An Interview with ACS Volunteer John Jamison

Welcome to another “face of ACS”, an interview series starring ACS Volunteers and their journey in serving the non-profit community.

Since 2019, John Jamison has played a crucial part in designing ACS’ curriculum for some of its programs, facilitating NGO leader discussions, and contributing to project development. John researches organizational behavior and employee burnout at the HK University of Science and Technology’s Business School. 

What 3 words would your friends use to describe you?

My high school classmates voted me most original, most outgoing, and best dressed, soooo…

After 10 months of the global pandemic, how can NGO employees stay mentally healthy?

Taking the time to reflect on your work and your big picture is vital. I recommend that companies give employees the chance to reflect on their work, their challenges, and their own big picture. My current study at the University gives NGO employees some helpful reflection activities and training on avoiding burnout. If you’d like your NGO to participate, please email me at

With your PhD focusing on organizational behavior, and your experience working with NGOs, what are your top 3 suggestions for an organization to grow sustainably, maintain its health, and stay resilient?

What is good for an organization can sometimes seem at odds with what is good for its employees. Finding and nurturing the values that both the employees and the organization share is one of the most important things a leader can do. Three suggestions for nurturing shared values:
1. Be intentional about the culture you want to share and then insist on it.
2. Have a shared story about where your company is and where it’s going.
3. Share expectations about how things get done and where there’s room for flexibility…don’t leave a lot to misinterpretation.

From your volunteering experience with ACS so far, what would be your 3 tips to those who have just joined the ACS Volunteer Community?

1. Bring your “A-game” to ACS consulting, facilitating, and training. It’s great for you to be learning and growing, but you’ll feel better if you’re really focused.
2. Become a “servant leader” to the NGOs you work with. This is a good skill to have in any career, and ACS is a great place to practice.
3. Get to know the ACS staff and what they’re working on. You’ll get more involved and you’ll also meet some very cool people.

Thank you John for your time in this interview, and for sharing your journey story with us. We look forward to seeing you at our next ACS activity. All the best!

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