Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations



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 →

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 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 →

Leaders need to reassure their organisations when going through change

Some time ago, Microsoft announced that it would acquire the professional networking site, LinkedIn, for US$ 196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at US$ 26.2 billion. In an e-mail to LinkedIn employees, LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, explained why… Continue Reading →

Being flexible for the purpose of growing your career

It is often said that flexibility and adaptability are the hallmarks of a good employee, but what exactly does that mean and why are these skills so important? Risk and instability have always been present in any growing business, but… Continue Reading →

Dealing with resistance in the workplace

A distraught manager approached me one day, wanting to pull her hair out. She explained that every time she attempted working with a new idea or approach or implementing a new system, even though the same might be part of… 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 →

Emotional understanding and assimilation leads to behaviour change

Turbulence in the economies of countries and in the financial arena in which business plays will never cease. What may have seemed a stable environment in which to plan future growth and corresponding budgets in the past, strategies that ensure… Continue Reading →

People change when they interact, not when they are told

The human being is required to change through all stages of life – these changes are sometimes subtle in nature, but at other times, almost forced.  The changes include adjustments in approach, refinement to character, panel-beating one’s attitude and reversing… Continue Reading →

Facilitating change-readiness through story completion

Change is an essential dynamic in the growth process of healthy organisations. Without necessary change, companies would get out of touch and stagnate, their client base could dwindle and worse, they might become irrelevant within the market. Sam Keen and… Continue Reading →

Facilitating organisational transformation is a leadership skill

In the turbulent environment in which businesses around the world are currently operating, organisational transformation has become imperative. No longer can outdated postal system providers be expecting growth year on year through mail deliveries – this is now largely handled… Continue Reading →

Solving cultural resistance to facilitate sustainable change in organisations

Organisations are not naturally fertile seedbeds for new learning, growth and doing things in better ways. Leaders who want to instil wide-spread change and improve their respective companies, in fact, need to recognise that they are attempting to change a… Continue Reading →

Overcoming stress with stretch

Stress is part of all of our lives. In fact, a little stress is good for one. A violin string in an un-stretched state can’t produce a note. Tightening it to an optimal tautness, however, the string produces the quality… Continue Reading →

Getting staff to act on needed change

In our current turbulent business environment, organisations worldwide are finding it necessary to adapt to ever-changing financial circumstances, revisit product offerings for more nuanced customer needs and strive for innovation and creative solutions to stay ahead of the game. The… Continue Reading →

Unleashing potential through pain

Pain is part of everyone’s experience of life – sometimes caused by external factors (retrenchment, death of a loved one, frustrating circumstances, etc.) or occasionally caused by internal factors (bad decisions, inability to make changes, feelings of disempowerment, unhealthy self-image,… Continue Reading →

Ignore the emotions generated by change at your peril

The current world economic context is dismal, to say the least – financial analysts and the World Bank continue to predict slow growth, volatile markets and the possibility of a longer or deeper recession than was first suggested. Governments are… Continue Reading →

All staff should be sales people

I do a considerable amount of travelling within Africa and sometimes get the opportunity of working in North and West Africa – an area hosting millions of people, all creating a vibrant mix of energy and opportunity for those who… Continue Reading →

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