Every year, the Fractional Integrators (COOs) at Wolf’s Edge Integrators and I talk with over 1,000 business owners who are struggling because they don’t have the right person in the Integrator/COO seat of their organization. For more about us, please visit our home page.
People sometimes ask who else, among our competitors, are the best Fractional Integrators out there that they should consider.
Although it may seem crazy to answer this question, we’re going to answer it here because we believe deeply that people will and should work with whoever is right for them. Our priority is educating and helping people. This is true regardless of whether they ultimately decide to retain a Wolf’s Edge Fractional Integrator as best for them or whether it is one of our “competitors.” We are writing the word “competitors” in quotation marks because we view the other solo practitioners or firms from our industry as collaboration partners rather than competitors.
And because we are obviously biased when it comes to ourselves, we excluded Wolf’s Edge Integrators from inclusion in this list.
There are too many great Fractional Integrator firms and solo practitioners out there to include in this article, so we limited it to who we believe are our top 5 competitors. There are many amazing people and firms we could not include, so please do not infer from anyone’s absence from this article that there is something wrong with them.
Below, you will find these Fractional Integrator firms or solo practitioners in alphabetical order by company name. We have included 7 pieces of information about each one, their: (1) company name; (2) principal/founder; (3) website url; (4) ideal client; (5) cost; (6) identification as either a firm or solo practitioner; and (7) some notes and a description about them.
Much of the content in the “description” sections below come from recent conversations with these Fractional Integrators and is supplemented by knowledge obtained from speaking with them multiple times over the past several years, as well as information from their websites and LinkedIn profiles.
So without further ado, here you go!
Company Name: CATALYST Integrators
Principal: Jamie Munoz
Ideal Client: Gross revenue of $10-$75 million, anywhere in the world, any team size, any leadership team size. Catalyst’s ideal clients want to have fun, aren’t A-holes or jerks, and do what they say and take ownership.
Cost: $8,000 per month for one day of Fractional Integrator time per week, scaling up or down from there.
Firm or Solo Practitioner: Firm
Catalyst Integrators is a team of (currently) six Fractional Integrators who fill their clients’ Integrator seats on a fractional basis. They also provide Integrator coaching because many of their clients have an underperforming or inexperienced Integrator, or a likely candidate for the Integrator role on their team who’s “not ready for prime time” and needs coaching.
Jamie explains that the common theme among her and her team’s engagements is helping the Visionaries live “The EOS Life®,” i.e., (1) doing what you love, (2) with people you love, (3) making a huge difference, (4) being compensated appropriately, (5) with time for other passions. They work with their clients at the beginning of each engagement to define what their personal EOS Life looks like so they can plan the engagement to get the Visionary closer to that goal.
Because Catalyst works as a firm, it provides its team members with best business practices, a resource library, and a number of trusted partners that team members can bring into their clients where appropriate (like recruiting, process documentation, EOS software, etc.).
Catalyst supports their clients at varying levels ranging from one hour per week to two and a half days per week. They focus on helping their clients by leveraging their Fractional Integrator team members’ lived experience, rather than just theory.
Jamie is also a thought leader in the Fractional Integrator space, having spoken on numerous podcasts and several times for Female Integrator Mastermind (FIM), including at their annual conference.
Company Name: Core Integration Coaching
Principal: John Glover
Ideal Client: $5-10 million in gross revenue, construction trade business, leadership team of 4-5 people. John’s ideal clients are self-aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, open to change, and looking for a Fractional Integrator who is straightforward, blunt, and direct.
Cost: $6,000 per month for one day of Fractional Integrator time per week.
Firm or Solo Practitioner: Solo practitioner
John’s work as a Fractional Integrator is built on his prior 36 years as a business owner and Integrator. He has been a Strategic Coach member for years and retained Gino Wickman (founder of EOS) as his business’s Implementer for several years. With the help of Strategic Coach and EOS, he made his company into a “self-managing business” for six years until his successful exit.
