In the few months since I opened OptiVize Consulting I have had the opportunity to talk to numerous prospective clients about the concept of hiring a contract Chief Operating Officer. In the industry this type of engagement is known as “Fractional COO”. Although there are firms offering such services it is still a relatively new concept, but one that is increasingly gaining traction.
So, you ask, what is a Fractional COO and what possible benefit could it provide my small to medium sized organization? Well, as a company that is growing, you may recognise some (or even all) of the following situations:
This is where the engagement of a part-time or “Fractional” Chief Operating Officer (COO) can be a game-changer.
What Roles Can a Fractional COO Fulfil?
A chief operating officer, fractional or not, is there to take care of the day-to-day functioning of the business. Obviously, a part-time engagement might not be able to do everything someone with a full-time position could, but critically they can hit the ground running and execute on numerous fundamental business requirements. Amongst many other things, these could include:
The benefits of Fractional COO:
Affordability and Flexibility – You are getting the benefits of specialized, highly experienced C-Suite operations expert without the cost of a full-time appointment. Fractional consultants are part-time, contractual workers who charge a set rate, and their engagements can be weighted and flexible to the requirements of the firm.
Act as a Capacity Multiplier - At its core, the main function of bringing on your part-time Operations leader is to allow you to delegate much of the daily business functions to an expert. This means you and your team can focus on what you do best and what you are passionate about. As a business leader you can step back, take a breath and look at the bigger picture and focus on clients, team development and working environment.
Turning Strategy into Reality –Operations leaders can certainly play a key role in helping a firm develop the components of a solid and realistic strategic plan. However, what they are fantastic at is aligned the internal processes and infrastructure to help make it a reality.
Provide Insight and Offer Advice – One of the great things about the fractional model is the person you engage is an outsider. As such, you should be able to rely on unbiased opinions and assessments from a fresh set of eyes. They can identify old or flawed processes without bias, pinpoint skill gaps and potential employee development opportunities.
Aggregated together, a fractional COO becomes a powerful tool in your business arsenal. While helping your team to “get things done” the role has the added effect of creating greater alignment of the team and processes to your strategic goals while helping to build and reinforce an organization’s culture. In its simplest terms, an operations leader who is effective makes people’s lives easier and their work more enjoyable.
OptiVize Consulting specializes in leveraging top-tier operational leadership expertise to help your organization reach its goals and realize its vision. If you would like to discuss the benefits a fractional COO engagement could have for your firm, please do not hesitate to contact us at DavidC@optivizeconsulting.ca and/or visit our website at www.optivizeconsulting.ca