In a world where much is spoken about uncertainties, there still are many things that are as certain as ever. Despite the impact of a shaky global economy and a population still looking to shake off Covid’s impacts, hard work – and ingenuity – still rule the day.
Individual efforts of unaffiliated workers comprise more nearly 60 percent of the U.S. workforce today, thanks to modern socio-economic values that embrace such flexibility. This also has given rise to a new trend -- building and leveraging common shared resources, especially at the upper tiers.
Like many transformative ideas, the concept of fractional leadership has been fueled by four mega trends in the global landscape:
1. Scarcity of quality resources: As the population grows and more and more businesses clamor for ever decreasing resources, demand for experienced, competent senior-level sales leaders to feed revenue growth is outstripping supply. Fractional leadership allows for scarce quality resources to be shared across a larger number of organizations -- which allows for a far greater number of businesses and individuals to consume that limited resource.
2. Efficient use of resources: Waste not, want not. We are all becoming more conscious of eliminating waste and putting our resources to best use. When demand is high, it’s even more critical on us to ensure valuable assets do not go to waste. We see this in the housing world, where businesses such as AirBnb and VRBO allow often idle resources (people’s homes) to get put to use by others with an interest in using them for their own needs. If it makes sense to take advantage of the full capacity of assets in the physical world, why not in the human capital space as well?
Many organizations have historically hired full-time leadership resources, only to see that resource use only a fraction of their full capacity and capability. It’s akin to buying a fully loaded Ford F-150 only to go back and forth to the grocery store and only once a day. Instead, fractional leadership allows multiple organizations to share a single resource and use what is most efficient and required for the job at hand. This optimization of resources eliminates waste and allows for the most effective and efficient allocation of capital and talent – without the need for a protracted job search, training, and other activities that can be a distraction to core business objectives.
3. Access: Equal opportunity and access has emerged as a powerful trend across the world. Historically, a small number of people and institutions were the only ones with access to the most elite and valuable resources available (capital, technology, talent). The Internet has gone a long way to expanding access, but so, too, has the concept of fractional ownership and use. Today, I can rent a swanky beachfront mansion for a fraction of the cost of ownership. Companies like Masterworks allow the average Joe to own a slice of the most priceless art in the world. In the business leadership space, this concept has leveled the playing field for human resources as well.
Today, smaller firms that have been priced out of top talent in the past, now have access to Fortune 500-level leaders with deep experience, complete backgrounds, and next-level skills and experiences. A small growing business can leverage a slice of a highly accomplished sales executive and receive a right-sized level of support and guidance. Fractional leadership is democratizing access, which helps bring equal opportunity to organizations from all backgrounds.
4. Work-life balance: As people clamor to make the most of their personal pursuits, this has encouraged the kind of fractional executive model that has thrived at places like Chief Outsiders. The growth in demand for top talent has given the individual the upper hand in controlling the terms at which they are willing to work. Fractional executives love the opportunity to make a difference for companies like yours, while having the flexibility to exert greater control over their lives – a win-win for companies that want to access the best in the business for a fraction of the cost. To be a destination employer and a top place to work in your industry, you must offer flexible arrangements.
Fractional sales and marketing leadership is the latest in a line of growing global trends around the sharing of valuable resources. It solves the conundrum of scarcity of talent, promotes efficient use of resources, grants firms unprecedented access, and suits the desire for equal access and work life balance that individuals are seeking. If you are interested in learning more about how a shared, fractional executive can help your business, please visit us at