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Fractional Leadership – Strategy for leading the 21st century organization

As the world begins to climb out of what some are now calling the Great Recession, organizations are beginning to learn how to deal with unemployment, underemployment, and a growing self-employment sector. Organizations have learned along the way to do more with less and many have found that there are benefits to a leaner operation. In many cases, organizations have seen sizable drops in revenue that have forced them to downsize and in some cases resort to outsourcing and contract labor in an effort to stay lean, flexible and competitive.

In 1990 Charles Handy, in his Book the Age of Unreason, predicted that less than half of the work force in the world would be in what he called proper full-time employment by the turn of the century. As we fast forward to October 2011, Gallup Research reported 40% of the industrialized world was in full-time positions. Handy’s prediction coupled with a tumultuous world economy gives insight that organizations were moving toward leaner operations long before the economic troubles of the early 21st century began. As the landscape of employment has changed, organizations are considering methodologies and structures that account for the decreasing numbers of full-time employees and an increasing numbers of part-time, temporary and consultant/contract labor in the workforce. Add to this an economy that has caused a paradigm shift that will have a lasting and profound effect on how organizations hire and operate.

While revenues for many have been off from 30-70%, organizations must still find solutions to hire both hourly and executive leadership. Many organizations are resorting to outsourcing, including their leadership, as the most equitable solution. All businesses require experienced decisions makers, but no longer can they afford higher salaries and the benefits many executive leaders so commonly command.

Executives are beginning to take note of these trends and are taking on multiple organizations spanning multiple industries through fractional leadership. Fractional leadership is simply the ability for an organization to utilize the executives experience in blocks of time on a consulting basis rather than hiring the individual full-time and incurring the overhead associated with executive leadership. Such outsourcing of talent helps organizations fill the gaps required to overcome their austere payroll and benefit budgets while meeting a crucial need for leaders. Utilization of fractional leadership methodologies help save companies hundreds of thousands of dollars while only paying for specific segments of time for results-oriented projects with measurable results.

A fractional executive can offer the organizations the ability to see commonalities between their clients and offer real time feedback and solutions on what the company is experiencing compared to the other organizations the fractional executive may serve. This insight brings clarity and helps organizations better determine whether the issues are internal or external to the company. A fractional executive is many times more insulated from the power struggles and politics of organizational life and due to time constraints will offer clarity of focus and real-time solutions and methodologies that may otherwise have taken months of struggle to discover.

If you would like to explore fractional leadership solutions for your organizations, please contact Maximum Change, Inc. (615) 216-5667 or


Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/CEO of Maximum Change Inc. Elevating leaders and their organizations to the next level since 2005. Master Certified Coach, Philip A Foster, MA and his associates facilitate effective positive change by helping organizations, leaders and individuals in high demand — design and implement strategies that maximize focus and deliver results. Specializing in Organization and Strategic Leadership.

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Blog | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667

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