Change enablement and change management may sound like vague, abstract concepts, but the theories and methods behind these concepts are rooted in strategy and science, and designed to achieve concrete results. These two strategy planning concepts entail somewhat different approaches, though, and may result in different outcomes.
While most reasonable, intelligent people are willing to make changes if they can see the value and benefit of a change, they are more likely to achieve long-lasting transformation if they are enabled to do it on their own.
While change does need to be managed to ensure proper sequencing and scope and address potential risks, change enablement allows employees to fully embrace the change. Managing change without enabling change can make the effort harder than it has to be.
What is Change Management?
Change management entails a strategic method of positively changing organizations, groups, individuals and projects. In businesses and other organizations, change management may refer to changes in the overall processes and tasks expected of individuals and teams or official changes to specific projects. This term implies a very structured approach to transitioning an organization, team, individual, or project from one state to another, assumedly a more positive state of being.
For organizations ranging from small businesses and nonprofits to large, multinational corporations, change management methodologies are designed to make the desired changes as smooth, rapid, successful, and long-lasting as possible. Organizations must consider the different goals and strategies for each level, devise a system to measure change, develop a timeline with carefully ordered steps, and manage the execution of those steps to be successful. None of these efforts will be successful, however, if the organization is unable to get their employees on board and enable them to enact change on their own.
What is Change Enablement?
Change enablement contains many elements of change management, and the primary goals are often the same. This concept focuses more on the individual members and teams within an organization, though, and considers what tools and methods are required to win their acceptance and prepare them for the transition.
This requires careful consideration of the expectations of employees, as well as close monitoring of their reactions, management of ongoing processes, and training to ensure adequate preparation to handle the changes expected of them. For businesses and other organizations, change enablement is about motivating and empowering employees or members to make long-lasting, positive changes at every level.
How to Achieve Successful Change Enablement
Change enablement should start with determining who the key leaders and stakeholders are, and then move on to developing a rationale for the changes being proposed, assessing whether the individuals and teams are ready for that change, determining what goals must be reached to have a successful change, putting together a plan and strategy for sharing information about the proposed change, and finally implementing those plans and strategies throughout the organization. Many companies choose to invest in strategy consulting services to ensure successful change enablement throughout all levels of the organization.
This can be highly beneficial, as strategy consulting experts can bring their knowledge and experience from managing countless other organizational transitions. The most important aspects of managing and enabling change within an organization are providing employees at all levels with the tools and training they need to succeed and educating them on the benefits of the changes they are expected to make. Whether making changes to processes, implementing new technologies, or making any other transition within an organization, training will be especially important. This ensures that the appropriate individuals and teams have all the information they need to succeed, and puts systems in place to transfer, absorb, and retain that data into the future.