Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations

“Customers, we are here for you” – really?

The stated customer service value proposition in much advertising and branding endeavours differs from company to company, but fundamentally attempts to suggest to the prospective or current customer that “we are here for you”. We will do things smarter, better,… Continue Reading →

Most people quit their bosses and not their jobs

“When the well is dry, we find out the price of water” (Anon) Do not let your most loyal and best people quit to find out how valuable they are – recognise, incent and reward them now before they look… Continue Reading →

You just don’t know what impact you may have – don’t give up

The history of Coca-Cola began in 1886 when the curiosity of an Atlanta pharmacist, Dr John S Pemberton, led him to create a distinctive tasting soft drink that could be sold at soda fountains. He created a flavoured syrup, took… Continue Reading →

Leadership styles and their impact on change facilitation

In major change initiatives, once the design is complete and the change project begins, there are two fundamental change processes: planned and emergent. Conscious change leaders orient to both – attention needs to be given to emerging dynamics and the… Continue Reading →

Encouraging the transformation shift from resistance to commitment

I have recently done some work for a non-governmental organisation – their strategy had changed (what was previously an organisation who themselves implemented projects within communities had now moved to a strategy of influencing partner organisations and government departments to… Continue Reading →

Using video equipment to bring positive change to the shop floor

Manufacturing businesses are constantly under pressure to improve processes to become more profitable, particularly in production activities – reduction of waste, better use of resources, wise procurement practices, work flow improvement, team motivation, etc. Attempts at empowering people on the… Continue Reading →

Using your super-hero “unique powers” to contribute

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance” (Bruce Barton) Most kids imagine becoming “super-heroes” – becoming invincible, being able to conquer evil, having the wit, wisdom… Continue Reading →

Leaders – don’t make assumptions!

“Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot and anyone going faster than you is a maniac” (George Carlin) We all seem to have a natural tendency to assume the worst in others. When we are… Continue Reading →

Helping employees overcome emotional exhaustion in the workplace

Getting bogged down by circumstances is probably not an uncommon experience for many – the stresses of life (one’s work and personal contexts) seem to close in on one and one gets “stuck”, immobilised and down-hearted. In spite of these… Continue Reading →

Well-published and consistently-modelled values drive extraordinary behaviour in organisations

I use coloured flipchart markers frequently during my consulting sessions and workshop facilitation for companies, not only to record ideas and other thoughts for the groups, but also to depict concepts graphically and illustrate themes. I was recently introduced to… Continue Reading →

The practise of patience – enhancing emotional intelligence

“Patience is the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in” (Marc Chernoff) We all get irritated or frustrated at times – long queues, traffic that doesn’t seem to move, a lady in the… Continue Reading →

Developing an acquired taste for true leadership? It is not just a position

An “acquired taste” is appreciation for something unlikely to be enjoyed by a person who has not had substantial exposure to it. The phrase is typically used in relation to food or beverages (everyone not taking to them on account… Continue Reading →

Taking talent to the top tier

All companies need them – talented individuals who are not just satisfied with the status quo, but rather who push the perceived boundaries of innovation, creativity and exploration to arrive at better ways of doing things, new or enhanced product… Continue Reading →

Deepening communication style to effect organisational alignment during change efforts

“Smart leaders today engage with employees in a way that resembles an ordinary person-to-person conversation more than it does a series of commands from on high, instilling a conversational sensibility throughout their organisations” (Groysberg & Slind) Achieving organisational alignment during… Continue Reading →

Overcoming conditioning with a strong sense of dynamic purpose

“Strong lives are motivated by dynamic purposes; lesser ones exist on wishes and inclinations” (Kenneth Hildebrand) My cats enjoy their daily routine of playing in the garden – they can’t wait to get out in the morning and spend time… Continue Reading →

Working towards an unabridged professional version of yourself

The word “unabridged” means complete and uncut – the full product, which has not been shortened, censored or decreased in size in any way. An “abridged” version suggests that you are just getting the highlights – a pick of some… Continue Reading →

Leaders – care for those you lead

“In a child’s lunchbox are a mother’s thoughts” (Japanese Proverb) On occasion, I also took my turn as a parent preparing lunches for my children when they were in junior school. I was not that creative I guess in what… Continue Reading →

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire

I had to do some grocery shopping today and couldn’t help noticing the following words on the till receipt: “Do it with passion or not at all!” I fortunately love my job and put passion into what I do, but… Continue Reading →

Establishing recognisable themes in the workplace

One of my most loved music genre’s is ‘classical’ – not only compositions from the so-called ‘greats’ (Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, etc.), but also the lesser-known composers that have influenced music style in the 20th Century. This morning, it was… Continue Reading →

Taking a firm stance without treading on people’s toes

Safety boots, essential footwear for certain production and manufacturing environments, are typically designed to protect employees’ toes and feet in the event of an unfortunate accident. I call this a defensive strategy – being protected if something bad should happen…. Continue Reading →

Motivation germinates in a recognition environment

In West Africa, I was enjoying working with and facilitating a workshop for a group of managers from a media company – having rigorous discussions about the topic ‘leadership style’. Many contended that “in that part of the world”, the… Continue Reading →

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