His sweet spot for clients is construction trade businesses, like general or subcontractors, landscaping, restoration, or similar types of companies. John works best with business owners who are looking for his no-nonsense approach. They are willing to learn and want someone to come in as second in command who is direct, blunt, and loves to coach the members of their leadership team.
One of John’s major focuses in most of his engagements is getting clients’ leadership teams to be a group of people who are all the “right people in the right seats,” particularly when it comes to sales teams. He also loves putting processes into place that are simplified, documented, and followed by all.
John explains that about half of his clients have EOS Implementers and that this arrangement works best because it allows the Implementer to focus on teaching, facilitating, and coaching the implementation of EOS so he (John) can focus more energy on driving the business priorities into the organizations and taking on Rocks.
Ultimately, John’s goal with clients is to stop them from continually getting pulled into the day-to-day so they can stay at the 30,000 foot level, acting as the Visionary for the business and spending time on the parts of the business they love doing and are great at.
Company Name: Fractional Executive Solutions (FES)
Principal: David Baughman
Ideal Client: $3-12 million in revenue with a team size of 15-40 people. FES’s ideal clients are owners of manufacturing businesses who want to turn over day-to-day running of their business to FES, feel like they are at the end of their rope, and need and want a turnaround.
Cost: $6,500-$9,000 per month
Firm or Solo Practitioner: Hybrid
David’s practice is built on years of experience as an executive, COO, and Integrator before opening up his fractional practice. He serves clients in the manufacturing industry as their COO where he invokes his specialized experience in lean manufacturing and continuous process improvement.
FES’s categorization above as a hybrid between being a firm and solo practitioner is based on his unique pod-based, tag-team approach, in close cooperation with a small group of other fractional executives that call themselves the “Fractional Gurus.” He works closely with a CFO, Chief People Officer, VP of Supply Chain, and a Chief Information Officer, most of whom he had hired and worked with previously when he was a full-time COO. Depending on what kind of leadership a business needs to be able to turn over its day-to-day operations to FES, David brings in the appropriate Fractional Guru.
Because David has learned what kinds of business owners he is a good fit to work with, he asks potential clients to take EOS’s “Crystallizer Assessment” to determine whether they are more of a Visionary or Integrator personality (spoiler alert: he has found that business owners with a strong Integrator side sometimes have a difficult time successfully engaging with a Fractional Integrator because they have a hard time letting go of the details).
At the beginning of Fractional Integrator engagements, David follows the methodology laid out in Michael D. Watkins’s book, The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter. During the course of his engagements, he leverages lean and continuous improvement concepts so he can help his clients develop the best processes and metrics.
David likes to spend about 6 quarters with his clients and then transition the Integrator/COO role over to either a new hiree or internal team member he can coach into the position.
Company Name: Outcomes COO
Principal: Jason Prentice
Ideal Client: $8-70 million in gross revenue with around 50 team members and 4-5 members of the leadership team. Outcomes COO’s ideal clients are looking for someone to tame the chaos, scale the company faster, or prepare for an exit.
Cost: $10,000 per month for about two days of Fractional Integrator time per week plus a monthly bonus based on achievement of a key measurable and monthly “mini Rock.”
Firm or Solo Practitioner: Firm
Jason and his team take a very measurable-based approach to Outcomes COO’s engagements. In each engagement, they work with their clients to identify the “most important number” to the Visionary (gross profit, for example) and a monthly “mini-Rock.” In addition to a monthly retainer, their clients pay an additional monthly bonus based on achievement of the monthly Rock and hitting a goal related to their most important number.
They also provide their clients with a monthly report related to key pieces of information, like number of Same Page Meetings held, NPS score, number of issues solved, number of Level 10 Meetings held, accomplishments, outcomes, and the like.
