Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations


Organisational Effectiveness/Productivity

Coaching to improve the skillsets of employees

Acclaimed athletes and international sports teams have many of them – coaches for different aspects of the game or discipline. This group of professional advisors often includes physiotherapists and masseurs, sports psychologists, nutritionists, fitness specialists and even doctors, quite apart… Continue Reading →

Supervisors – the critical cog in the engagement gearbox

In organisations, supervisors occupy the proverbial “ham in the sandwich” position, getting pressure from above to implement objectives and deliver on targets and pressure from below over issues like available and effective resources and organisational wellness and culture concerns. Many… Continue Reading →

Most people just need jobs

“We need entrepreneurs who will come up and create businesses, yes; but not everybody’s an entrepreneur”. (Strive Masiyiwa: Founder & Executive Chairman, Econet Wireless Group) In a world that is plagued by many problems, “entrepreneurship”, as a topic for Global… Continue Reading →

Using dialogue as an effective component of your change strategy

“You support what you help create” (Alinda Nortje: Executive Chairperson, Free To Grow) In a world of increasing turbulence, including unpredictable financial and socio-political contexts, leaders are under pressure to transform their organisations towards achieving sustainable growth. This “transformation” may… Continue Reading →

Achieving breakthrough outcomes in a changing environment

Over the past couple of decades, the acceleration of technology and other marketplace drivers have radically changed the very nature of change. Whereas change was once a contained transactional event (and far easier to control), it is now more fluid,… Continue Reading →

Motivating the minds (& hearts) of millennials

Millennials, those born after 1980 and before 2000 and representing well over 35% of the world’s population, are a largely talented and versatile group. For many companies with rigid structures and systems, this generation can be incredibly frustrating, illusive and… Continue Reading →

Stakeholder capitalism – a more healthy option than shareholder greed?

Shareholder greed and subsequently the “do or die” need for the CEO to perform year on year has become a pervasive illness in big corporates since the 1980’s. Robert Reich, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, noted: “In… Continue Reading →

Street vendors are often more relevant in their business endeavours than big corporates

They know their customers. They know what their customers want. They know how to present their products so that their customers will purchase from them. They know the ideal pricing for their products so that they clear their goods daily…. Continue Reading →

Re-establishing your value proposition to stimulate new growth

Executives and their governing boards, within the current financial turbulence that most companies are experiencing, are being forced to re-evaluate strategies, cut costs and re-deploy employees and other resources to provide some return for shareholders. These leaders seem to be… Continue Reading →

Companies need to grow a voracious appetite for employee development

In a Harvard Business Review study (July 2012), the article “Why top young managers are in a nonstop job hunt” (Monika Hamori, Jie Cao and Burak Koyuncu) described research based on the analysis of international databases of over 1 200 young… Continue Reading →

Enterprise architecture and change leadership – a necessary marriage

Gartner Inc., one of the world’s leading information technology research and advisory companies, suggests that “enterprise architecture (EA) is a discipline for proactively and holistically leading enterprise responses to disruptive forces by identifying and analysing the execution of change toward… Continue Reading →

Countering entropy in business

The word “entropy”, from a physics perspective, is the corollary of the second law of thermodynamics, the way in which energy flows from a hotter object to a colder one – entropy goes up as the range of possibility and… Continue Reading →

The strategic advantage of appointing change champions in large-scale change interventions

From time to time, on account of market or other global business requirements and in order to achieve internal production and financial efficiencies, businesses implement strategic large-scale change initiatives for growth and sustainability. I currently have the privilege of consulting… Continue Reading →

Appreciation is the foundation of motivation

Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, once said: “There are two things people want more than sex and money … recognition and praise”. Repeatedly, the one motivating factor that heads employee lists is appreciation for a job well… Continue Reading →

Celebrating workplace successes

After a successful change management project for which I was consultant, I was invited by the client to join them for an evening celebratory dinner at an upmarket venue overlooking the sea. Upon arrival, I was surprised to find one… Continue Reading →

Protecting yourself in a toxic work environment

You see them on the public transportation systems (taxis, buses and trains) as they daily commute to and from work – grim faces representing hearts and minds that are just trying to make it through another day. You find them… Continue Reading →

Balancing cost leadership with differentiation through focus

You remember some companies for the special attention or additional value that you received upon making your purchase – a free bottle of champagne and chocolates in your hotel room, free pillows with the purchase of a bed set or… Continue Reading →

Developing the skillsets of employees is a corporate responsibility

The world needs talented people who make their respective contributions willingly and who act with the “bigger picture” of growth and development in mind. Creating opportunity and possibility for others as they apply these talents and skills appropriately, they not… Continue Reading →

Finding the “sweet spot” in production environments

One of the major pressures today in production and process environments is to cut down on operational costs and aim towards achieving operational excellence. Production planning and control, manufacturing execution and operational effectiveness of the people, processes and equipment all… Continue Reading →

Executing the one goal that is going to make all the difference

One of the benefits of extensive travel, particularly to other cities in the world, is the opportunity to experience client service first hand in a variety of hotels, with some of them being well-known brands.  I don’t always get the… Continue Reading →

Hiring for leadership uniqueness

Trends change over time. This is not only true of fashion and cultural preferences, but also, and of particular note, the way we do business and hire people to fulfil their respective roles within the work context. Previously, one’s Curriculum… Continue Reading →

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