Hilton is based in White River, South Africa working through his small consultancy: Hilton Barnett & Associates, which represents Salient in Southern Africa.
Whilst studying towards a Bachelor of Social Science degree (Psychology) at the University of Cape Town, Hilton began to develop and apply his people skills in youth and community work and he continued this whilst completing his post-graduate degree in Australia at Sydney University.
Hilton’s community work with young people led him to focus on children with developmental and behavioural problems in both his studies and early career. He has worked in this field in Australia, the United Kingdom and South Africa in a variety of institutional settings. In Australia he worked with a New South Wales Health Department team that was implementing the change from care in large psychiatric institutions to small community-based houses. In the UK he worked in a private residential school for abused children with learning and behaviour difficulties and in South Africa was involved in the restructuring of Johannesburg Child Welfare’s residential care facilities along the directions evident in other countries.
His experience with these organisations encouraged his interest in organisational structure and change and developing effective working relationships and productive work practices. He then joined a management training and consulting organisation near Johannesburg where he worked in personnel management, training and assessment and contributed to the design and launch of an employment equity programme.
Since 1994 Hilton has worked as a consultant to clients in 5 countries, including Hamersley Iron, Comalco, ERA, CVRD INCO and the Commonwealth Bank project. He has been project leader with Palabora Mining Company and Lonmin Platinum in South Africa, Rössing Uranium Limited in Namibia and VALCO in Ghana. In addition Hilton has worked with South African gold, platinum and diamond mining companies and he was part of a team consulting to the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry in South Africa.
Although broadly involved in Organisation Development, Hilton is particularly interested in organisational culture, effective leadership behaviour and work clarity. He has more recently been working on applying Systems Leadership principles to the measurement of organisational health for investors and also in helping organisations work safely. Hilton and his wife Kate are also involved in community work and are currently developing a centre for environmental education and leadership development for children and adults