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  • Writer's pictureTheresa Barnard

What is a Fractional Integrator, and how can one help my company?

Fractional – A full time executive that splits their time among multiple companies.

Integrator – The integrator is a seat on a company’s accountability chart as outlined in EOS®, The Entrepreneurial Operating System. The integrator is the captain of your leadership team.

My experience is that accomplished visionaries don’t fully understand what it takes to lead a team and run a company. If they did, they probably wouldn’t be a visionary business leader. Visionaries function in a different area of the brain. They’re thinking strategically and long term. They’re contemplating the possibilities. They are not thinking about the how. That’s where their brains short circuit. Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach, famously asks, “Who, not how?” Encouraging business leaders to stop asking “How can I do this?” and start asking, “Who can do this for me?” When it comes to running your organization, tactically coordinating all the major functions of the business, developing a happy and healthy leadership team, and ultimately being responsible for the business results, the "who" is your integrator.

Often companies that are adopting EOS® as their business operating system begin by selecting someone from inside the organization to be the integrator. Unless you are fortunate enough to have someone on your team that is experienced in leading and managing senior leadership and can create a culture of accountability, this can quickly become a game of “not it!” It is imperative that you have the right person in the right seat at the integrator level. This means that your integrator not only aligns with your company’s core values, but also gets the role of the integrator, genuinely wants to and is energized by doing the work of an integrator, and has the capacity to successfully execute of the key responsibilities of the position. If you don’t get the right person on your integrator seat, the rest of the leadership team and organization will remain stuck.

Another option is to hire someone that aligns with your core values and with the experience and skill set to successfully fulfill the duties of the integrator. Most small businesses don’t have the need or budget to hire a full-time tenured executive. This leads back to the game of “not it!” and trying to fill the position internally.

What if a company could hire a fractional leader to fill the integrator seat? Initially it’s hard to imagine a part time leader in this position. How can a part time person lead my team, run the organization, and ultimately be accountable for the business results? Simply put, a skilled integrator will quickly create a culture of accountability. A skilled integrator will not fall into the trap of “doing the work” but ensuring the work is done by elevating every member of the leadership team to successfully execute their key responsibilities. A skilled integrator will work to ensure all aspects of the business are harmoniously working together for the greater good of the organization. With successful execution of these responsibilities, the need for daily management diminishes.

This is not theory, it’s practical. When I served as the integrator for a company, I never exclusively held the integrator seat. Only a fraction of my time was spent executing the duties of the integrator. I always wore multiple hats, often at least three. Studies have shown that when an employee is constantly shifting between roles, there is diminished productivity in all roles. What if rather than having one person be a part time integrator / part time other positions in your company, you have part time access to a full-time integrator? Would having access to an experienced and proven leader make a difference in your company?

The good news is there are fractional leadership firms that can help you access senior leadership for your company, each has their specialty and way of doing business. The right company for you depends on your needs. Do you need someone with industry experience, on site or remote, how long has your company been running on a business operating system? Which system are you using?

At Evergreen Solutions, we specialize in working with organizations that are in the early stages of adopting EOS® as their operating system. Going from no operating system to implementing EOS® represents a great deal of change and can be challenging as people and processes evolve. Our focus on authenticity, vulnerability, and emotional competence supports your employees throughout the implementation of EOS®. Our past experiences in financial planning and wealth management lend us to understanding the compliance landscape of a highly regulated industry. We are located in New Orleans and can work virtually or on site with companies in SE Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Want to learn more about the difference a fractional integrator can make in your organization? Click here to schedule a 30-minute call.

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