This article comes from Ian Lazarus’ insightful talk, ‘The crucial role of enablement in organizational change management’, at our Austin 2024 Sales Enablement Summit, check out his full presentation here.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a major organizational change, wondering how to keep your team afloat and aligned? If so, you're not alone. 

As the VP of Ops at Zippy, I've navigated my fair share of change management challenges, from early-stage startups to global enterprises. Through it all, I've come to appreciate the critical role that enablement plays in making change successful.

But what exactly is change management, and how can enablement professionals like you and me help our organizations through it? 

In this article, I'll share my experiences and insights on everything from understanding the key principles of change management, to the practical tools needed.

By the end, hopefully you'll have a deeper understanding of how enablement can help organizations navigate change, along with some practical tips and tools to add to your change management toolkit. 

So, let's dive in!

Understanding change management

So, what exactly is change management? In a nutshell, it's any change in an organization that impacts company culture, internal processes, product pivots, reorgs, go-to-market shifts, and more. 

There are two main types of change: adaptive change, which is small, gradual, and iterative, and transformational change, which is typically larger in scale, like reorgs, layoffs, or expanding globally. 

Both types of change can be positive or negative, but they all require careful management. 

Here are the four key principles of change management that I've learned throughout my career:

  1. Understand the change: Why do you need it? What are the objectives and benefits? How will it impact people and the way they work?
  2. Plan the change: Identify sponsors, involve the right people, secure buy-in, and define success metrics.
  3. Implement the change: Ensure everyone is involved and understands what needs to happen, and use tools like change agents and effective communication.
  4. Support the change through enablement: Develop skills, provide resources, leverage technology, and create support systems.