About The Author
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Simon Brown 1 article
CA Mississauga, Ontario
Senior Director Consulting at Oracle


Why Change Enablement rather than Change Management?

Change Management is more in fashion now than it has been for a while. Interestingly the transition to an app based environment where revenue is linked to users actually using the product is providing impetus to develop more adaptable and frankly interesting toolkits.

There are any number of toolkits available for the Change Management professional. They all have interesting acronyms, and are useful frameworks for ensuring our work is both targeted and productive.

I have, over the years used many of them, some being situationally stronger in one area or another. You are generally better to pick one and leverage it for the life of a particular project. I generally ask my clients their preference prior to making recommendations. One of the least useful things to do in the arena of Change Management is to argue with a devotee for one of the methods that there is another way to approach the challenge, particularly if they are paying the bill.

What I would like to explore here is more the philosophy and approach rather than the toolset itself.

Management by definition is about control, creating process and checklists to ensure compliance. I am not suggesting we stop managing, I am suggesting that it is not the answer in isolation.

Enablement is about creating patterns of interaction which allow individuals to grow or development. It clearly has a darker meaning around encouraging destructive patterns of behavior, However for the purpose of this article I will be assuming we are enabling positive outcomes.

One of the reasons why Management is so pervasive is it provides deliverables:

  • Strategic documents
  • Plans
  • Standard Checklists & Surveys
  • Focused on what has been done
  • Responsibility of small number of professionals

Enablement is about interactions:

  • Coaching for success
  • Group discussion interpersonal interactions
  • Reusable simple assets customized by audience
  • Focused on accelerating adoption
  • Resposibility of everyone involved

The challenge I find with the enablement approach is it requires the organization to track outcomes rather than inputs. Whilst this seems the optimal approach it is a) more difficult b) subject to interpretation.

Is my project flying along because of the amazing interactions and coaching moments that have been provided or because we over estimated budget and complexity? The requirement to justify and measure inputs endlessly pressures individuals to focus on the documents and deliverables rather than on enabling and accelerating actual performance.

As you think about your project, and almost everything we do can be considered a project. Critically review every action from the baseline does the accelerate or decelerate progress.

You need to escalate the poor performance of a colleague......…. Will doing this move us forward or create friction? Does your tone and underlying story create more or less noise?

You are about to engage with your teenager......…. How will this interaction change things? Have I taken time to really see their perspective?

You are creating a Change / Communication / Training Strategy or Plan.......... How will this document be used? Will it be used or even read? What could we do that is simpler and more useable?

You are responsible for Change Management.......... How can I make this accessible to everyone? Am I the right person to deliver the message? What are the arenas where I bring the most value?

In closing, frame your interactions from the perspective that the sponsors, stakeholders and team members involved in the project are intelligent beings who have valid reasons for their actions. Your role is to facilitate interactions that move things forward, rather than manage individuals who are not capable of getting their on their own.


Published at pmmagazine.net with the consent of Simon Brown
Source of the article: {Linkedin} on [2018-11-23]