Jonathan Mills

stretching people, stretching organisations, stretching nations



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 →

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 →

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 →

Engagement catapults the customer service ability of the organisation

“The success of your organisation doesn’t depend on your understanding of economics and organisational development or marketing. It depends, quite simply, on your understanding of psychology: how each individual employee connects with your company; how each individual employee connects with… Continue Reading →

Leaders showing up at work with a transformative disposition

Mary came to work on that cold winter’s morning in Johannesburg, South Africa, making use of the public transportation system as normal, but seemingly now with a spring in her step. Arriving with a broad grin and a warm greeting,… 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 →

Climbing to new heights and maintaining your altitude

According to an old legend, vizier Sissa Ben Dahir presented an Indian King Sharim with a beautiful, hand-made chessboard. The king asked what he would like in return for his gift and the courtier surprised the king by asking for… Continue Reading →

Coaching employees towards performance excellence

All athletes, who are at the top of their respective disciplines, have them – coaches to enhance performance, sports psychologists, nutritionists, sports physiotherapists, motivational experts and technologists who fine-tune body movement. Without the input of these ‘assistants’, progress in the… 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 →

Constructing organisational vitality

You sense it when you walk in the door – either “this feels like a good place in which to work” or “something is happening here that is causing people to be unhappy and frustrated”. You sense it in body… Continue Reading →

Learning from unease and anxiety in “the hour of the owl”

For leaders of organisations and businesses alike, the period before drifting off to sleep, when the sub-conscious mind seems to be working overtime, could be the most important and significant “thought moment” of the day in terms of knowledge (business… Continue Reading →

Management influence requires responsibility regarding leadership attributes

I have been doing some work of late for a manufacturer, linked to the automotive industry. The senior management team are really great people – warm, kind and clever. Their outlook on the production personnel, however, is less than favourable… Continue Reading →

Engagement is the “golden thread” of empowerment

In the early 1980’s, plans were well underway within the Boeing “family” to build the Boeing 777. When they began to consider building the largest and most complex plane ever designed, Boeing developed a new set of values, which led… Continue Reading →

Twisting the tail of the tiger – saying “no” to power and greed and “yes” to empowerment

Colin Hall, friend and former colleague, was born during the Second World War into a reasonably affluent white South African family. His schooling during those Apartheid years meant that he got the best education, but with it, also heavy doses… Continue Reading →

Doing business “as if people matter”

In the early 1990’s, Frank C Nahser, Inc., an advertising company based in Chicago, did a 450 page study entitled “What’s Really Going On?” – the study was designed to provide business with a new method of determining what’s really… Continue Reading →

An abundance of, if not thousands of, possibilities – look for them

I love drawing and painting, especially out in nature. Sitting down with a canvas or sheet of water-colour paper, choosing an optimal vantage point to capture the scene or parts of the scene that I want to paint, setting up… 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 →

An unrelenting focus on disciplined execution

One of the most striking features of my interactions with companies all over the world is the lack of performance from many teams. Of course, some teams excel and do their respective organisations proud, constantly producing great results and moving… Continue Reading →

Removing obstacles that hold employees back from reaching their full potential

Gerrit Cloete, former colleague and now owner of Productivity Pitstop, told me about one of his weekend adventures – he often walks among the beautiful mountains of Cape Town, both for exercise and relaxation and also for the opportunity presented… Continue Reading →

© 2017 Jonathan Mills — Powered by WordPress

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