What is a fractional executive, and how could your company benefit from having one? Read on to learn more!
The term “integrator” was coined by Gino Wickman in his best-selling business books “Traction” and “Rocketfuel.” You typically learn about integrators when implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) as a management practice for your company.
“An Integrator is a person who is the tie-breaker for the leadership team, is the glue for the organization, holds everything together, beats the drum (provides cadence), is accountable for the P&L results, executes the business plan, holds the Leadership Team accountable, and is the steady force in the organization.” (EOS Worldwide).
The term “fractional” implies that integrators (interchangeable with fractional executives) only work part-time. They take on a project and then move on to other clients as required.
Why Do Companies Need Fractional Executives?
While there’s nothing wrong with relying on books for business advice, having a fractional executive within the team can only be beneficial.
Because fractional executives are hired externally, they are not biased. Deploying business executives from within the team may not be as successful a plan and either way they’re rarely happy with the assignment.
As for how long a fractional executive may stay with your company is difficult to predict. “For as long as it is needed” is the preferred way to observe the matter.
To get an idea, assess how long it would take your executives to accomplish the goals (which have been pre-determined before).
Processes for people development may be especially challenging regardless of the size of your business.
Nevertheless, employing a fractional executive is a smart move as they can quickly adapt obsolete procedures and processes and get the business back on track. Proficiency in the skill needed for these tasks, which is exactly what all integrators possess.
How to Find the Best Candidate
A usual conundrum sees managers wondering why skilled employees couldn’t be trained for the role. The usual answer is: time is short. These complex processes take time; if you need to exert more time to train the person in charge, the change will be slow in coming.
Specifically, fractional executives possess a combination of the skills mentioned below, as follows:
- Balanced behavior patterns (in plain English: mild manners)
- A balanced orientation
- Knowledge and competence needed for efficient decision-making
- Sense of unity and alignment with the company’s vision
- Ability to pinpoint and resolve disputes before they escalate
- Skill sets compatible with the industry
- Capability to uphold core values
- Same/similar business vision (preferably, mission, too)
- New perspectives
- Innovative ideas
- Solutions to fill the gaps in business procedures
- Errors and mistakes in business procedures
- The capability to bring a positive challenge
The skills mentioned are to be used for illustrative purposes exclusively. There are, after all, many soft skills different individuals may be graced with.
Acquiring a Fractional Executive
Due to the benefits mentioned above, acquiring a fractional executive sounds like a reasonable path to take. These people can transform businesses in marvelous ways!
Aside from their skills, knowledge, and abilities, fractional executives are able to offer the fresh perspective that too many businesses desperately need.
Handling a range of complex issues that would otherwise be too challenging for managers to resolve on their own is not something outside of these professionals’ scope.
Fractional executives are capable of coming up with the answers that executives aren’t even able to imagine, much less implement, because they have vast experience dealing with similar issues and also because they’re not from within the team (which means they’re more objective).
This objectivity enables them to disengage from interpersonal conflicts and quickly and efficiently resolve all manners of complex issues.
Typically, integrators contribute to corporate development, employee engagement, communication, and project management, though other fields may come to mind. The most difficult of tasks — integrating the leadership team — is something they do on a regular basis.
Most importantly, integrators make sure that consistency, agility, and optimal prioritization are enforced.
It is undoubtedly a complex undertaking, so you should seek out individuals with a good outlook who don’t fear challenges (not that most integrators do).
It’s crucial that the integrator of your choice has the vision. Knowing exactly how to bring about difference and comprehensive integration is critical.
Strategic planning is the foundation of successful integration. Yet, in order for an integrator to be efficient in the long run, they must be able to lead all of these processes and have a thorough understanding of the business vision, dynamics, and functions. This is to say, make sure to communicate these three aspects clearly.
Finally, an integrator must be able to unleash a team’s full potential through effective leadership techniques.
Integrators play a key role in strategic development and efficient business organization. They provide the right cadence and guide teams toward future accomplishments. Fractional executives have a calm demeanor and specific skill sets.
Sometimes it can be challenging to find the perfect candidate, particularly when a business needs them quickly. Fear not! There are actually many businesses offering integrator services; you only need to compare the candidates.