference

People often feel, even when they work hard, that their efforts have little impact. Poor ‘strategic alignment’ – when day-to-day practice falls out of step with what the business needs – makes work an uphill struggle.

Company Values Bold Colourful Unique

Company Values: Be Colourful, Bold, Unique

Commonplace values such as integrity, service and innovation show mediocre ambitions. Aspire to a grand purpose? Champion values that are colourful, bold and unique.

Purpose-Led Business Five Qualities

Five Qualities of Purpose-Led Business

Business must embrace a purpose beyond shareholder value. In practice, five essential qualities will help every company do good things for the people it touches.

Ditch Red Tape for Better Cooperation

Cooperation, the first problem for every CEO. Where the red tape of bureaucracy fails, culture is a powerful way to engage people and align work with your business purpose.

Leadership Obsession

Our Obsession With the Lycra-Clad Thighs of Leadership

Our preoccupation with leadership harms employee engagement and business outcomes. Recognise leadership for its capacity to steer, but not drive, the organisation.

Why Management Exists

Why Management Exists

Get everyone on track to a single destination – and life at work becomes easier, customers get a better deal and shareholders enjoy higher returns. Management exists to agree, set out and champion business purpose.