About Us

Quirk Solutions is a change-led consultancy that enables CEOs and Human Resource Leaders to empower their most valuable asset – people. Our frameworks include enhanced decision-making, change and transformation, and effective communication.


We have also developed a highly sought-after culture diagnosis and measurement capability.


The results help leaders understand what areas they need to address and why.

about quirk

Our Values

Positive Change

We work with business leaders to develop and nurture positive cultural change in organisations.

Personal Connections

We are committed to developing personal connections with our clients, colleagues and communities.

Professional Candour

We aim to share honest feedback and data to drive informed decision-making to provide long-term success for organisations and their people.

Our Purpose

Unlock the potential of your teams.

Empower your people to build better solutions.

Become a self-sufficient organisation.

Meet the team

Quirk is a friendly, supportive, passionate group of people who are committed to helping you achieve your goals.

We have deep knowledge and experience in strategy and operations, having designed and facilitated leadership training and embedded adaptive planning and decision-making skills throughout organisations. We believe strongly in ethical leadership and helping all team members to release their potential, bringing out the best in teams.

People are always at the heart of what we do. Get to know our team more below.

Chris Paton

Founder & Managing Director

I enjoy bringing people together to collaborate and solve intractable problems. In my previous career, I was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Marines and advisor to the UK Cabinet and National Security Council on the Afghan strategy.

The opportunity to help others is a big motivator for me. This is probably due to my military service background – a sense of duty and commitment to serve my community. As founder and CEO at Quirk, my enthusiasm and genuine desire draw in leaders and their teams, helping them to overcome change resistance.

As a keynote speaker, I have spoken in New York, Berlin, London, Istanbul and Cannes and lectured on the London Business School’s Executive Education Programme. I’ve co-authored several articles for Havard Business Review and Strategy Magazine. Most recently, I co-published the Amazon #1 best-selling book ‘Purposeful People’.

Merolyn Whittaker

Chief of Staff

I am a proven business leader with experience across multiple sectors. Previously the Chief Operating Officer at the University of Oxford’s Sustainable Development Goals Impact Lab, I oversaw the rapid growth and operations of programmes alongside a number of major international brands. I own several businesses of my own and am passionate about how organisations handle rapid growth whilst maintaining integrity and humanity in how they treat their people and clients.​

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As a former Intelligence Officer in the British Army, I am very analytical in how I approach tasks and enjoy getting stuck into complex problems and processes.​ I enjoy developing strategy and seeing it leading to impact in the real-world, building robust people and processes along the way. ​

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Michelle Turberville

Senior Consultant

In my role, I focus on enhancing communication, with a particular passion for facilitating those ‘lightbulb’ moments.

I started out as a graphic design assistant but then joined the Ministry of Defence (MOD) as a Geospatial Analyst, where I stayed for the next 19 years. In the second half of my time at the MOD, I went into the Learning and Development section to train new recruits and have not left L&D since. After the MOD, I briefly worked in an NHS Trust in their Organisational Development and Learning section, before joining Quirk.

I am a trained Insights Practitioner, and in a previous role successfully delivered an Insights programme throughout the entire organisation. 

Katie Taylor

Strategic Partnerships Manager

I have always enjoyed people, for as long as I can remember, I have really cared about seeing people develop and be the best person they can be. With a background in community development and tech, it felt right to start in a new space that focussed on fixing people problems.

At Quirk, I lead on Business Development and Marketing Strategies. With 15+ years of experience in both B2B and B2C Sales and Marketing, I’ve slotted nicely into the Quirk team and bring a wealth of experience in business growth.

I look forward to playing a part in Quirk’s growth in 2024 and beyond! 


Sandra Kinmont 

Associate Consultant

Sandra is a multi-discipline business leader and experienced facilitator who has spent 25 years leading complex, global, strategic change in Supply Chain, HR, and Operations. She is outcome focussed, pragmatic, and uses data to drive decision making. She has an ability to frame change in a way that builds momentum and clarity for those impacted.

