Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations

Managers, too, need coaches

Typically, managers get to their respective leadership positions due to one or more of the following reasons: Subject matter experts – they know and can apply what they have studied and learned Experience – they have been working in and… Continue Reading →

No-one is you and that is your power!

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” (Oscar Wilde) Being “yourself” is not as easy as it sounds – the pressure, constantly, is on all of us to look better, be better, achieve more, succeed always, etc. The list is… Continue Reading →

Address emotionally-charged issues face to face

My car had been having starting problems, so I took it into the local dealership to be repaired. As there was nothing wrong with the battery, the workshop manager outlined the diagnostic procedure for a diesel-powered engine – they start… Continue Reading →

The human resources department has a strategic role to play in employee engagement

During times of consulting with local and district municipalities in the southern part of Africa, I have been surprised as to how frequently municipal managers and other senior officials have mentioned their desire for a more strategic human resources (H… Continue Reading →

There are no ‘one size fits all’ approaches to organisational transformation

“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things” (Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, 1532) Transformation attempts… Continue Reading →

Leaders should be force-multipliers of commitment

‘Force-multiplication’ is a term used in military science and warfare and refers to an attribute or a combination of attributes that dramatically increases (hence multiplies) the effectiveness of an item or group, giving the troops the ability to accomplish greater… Continue Reading →

Managers, ‘keep an eye on the weather’ of your employees

In coastal cities, particularly those where frequent cold fronts make landfall in the winter months, weather conditions are known to change rapidly. This happens to be true of Cape Town, a beautiful city located at the south-western tip of Africa… Continue Reading →

Remember that many ‘shallow’ brands also find their way to the first page of Google search results

The eternal quest to get to the first page of Google search results is perhaps important for optimising exposure, but potentially deceiving in terms of real value being offered. I did a short experiment with some simple searches – like… Continue Reading →

“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 →

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