The Rise of Fractional Leadership: What, Why and When

There has been a lot of talk about the rise of fractional leadership. Allow me to de-mystify the new talent model that is supporting many businesses.

When launching my growth advisory, I wanted to provide first-class support across a portfolio of businesses. Rather than moving somewhere full-time, I felt it is important I go into companies with a fresh perspective and make change happen.

The fractional model merges the roles of an in-house team, consultancy and agency, delivering high expertise and value in a way beneficial to the talent and business.

What is Fractional Leadership?

Fractional talent refers to a person giving part of their effort and expertise to your business. This does not equal part-time.

The changes to working patterns brought about by the pandemic and technological advances has led to more people working as independents and working across a portfolio of businesses.

In comparison to other out-source models:

  • Consultants tell you what to do
  • Agencies / freelancers will do the work for you
  • Fractional leadership joins you in the execution, while ensuring you are prepared for the future

Why are Businesses and Individuals using Fractional Leadership?

The fractional model is a win-win for businesses and individuals.

As a leader:

  • More streams of income and less risk of layoff
  • More control and flexibility in workload, hours and projects
  • Learning from portfolio-style work
  • Better earnings as based on expertise rather than hours inputted

As a business:

  • Access to expertise talent
  • Lower commitment and therefore risk of layoff stigma
  • Lower costs compared to full time employees
  • External perspective without any internal politics

The fractional model works particularly well with executive leadership roles, as businesses can gain necessary expertise, for the smaller price and commitment of hiring an executive full-time.

It also enables internal teams with less experience to learn from a pro while still executing strategies themselves.

When should Fractional Leadership be hired?

Hiring fractional talent can be useful at any time, but particularly in these scenarios:

  1. Interim support to cover full-time roles without the usual C-Suite hiring process
  2. Internal initiative leadership – someone to be a spokesperson and guide for internal change
  3. Long-term fractional exec to support internal team until you have grown enough for full-time support

To find the right leadership fit, look for a strategic leader with a mindset that focuses on outcomes. Ask if they can jump in for 3 to 6 months or if they are willing to stay longer if needed.”

Looking for fractional support for your business? Get in touch to learn about our services.