Her facilitation style is characterised by an intuitive care for those with whom she connects. Sandra is known to take calculated risks, speak truth to power, and influence through positive persuasion. Insightful, driven, and encouraging, she is sensitive to human motivations making her highly adept at guiding leaders and their teams through change.

Kate Philp

Associate Consultant

I am a Leadership Consultant, coach and Keynote Speaker. My drive and enthusiasm for personal development help me assist individuals and organisations in reaching their full potential. My background in front-line service in Iraq and Afghanistan has given me valuable experience in handling change and providing solutions under pressure. I am a rational and collected individual who enjoys making sense of chaos and believes in embracing discomfort. I am a trusted professional who aims to achieve results while bringing out the best in those around me. I have experience working with clients such as Close Brothers, Shell and JSP.

Additionally, I am a trustee of the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) and an ambassador for ABF The Soldier’s Charity. My experience of surviving an explosion in Afghanistan and speaking to primary-aged audiences has taught me that anything is surmountable.

Roderic Yapp

Associate Consultant

I am an accredited coach and a specialist in developing resilience and leadership skills. I had a seven-year career with the Royal Marines, serving in Operations across the Globe. Highlights include leading Marines in Afghanistan in 2007, rescuing civilians from Benghazi in 2011 and leading the recovery of a pirated vessel off the Somali Coast.

After leaving the Royal Marines, I joined Urenco, the UK’s sole provider of enriched uranium to the nuclear industry. During my two years with Urenco, I was responsible for coaching and developing leaders across the business. I led a team of coaches, supporting them to deliver strong results.

In 2015, I founded Leadership Forces. Leadership Forces are a leadership development organisation that delivers sustainable improvements in business performance by focusing on developing leadership capability.

Nick Francis

Associate Consultant

I am an experienced leader with 16 years of service as an Officer in the Royal Engineers. I am passionate about using leadership skills and behavioural science to unlock the potential of individuals and teams. During my military career, I served on operations in various locations and commanded a Squadron of over 200 soldiers. I won an award for designing and constructing emergency Ebola hospitals in Sierra Leone. My innovative designs for emergency flood defences saved a town from catastrophic flooding.

After leaving the Army, I worked in a technical design role and led the development of education and training programs for the Get It Right Initiative. I hold Master’s degrees from Durham and Cranfield Universities and am a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Manager. My time is currently split between lecturing, running programs for the construction industry, and management consultancy.

Graham Smith

Associate Consultant

I am a change management consultant passionate about turning strategy into action. I have 14 years of experience in Organisational Development and ten years of experience as a Royal Marine Commando. I specialise in creating engaged, high-performance teams and improving organisational processes by helping clients simplify complex challenges. I have led numerous organisational change projects for clients such as Thomson Reuters, Diageo and Linklaters across the globe.

I believe leaders need to deal with the complexity of stakeholder interests and retain a strategic perspective in their work. I have recently been re-engaged to lead the design and delivery of the Warwick Business School “Leadership plus” Module, which is an integral part of the MBA program. I live in the South West with my family and enjoy rugby and the outdoors in my free time.

Siddhartha Jain

Associate Consultant

I am passionate about simplifying complex challenges and delivering actionable, consumer-centric innovation and protection strategies. With over 15 years of international experience in various industries and multinational corporations, I have a track record of building teams, developing corporate capabilities, and successfully launching products.

My two main motivators are to simplify people’s lives and streamline innovations for end-to-end value for businesses and to be a leader in solving consumer problems and driving global value creation. I grew up in India in a family of engineers, and my background in Industrial and Production engineering, as well as Mechatronics, has fueled my interest in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. I have worked for companies such as Western Digital, Altran, Philips, Douwe Egberts (Sara Lee), Unilever and British American Tobacco.

Nick Page

Associate Consultant

Nick Page is a creatively curious and skilful enabler of individuals, teams and organisations. Passionate about increasing impact through personal fulfilment, his foundation of 30 years in fast paced tech coupled with a deep level of human understanding makes him both a highly pragmatic and deeply empathetic facilitator and coach.
With experience across a myriad of roles in corporate, mid-market and start-up’s, he now works with organisations and individuals to bring real and lasting change.