Jason explains that their three main priorities with their clients are (1) working on the quality of the organization’s team (leveling them up or replacing people where appropriate), (2) solidifying their processes, and (3) turning their revenues into profits. They typically start with people and process issues first, rather than profits, because they recognize that anemic profits are typically a symptom of people and process issues, rather than a root cause.
Because Outcomes COO’s engagements involve significant time each week (2+ days) with Visionaries and their leadership teams, they get deeply involved in operations and get into the weeds to ensure that their work leads to the Visionary’s desired outcomes.
Company Name: True Fractional Integrators (TrueFI)
Principal: Rick Wilson
Ideal Client: 10-250 team members, running on EOS®, working with an EOS Implementer®, and has at least past their Vision Building Day 2 session with their EOS Implementer
Cost: $20,000-$40,000 per quarter for about one day of Fractional Integrator time per week
Firm or Solo Practitioner: Hybrid
TrueFI is a group of (currently) eight solo practitioner Fractional Integrators who subscribe to a proven process for working with clients laid out by Rick Wilson, TrueFI’s founder and perhaps the earliest known Fractional Integrator. The members of the TrueFI community get together weekly to IDS® client issues and they have a monthly speaker to help them “sharpen the saw.”
TrueFI Fractional Integrators work with companies already running on EOS with an EOS Implementer. They charge per quarter, in advance, to create buy-in and help their clients stay focused on the work they’re doing together, rather than on cash flow, during their engagements.
They spend one full day per week with their clients, rather than splitting up their time throughout the week. This allows each Fractional Integrator to be 100% focused on the client with whom they are working, rather than bouncing from meeting to meeting and client to client throughout their days.
The members of the TrueFI community of Fractional Integrators focus only on their clients’ use of the EOS tools, rather than by personally taking on work or Rocks not related to leadership team hiring or rolling out EOS. They do this to help them become self-sufficient so they can turn over the Integrator role to a full-time Integrator at the end of their engagements, most of which last 4-6 quarters.
True FI Fractional Integrators start their engagements by discovering everything they can about their clients’ pain points, gaps, and challenges by meeting with Visionaries and the members of their leadership teams one-on-one. They work to help them achieve quick wins to create a feeling of momentum and success to propel them toward their goals.
They demand a 100% Rock completion rate from their clients’ leadership team members, hold quarterly conversations, and truly take over as the direct manager of the members of the leadership team during that one-day-per-week they spend with their clients.
The TrueFI team members model great accountability by holding their clients’ leadership team members to their To-Do’s and Rock milestones, deeply following the IDS process, and creating carefully-crafted To-Do’s.
We are proud that the community of Fractional Integrators is abundance-minded and made up of people who believe in helping one another and doing the right thing for clients and prospects, including where that means referring prospects to a “competitor” when someone else would be a better fit for that client.
We believe that a “rising tide lifts all boats” and therefore not only do not begrudge anyone else their success, but actively help other Fractional Integrators in a spirit of “collaboration over competition.”
The vast majority of Fractional Integrators embody this attitude. It is in this spirit that we wrote this article to highlight and celebrate five of our best competitors.
We hope that this article effectively answers the question we are sometimes asked, “Who else, among our competitors, are the best Fractional Integrators out there that they should consider?”
If you have any further questions about using a Fractional Integrator, want to suggest another Fractional Integrator we should consider including in next year’s version of this article, or if you’d like to speak with us about your Fractional Integrator search, we’d love to chat. Just use our Contact Us page to be in touch.
–Ben Wolf, author of this article, is the founder and CEO of Wolf’s Edge Integrators, a team of experienced executives who use the Fractional Integrator role to serve their clients as a combination of turnaround consultant, leadership coach, and COO. They help Visionary business owners get out of the weeds and back to doing what they love doing and are great at by upleveling their leadership teams, putting the right processes into place, and then passing the baton to a long-term Integrator to make their businesses self-managing.
EOS®, EOS Implementer®, IDS®, and The EOS Life® are registered trademarks of EOS Worldwide.