Change Enablement Is The New Change Management

Melanie Fellay
November 20, 2023
September 12, 2022

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Once upon a time, change management was how organizations navigated evolutions in the workplace. But today’s world is much different. Employees have higher expectations that require a radical new approach to change management. Put simply, they need change enablement.

What do we mean by that? For starters, the rate of change has been accelerating for decades and will continue to do so as technology transforms our lives, organizations, and societies.

Because of this, organizations are left struggling to navigate this new reality without adequate resources or capabilities. They struggle with how to enable their people — employees, partners, suppliers — through these changes in order to achieve organizational goals.

While the traditional change management approach was characterized by a top-down, command-and-control style of dictating changes, today’s employees are more empowered than ever before to make their own decisions about their work. Simply dictating changes and expecting people to fully adopt them is no longer an effective strategy.

Instead, organizations must engage their employees through a proactive strategy that helps them contribute to the changes, then support them throughout the implementation process with tools that enhance and reinforce adoption.

In other words, it’s time to rethink change management. Workplaces are experiencing a fundamental shift, and change management needs to transition from the old, reactive, top-down model to a newer approach that’s proactive and collaborative.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the current state of change management, how it can be improved, the new model of change enablement, the technology that fuels a successful enablement movement, and how this helps to create a culture of innovation.

But first, what is change management?

It’s one thing to talk about making changes that are needed in a company, but turning that into a plan and putting that plan into action is an entirely different task. At its core, change management is basically a “recipe” for a new company structure or process. It’s the plan that aims to smooth the path for organizational changes.

When change is done right, it can be incredibly effective in helping your business grow and succeed. That’s the point of change management. The challenge here is that most people don’t like change and many will do whatever they can to resist it.

Traditional change management tries to mitigate this resistance by telling people how to do things the new way. But, as we’ve seen with countless failed corporate change initiatives, it’s often a lot harder than it seems. This resistance often leads to a lack of adoption within the organization and can result in teams reverting to the “old way” that technically functioned before.

This is what gives change management such a bad rap.

Enter, change enablement.

What is change enablement and why is it different?

Rather than trying to mitigate resistance by forcing people through a rigid, top-down process of change management, the enablement approach empowers employees with support and tools that make it easy for them to integrate those changes into their day-to-day and understand how those changes will make their lives better.

The result is an organization full of engaged employees who are ready to get on board with new initiatives because they were involved in the process, understand why it’s necessary, and see how their contributions will make a difference.

The right model for change is an important part of any organization’s success because it ensures that your team will have buy-in for digital transformation initiatives as they are rolled out. This not only helps to ensure that changes will be implemented smoothly and successfully, but it also helps to create a better culture of innovation and collaboration.

Seeing the bigger picture

The good news is that enablement doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. There are digital tools designed specifically to help organizations simplify the process.

But beyond the tools, change enablement is more than just a replacement for change management. It’s a movement and a completely new way of engaging and empowering your most valuable resource — the people within your organization.

Further, change enablement is about more than changing your perspective, it’s a total paradigm shift.

A step further: enabling change through technology

Enabling employees through technology is a natural progression of the movement. It’s also an effective way to promote the necessary accountability, especially in today’s environment of increasingly-remote teams, by providing an easy way for people to access tools and resources. Employees want everything delivered to their fingertips just as they have at home. There’s no reason technology in the workplace can’t mimic what we use in our personal lives.

But there’s a caveat. While our workforces are more connected than ever before, those connections are often fragmented, and the resulting pieces of communication have been spread out over too many channels. The result is a lack of cohesion and engagement, which can have a huge negative impact on productivity.

While traditional change management doesn’t account for today’s landscape, the movement of change enablement was borne out of those same technologies that make it so necessary.

That’s where digital enablement solutions like Spekit make it easy to facilitate change management. When you combine the functionality of digital adoption platforms with a tool that surfaces information directly in the flow of work you have a completely new way to enable employees. These digital enablement platforms have been purpose-built and designed to help organizations not only manage change effectively but bring proactive change enablement to their workforces by delivering lightweight, contextual information to employees in the flow of their day-to-day work.

For example, when OwnBackup, a leading provider of SaaS data protection, was looking to update their sales methodology to a process that could match their growth and scaling potential, the traditional change management process simply wasn’t going to work. They needed a solution that would allow them to practice change enablement by contextually delivering and reinforcing the new methodology among their sales teams. With Spekit’s digital enablement platform, they were able to make this vision a reality.

You can read more about how OwnBackup was able to drive the adoption of a new sales methodology and scale enablement efforts with Spekit in our recent case study .

How change enablement creates a culture of innovation

One of the most important things that change enablement can do is create a culture where employees feel like they are not only accountable for their own work but that they’re also part of something bigger.

While it’s easy for employees to simply plug along with their day-to-day responsibilities and forget about the big picture entirely, it’s empowering for employees to know how their work fits into the overall vision of the company.

This is what change enablement does: it makes employees feel more engaged and connected to the company as a whole, and that connection has been proven time and again to have a tremendous impact on motivation and retention.

Enabling an organization’s people through technology can go a long way toward making this possible — both by giving them access to information they need and by making it easier for them to communicate and collaborate with each other. As a result, the business can transform into a place where employees feel empowered, motivated, and engaged. With this in place, it’s easy to establish the kind of culture that is a catalyst for innovation.

Final Thoughts

Traditional change management will soon become a thing of the past as enablement leaders embrace technology that is designed to simplify change management processes. While the old way can still lead to valuable insights, the new way of enacting change is a proactive approach that gives employees access to the tools and training they need, right when and where they need them.

How? By surfacing information directly in the flow of work during their day-to-day tasks, digital enablement platforms provide easy methods for collaborating with other team members and communicating process updates. Through this, you can develop an environment where people feel empowered, motivated, and engaged — thus creating a culture where innovation flourishes.

An easy choice for those seeking a change enablement and digital enablement platform, Spekit is purpose-built to help organizations drive adoption by enabling teams and empowering individuals to be more effective.

To learn more about how Spekit can help you drive change enablement in your organization, request a demo today .

About the author

Melanie Fellay
CEO & Co-founder
Mel is a Forbes 30 under 30 recipient, a Top 100 Female Entrepreneur to Watch, and has been featured across Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and more.
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