Elly Carotte

Associate Consultant

Elly is a security-cleared project and programme manager, with over fifteen years experience in change management, leadership and people development. Elly began her career as a British Army Officer in the Royal Regiment of Artillery. She trained as a precision munitions commander and deployed on several combat operations in Helmand. Elly held a variety of strategy roles in Army Headquarters and was the Ministry of Defence Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. ​

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During the past ten years, she has worked on Tier 1 Defence change programmes specialising in organisational transformation, with a particular focus on workforce planning, cultural change, and communications.​

Leaving the military in 2022, Elly transitioned into organisational change and programme development consultancy developing and leading organisational change and P3M capabilities to a range of public and private businesses including a UK National Park and a private rail infrastructure company. She particularly enjoys employing her specialisms in communications, interpersonal skills and network building to develop organisations and individuals.​

During her service, Elly represented the British Army at cross-country running, show jumping and Bobsled and developed an ability to find a drink anywhere. Elly lives in York with her husband Phil, also an ex-Army Officer now Defence Consultant, and their two children.​

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Cara Cunniff

Associate Consultant

Cara is a Performance Coach and the founder of ThriveWell Global. She focuses on leadership and employee development training, specialising in building human resilience to help individuals to flourish and businesses to thrive. ​

With 30 years of corporate, coaching and entrepreneurial experience, Cara has an extensive background in performance, leadership, and business. She has consulted for organisations such as HMRC and British Telecom, served as a British Army Officer in the inaugural British Military Psychological Operations capability, and is a serial endurance athlete. Her diverse experiences have informed her approach to performance optimization.

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Drawing on her background in the military, endurance sports, and coaching, Cara has developed several wellbeing and performance programmes. Through these programmes, she has discovered that building resilience in individuals is key to enabling them to perform at their best. ​

Cara’s programme, The Resilience Advantage, offers a unique approach to training business leaders and employees to turn challenges into successes and stress into resilience, accelerating performance. Cara is currently authoring The Resilience Advantage: Unlocking Your Inner SuperPower. ​​

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Lucinda Lyne

Associate Consultant

Lucinda has spent over 20 years in Defence, Government and across various industries in leadership roles and supporting cultural change.

Communication is a fundamental for me, and as a keen linguist, I am fascinated by culture and self-awareness and how they can help build meaningful relationships.​

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Passionate about behaviours and a certified C-Me practitioner, I work in programme advisory services with teams and their stakeholders to help clarify visions whilst supporting the delivery of intentional outputs. Accredited to the Team 360 Tool and holding an MSc in Development Management, I use my experience as a liaison officer and a strategic geo-political analyst in the Army, to assess the impact of external drivers and how I can help teams stay at the forefront of their industry through connections and engagement.​

Always on the look out for new things and adventure, I have recently learned to dinghy sail and enjoy coastal running, playing tennis and watching my 3 sons on the rugby pitch.​

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Mark Quirk

Associate Consultant

Mark spent the first 20 or so years of his career in the software industry, mainly at Microsoft, where he held roles in technical, sales, marketing, management and leadership positions, enjoying the thrills of multiple product launch keynotes, thousands of customer engagements, and a fair few press doorsteps with accompanying misquotes.​

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Having achieved a very satisfactory career version 1, Mark followed his passion for the mind retraining for career version 2 through a master’s in psychology and starting a training business where for the past ten years, he has worked in a wide range of organisations, from high-tech, mature startups, United Nations agencies, schools and charities, to bring the research behind resilience, mindfulness, mindsets, cognitive science, and models of health and wellbeing into actionable reality.  He believes that to perform at our peak, we should focus not just on the functional skills of our work but also on the mastery of our mind and body, bringing together the trio of performance, resilience and wellbeing.

