Integrators, also known as fractional executives, are experts who work part-time.
Exactly what they do is best defined by EOS Worldwide:
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).
Does Your Business Need a Fractional Executive?
The simplest answer to this question is — every business does.
Fractional executives are highly skilled in a variety of processes due to their specific skill sets, which include (but are not limited to):
- Balanced behavior patterns
- 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
Finding a fractional executive may be the best decision you have ever made, as these experts can transform businesses into successful organizations in no time.
On top of their skills and abilities, the fractional executive also brings to the table a fresh perspective rarely offered by internal employees. Even the managers couldn’t deal better with the complex issues integrators are versed in solving.
Basically, fractional executives have vast experience dealing with typical (and less typical) issues in multiple organizations, which helps them come up with the finest solutions other people may easily miss.
In addition, because they’re not internal to the organization, they are unbiased and more objective. It is exactly the objectivity that enables them to disengage from potential conflicts and resolve them in a satisfactory way.
Integrators’ Area of Expertise
As mentioned above, integrators are capable of resolving various issues. The main scope of their operations includes project management, corporate development, employee engagement, organizational communication, and integration of the leadership team.
Finally, fractional executives make sure that prioritization, agility, and consistency are being enforced.
Fractional executives can quickly adapt outdated procedures and processes and get your business moving forward fast.
Keeping all this in mind, it may seem somewhat difficult to find the right candidate, but only at first glance. If you are undecided between multiple candidates, hire the one with the same (or similar) vision to that of your organization.
Strategic planning is the first step of any integration effort. Needless to say, fractional executives excel in this area, but there’s a catch.
Scilicet, in order for the plan to be executed impeccably, the integrator of your choice needs to have a thorough understanding of the business vision, dynamics, and functions.
This part is up to you, so clear communication is crucial.
What to Expect From Fractional Executives’ Services
Sustainability, integration, and overall improvement of company processes are some of the goals integrators aim to achieve.
However, this is a massive undertaking, so be prepared to change various processes in accordance with the integrator’s directive.
It is a good idea to set up a sustainability team, which will be headed by the integrator. This practice allows for faster adaptation to change since integrators are capable of creating seamless transitions without disrupting the workflow.
Fractional executives diversify roles and refine performance management. On the matter of the latter, it needs to be said that it usually overlooks individual success, focusing on the general success of the organization as a whole.
The practice is detrimental and certain to affect employee engagement (negatively, of course).
Since integrators can communicate the mission clearly and diversify the roles at the same time, they can prevent potential conflicts between employees’ different roles and expertise. This skill is often described as “pacifying the workforce.”
Can Business Executives Become Fractional Executives?
We barely touched upon this subject, but business executives may take on the role of an integrator.
However, such an undertaking is likely to encounter numerous obstacles, for two main reasons.
Firstly, business executives rarely relish the idea because they are too set in their ways. Secondly, an integrator from within the organization may be biased.
Technically, business executives can take on a temporary post, resuming their original role once the task is done. By contrast, fractional integrators have no place to go back to.
This also means that a fractional integrator will stay with the organization for as long as it is needed and there are literally no rules in this regard. Different businesses have different issues and missions, so rather than speculating how long the task would take, it’s better to stick to pre-determined goals and keep an eye on the process.
In plain words, make sure to draft a detailed plan of action before starting to look for the right candidate. Asking for business advice from the company offering integrator services is valid and sometimes even preferred to racking your brains.
Every organization can make use of an integrator (or more than one, for that matter). Look for candidates with specific expertise and soft skills, including the ability to “pacify” the workforce. It is essential that the candidate’s vision aligns with your company’s, as this will make things easier.
Fractional executives are capable leaders graced with mild manners.
The choice may be difficult when organizations need the services of a fractional executive on short notice, so plan ahead and take your time deciding on the right candidate. In any case, look for candidates experienced in working for large corporations.