About

R47C-CroppedAn engineer by trade, but an organizational troubleshooter by calling, April K.  Mills brings her energy and enthusiasm to every challenge she encounters.

Born and raised in Wisconsin, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin with an Engineering Mechanics degree and a Technical Communications Certificate.  That means she enjoys troubleshooting broken designs and loves writing and speaking.

While in college, she worked for four summers at Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, Indiana.  She started her engine for change early, having taken apart and rebuilt a 14-liter diesel engine.

For  almost 14 years, she proudly worked for the U.S. Navy at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) in Bremerton, Washington.  At PSNS & IMF, she’s held the titles of Nuclear Engineer, Command Strategic Planning Manager, Theory of Constraints Implementation Manager, Work Force Development Program Managing Director and Guiding Coalition Managing Director.  In every role, April partnered her engineering troubleshooting skills with her energy to drive positive change.

In December 2014 she joined Intel as a change coach and community steward, responsible for bringing cutting-edge change agency techniques throughout Intel’s 100,000+ workforce and across Intel’s global locations.  In 2015 she was a featured keynote speaker in California, Minnesota, Mexico, Malaysia, and Poland.

She’s been a featured speaker at Theory of Constraints international conferences and in the aerospace, tech, and oil industries, has partnered with John Kotter (Harvard Business professor and author of Leading Change and Accelerate) at the frontier of his work, and led a successful effort in her former community to build their region’s first beyond accessible playground for children and adults of all abilities.

At her blog, Engine-for-Change.com, she shares her passion for creating positive change, outlining ways that anyone can drive change for themselves, their organizations, and their communities.  She partners with organizations and individuals to help them drive the changes they want to see in the world.

She lives in Cornelius, Oregon with her biochemist-turned-lawyer husband and their four kids.  They have little spare time, but when they can get away they love to take family road trips to national parks.

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5 thoughts on “About

  • March 2, 2010 at 12:24 pm
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    hi april,
    i worked with hilbert robinson on a number of projects at Pearl Harbor Shipyard using TOC/Concerto/project management ideas. i retired in 2006 and I contacted hilbert recently. he suggested I contact you and maybe start a dialogue. my email is snowrett415@gmail.com.
    eys

  • September 27, 2010 at 2:44 pm
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    April,
    Hilbert said you may be familiar with the submission of the provisional patent process. I think he is referring to you using it for some of your stuff on this website posisbly. I have an invention idea for a highway paver that I need to get provisionaly patented so I can move ASAP to try to see if I can get a suitable developer of the product interested in being a partner with me. My wife who is a lawyer, understands that it is unlikley that I have something that will really be valuable and worth protecting, but she recognizezs there is a chance and thus won’t allow me to talk to anyone until it is done. I guess I agree, but I am also a procrastinator at times. The problem is that is not her specialty, doesn’t know anyone that isn’t hugely expensive, and we don’t have that kind of money.

    I want to move on with this and I am not making any headway with getting the patent-mostly because I don’t know enough myself to feel comfortable.

    I think I can do it myself, but feel without lessons learned I will undoubtedly not make best use of the provisional aspects of the patent or possibly reduce the long term benefit of the patent itself. That is where you may come in. I know you’re busy too, even more so than myself I am sure, but if you’re interested in coaching me through the process in a maybe a few different meetings, and helping me through it that would be wonderful. I have $400 budgeted for this idea through, and if it amounts to nothing that is okay. So would you be willing for $400 to help me through this? I have a new arbitrary schedule goal of going to prospects with the idea by December 1st if possible.

    Let me know what you think. If you’re

  • December 30, 2011 at 10:09 am
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    April,

    I’m glad to see your extensive postings on this site. Keep up the good work.

    I have been working for the past year with Henrietta Yabeny there at Puget on a better understanding of Human Performance (Puget refers to it as Human Factors) there. If you haven’t worked with her in this area, you probably should. I have been amazed at her tenacity in driving change in a large, traditional shipyard organization, filled with intellectual inertia. Her group is leading an effort to drive change by learning from failure to highlight roadblocks that get in their way.
    Take care,

    Bill

  • October 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm
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    We met briefly thru Steve Holt at the Cognitive Edge Network Gathering(following the Foundations class) back in early September. Steve has sung your praises a few times and suggests you would be a great presenter on Chainge for our group(Seattle & Eastside Software Process Improvement Network)… He mentioned the “get to” vs. “have to” great concept, but I know there is much more. I would love to have you as a speaker sometime… do feel free to contact me. I will enjoy your blog until then. 🙂

  • July 8, 2015 at 12:06 am
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    Hi April. Realized somewhat recently that you’d moved on to greener pastures. Congratulations! I am sure Intel is much more capable of the organizational change (and maturity) that you will thrive in. The SY still continues to wallow in “management by least common denominator” (good article here , and waste much of the talent of the workforce. Wish you the best at Intel. I’m planning to retire at the end of this year. Had all I can take of mediocrity, time for something new!

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