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Andy Green

Associate Consultant

Andy has over 20 years’ experience of leading and directing construction projects around the world. A Chartered Engineer and Chartered Manager his career began in the British Army’s Royal Engineers where he served around the world leading teams delivering engineering solutions in challenging environments. Andy was awarded the MBE in 2014 for services to the military. More recently, Andy has led and directed project management teams working on UK government framework construction projects.​

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Underneath Andy’s relaxed demeanour is a passionate belief that given the right environment, ordinary people can achieve extraordinary results.​​
Andy is currently renovating his family’s home and loves being outdoors whether it be gardening, running or mountain biking.​​

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Martin Short

Associate Consultant

Martin initially trained and worked as an archaeologist before joining the British Army, serving as a commissioned officer for 8 years. Following a year travelling and teaching English and French to school children in Greece, he joined the Ministry of Defence as a civilian intelligence officer.​

After a 20-year career in a variety of intelligence management and leadership roles, his personal and professional experiences led to a growing interest in workplace wellbeing and its link to better business outcomes.​

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In 2016 he was seconded to the What Works Centre for Wellbeing (a non-profit organisation established by the Prime Minister in 2014) delivering a major project for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), designing a workplace wellbeing diagnostic tool to improve understanding of organisational workplace wellbeing challenges. The model developed was subsequently adopted as the national standard for all UK employers seeking to measure and voluntarily report on employee wellbeing.​

On return to the MoD, he developed and implemented a pioneering wellbeing programme for the Chief of Defence Intelligence and then for its parent organisation – UK Strategic Command. He also provided consultancy to a number of government departments before retiring from the Civil Service to spend a year designing and initiating a new wellbeing strategy for the East of England Ambulance Service Trust.​

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Rory Copinger-Symes

Associate Consultant

Rory retired from the UK Royal Marines in 2021 after more than 37 years service. He obtained the rank of Brigadier and visited all corners of the globe during his career including several operational tours. ​

His final military appointment was in Hawaii on exchange with the US Military. Rory served on the staff of INDO-PACIFIC COMMAND where he became the first British officer to assume the positon leading on Security Cooperation. This involved traveling the vast Indo-Pacific region as far west as India, north to Mongolia and south to New Zealand. ​

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Since leaving the military in 2021 Rory has expanded his horizons by launching a new whisky, Commando Spirit, as well as working for a venture capital firm called Fortunis for 16 months. ​

In 2022 he became a senior adviser to Bondi Partners, an Australian consultancy and advisory firm, and also a non-executive director with Brigantes a trusted defence supplier to NATO military and elite Police units. In May 2023 Rory was appointed the Chair to Mackenzie Cameron, an Execti’ve Search firm and part of the Serocor Group. Other current ventures include working with an IT company to help them on a business development project. ​

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Verity Duncan 

Associate Consultant

Verity has worked in learning and development and leadership development for over 15 years and is a qualified teacher in post-compulsory education. As a Reservist, she is currently working as a senior climate assessor for the British Army and is also leading the creation of a network of ‘Activists’ from across the military for the Centre for Army Leadership. Previously, she worked for one of the country’s largest youth organisations designing and delivering a leadership development programme for new adult leaders. She has also worked as a leadership coach.​

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Verity is studying for an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology, a subject she is deeply passionate about as it can be used to have a meaningful impact on lives at home, work and in the community. She is currently living near Maastricht in the Netherlands with her family and flits on a daily basis between loving life ‘on the continent’ and missing her real home in Cornwall.​

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Rita Goodhead

Associate Consultant

Rita is an experienced trainer and facilitator with almost ten years of experience in the field. She started her career journey in the youth and charity sector, before expanding into training and mentoring employees for a range of different companies and clients.​

Rita has training experience spanning many different topics, including but not limited to; resilience and wellbeing, equality and diversity, conflict resolution, financial management and soft skills such as communication and confidence building.​

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​Rita has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a great interest in the psychological processes that influence decision making. She is also currently a Clinical Nutrition master’s student and holds a personal training qualification, being a strong advocate of improving and maintaining overall health to positively affect workplace performance​

