Jonathan Kvarfordt, Sr. Director of Enablement at Eltropy
How do you define enablement?
I have always felt that Enablement means assisting the company to scale by enabling teams to work better, faster, more efficiently, and more happy ;). The 5 pillars of enablement to that hold up that definition to me are: 1-KPI and performance, 2-Training, 3-Individual coaching, 4-Systems and Process, 5-Onboarding.
Describe your current role.
My current role is Sr. Director of Enablement at Eltropy, which means I am over Enablement for the entire company, not just sales or revenue teams. My goal is to be at the C-suite level with Enablement as the focus and/or run my own company to assist other Enablement professionals.
Walk through your journey to get where you are today.
The last ten years have been a roller coaster ride. I went from being a full time independent contract sales professional/business consultant to working as an employee for an event company, being laid off (due to changes in the org. not due to my performance) which was devastating, to working with FranklinCovey where I shifted into Enablement. To be honest, it was after my experience with FranklinCovey that made me decide to go back to school, get my MBA and make my professional career focus on Enablement. Even though an MBA is not required to be in Enablement, I knew that I was partly held back from getting more Sr. positions because of my lack of education.
Since achieving my MBA, the doors of opportunity have been opened up to me. Now, I have helped either scale, build, or completely transform enablement strategies in 4 different companies. I LOVE enablement because it takes all of my educational background in leadership, marketing, and consulting mixed together with my professional sales and coaching background to make me a powerful practitioner that impacts any company I work with.
It is because of my failures that I am so hungry for success. I know what it is like to fail, to have to change jobs because of plateauing or a bad boss or laid off or left because of Covid or a startup! I have learned a lot and am grateful for the ride. If you ask anyone I work with, they would tell you I am hard to keep up with because I work harder and smarter than most, but I am one of the most approachable, empathetic people who gets crap done for my team to succeed.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
I am very proud of many of my accomplishments, but the one situation I become the most proud of is to facilitate a person who struggles to become successful. Nothing beats being able to impact someone's life for the better and being a facilitator in unleashing greatness from inside of someone else. If I can come close to doing that for someone, that is my proudest accomplishment. On a personal level, my proudest accomplishments are my twin babies ;)
What’s your advice to someone getting started in enablement?
Be hungry and understand that there are principles for success in enablement, but the most important thing to remember is that we are all figuring out what makes enablement amazing and better every day. So be willing to be creative, be humble, and remember that enablement is a thankless job, but also one of the most fun, most rewarding places to be.
One more note about getting into the field, be a tireless learner of the trade. Buy books on the subject, ask for 30 minutes of someone's time like me! See if it is something you want to do, most everyone I have met in the enablement space are professional, collaborative, so nice, and lots of fun to be around.
What are you doing to develop yourself?
Besides getting more than 6 hours of sleep when my twins sleep, I am a self development junkie. I think it is important to push yourself with education, a coach, or some sort of mentor. Most recently, just finished doing a Sales Coaching Mastery course with the SEC and that was enjoyable. Beyond that, I am working with a coach professionally who gives me feedback on what to do better. I also am a part of several Enablement organizations like the Enablement Squad where I reach out to people regularly and have a 30 min chat with them about their strategy, their style, and see what I can glean from them. In enablement, there are people from Learning and Development background, sales, coaching, consulting, and a slew of others, which means it is one of the places you can learn A TON from the peers in the industry. I try my best to keep learning of what is working for someone else and see how I can adapt it to what I do.
Connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn!