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Does Your Business Need a Fractional Chief Strategy Officer?


Does Your Business Need a Fractional Chief Strategy Officer?

Jeffrey Barden shares an article on the benefits of hiring a fractional chief strategy officer for your company.

The pace and intensity of rapidly growing firms can narrow management attention to more immediate demands: driving sales, building technology, maintaining service levels, and hiring talent. While sustainable in the short term, if prolonged this more tactical focus limits a more strategic outlook and can stymie a firm’s future prospects.  Competitive conditions change, and without a complementary, forward-looking perspective, a business strategy can become stale. Consequently, an organization may miss out on new opportunities or face setbacks from unexpected threats. Additional strategy support can enable a management team to maintain their execution focus while also ensuring their business is positioned for longer term success. One way this can be accomplished is to retain a Fractional Chief Strategy Officer (FCSO). 

An FCSO is a contract-based senior executive who can bring planning disciplines and business insights to complement a firm’s executive management team when needed, for a fraction of the cost of a permanent hire. Retaining an FCSO embeds a temporary, highly skilled, strategic partner with the broader remit to help the management team shape their own strategy and institute the disciplines needed to deliver it. The leadership team does not hand over responsibility for business strategy, but is better able to manage it with the support of another executive leader who steps in when needed. 

Investing in the right kind of support is important, and the solution should conform to fit both the problem at hand and a firm’s available resources. Building a dedicated, internal strategy team with experienced, high caliber talent takes time and may not be financially feasible, particularly for smaller businesses. Additionally, short term projects outsourced to large consulting firms can be too narrow in scope and end with a hand-off back to management. Engagement with an FCSO offers the benefit of a potentially long-term relationship with a single executive, providing consistency over time at substantially lower cost.

A good FCSO offers more than just templates, processes, and new ideas. This individual, as a former senior executive, also brings the practical knowledge gained by developing and implementing strategy from within other organizations. An experienced FCSO has successfully navigated the internal and external challenges that can disrupt a strategic plan and has mobilized a business to achieve it. Insights from those experiences can be applied in other businesses to streamline and de-risk the delivery of the business strategy.

Key points include:

  • Supporting business leaders
  • On demand support
  • New competitive intelligence


Read the full article, Could A Fractional Chief Strategy Officer Be A Solution For Your Business?, on LinkedIn.