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Nicki Bass

Associate Consultant

Nicki is a highly experienced business psychologist, facilitator and executive coach with specific expertise in leadership development and workplace wellbeing. She has a Masters degree in in Occupational Psychology and is currently undertaking a Professional Doctorate in the same subject. Having spent 18 years as an officer in the British Army, she combines theoretical knowledge with her lived experience as a leader in the most high-pressured environments. ​

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Nicki is a TEDx speaker and the host of The Everyday Adventure Podcast, where she speaks to a variety of guests about how to live more adventurously in our everyday lives. In her spare time, Nicki is a volunteer for The Wave Project and Bournemouth Food Bank; otherwise she can usually be found on her surfboard, spectating her kids at football or out walking her two dogs along the beach where she lives.​

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Mark Paton

Associate Consultant

Mark has a wealth of experience in Financial Services and has more recently worked with consultancy clients in other sectors such as media, retail and utilities. He works in an open and relaxed way to help clients achieve their best possible outcomes.

Mark is comfortable working with the most senior leaders but is also able to get involved in the detail of business processes to bring value to a wide variety of assignments.

Adam Sturgeon

Commercial Manager

Adam joined the Quirk Team while still working towards his undergraduate degree in Business Management from the University of Aberdeen. His dissertation studied the impact gamification has on employee engagement with innovation initiatives. Alongside his studies, Adam was Vice-Project Manager of TAU Racing, the University’s Formula Student team and helped lead the teams recovery following the pandemic.

At Quirk, he manages the sales functions within the wider context acting as a liaison between sales and operations as well as leading on marketing activities. This frequently means leading on proposal creation, pricing, pipeline management and planning social media and website content.

In 2023, Adam was named in the inaugural Aberdeen & Shire 30 Under 30 list for his work with Quirk.


Veronica Devenish

Logistics Manager

As well as my main role, I also support the other members of the Quirk Team with logistics and travel. I started my career as a sales and marketing secretary within a BMW dealership before progressing to Volvo Car UK Ltd as Personal Assistant to the Finance Director and Financial Controller. During my career, I’ve gained a wealth of experience within the corporate world.

Being a born leader, I add to my work/life experience a working holiday travelling around Australia as a temporary secretary working in many of its cities. I thrive on new challenges. Whilst leaving my work to start a family, I facilitated the project management of a children’s playground. I have also assisted as Press Officer/Secretary on various school PTA committees (as one does when the children are small) to help with their much-needed fundraising.

Chris Middleton

Board Advisor

In my Royal Marines career spanning 23 years, I’ve held a range of strategic leadership positions; served as the Crisis Director for Defence Intelligence; as Strategy Director for EU Counter-Piracy Naval Forces; and as Operations Director for the UK Amphibious Force. I saw active service in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Somalia and undertook operational deployments across the globe.

Widely published in military circles on subjects including the operational exploitation of data and information & decision advantage, I hold a Master’s Degree in Defence Studies. My research interests beyond the military sphere include digital transformation, organisational culture and team effectiveness in the information age, and the psychology of change.

Away from work, I invest time in family, a pair of recalcitrant young spaniels, and nurturing Young Scottish Talent in Aberdeen as an MCR Pathways mentor.

Jim Pascoe

Board Advisor

Before a 10-year career in the Royal Marines, I sold my first company where I worked in specialist access within the construction industry, including milestone projects such as the Millennium Dome and Eden Project.

My career journey took me to the United States Marine Corps to develop their field training packages. Subsequently, as the Chief Instructor for Royal Marine Officer Training, I conducted the first comprehensive training review in 20 years – enhancing the relevance of one of the finest leadership courses in the World.

Most recently, I have worked in the commercial and charity sectors, overseeing projects from inception through design to delivery, such as large infrastructure projects for Plymouth City Council, the Forestry Commission and the National Trust.

I’m passionate about the outdoors, particularly cycling.

Make Better Decisions!

Contact us to speak to an associate to see how we can help your organisation make better decisions.