What Does a Fractional Integrator’s Seat on the Accountability Chart Look Like?

How can someone be an Integrator / COO in a business if they’re not there full-time? How can they be effective if they don’t see what’s happening day-to-day? If someone is going to be the Integrator fractionally or part-time, what needs to change in the Accountability Chart? How does their role differ from a full-time Integrator’s role?

These are great questions. We can answer answer them by untangling two roles that most people conflate in their minds.

The Full Time Integrator’s Role

The classic Integrator / COO role has, according to Gino Wickman’s book, Traction, five main bullet points in their seat on the Accountability Chart: LMA (lead, manage, and accountability), P&L / business plan, remove obstacles & barriers, and special projects. 

You’ll notice that the role does not include being head of operations or being on call 24/7 for employee questions.

People often conflate two roles: Integrator and Head of Operations. They make this mistake because the same person very often, although not always, sits in both of those seats. The person spends 20% of their time on the activities associated with the core Integrator role (the 5 roles listed above) and 80% of their time as Head of Operations, Special Projects Manager, or some other role on the leadership team, i.e., one of the seats reporting to the Integrator. 

When an organization does not have the right person in the Integrator seat, they usually struggle getting traction in achieving Rocks (quarterly goals), getting to the point when everyone on the leadership team is a “right person in the right seat,” and making the business self-managing and self-growing. 

They spend quarter after quarter struggling with the same issues again and again, frustrated by low Rock completion rates, always putting out fires, and persistent people, process, and customer/client services issues.

When an organization can realistically find the right full-time person for the Integrator seat with the right background, experience, and skills to really drive the business toward success, then they should go that route! 

The Fractional Integrator’s Seat on the Accountability Chart

If, on the other hand, a business owner can’t find a great full-time Integrator, or can’t afford an experienced executive of that caliber full-time, then retaining a Fractional Integrator / COO is a great interim solution to get them where they want to be so much faster than they could without an experienced fractional Integrator’s help.

So what does the Integrator’s seat on the Accountability Chart look like for a Fractional Integrator?

Fractional Integrators separate out the 20% of core Integrator responsibilities from the other role that typically takes up 80% of their time. Such engagements work when you have someone else in the organization who can own that 80% role, i.e., a separate head of operations or project manager. They take on most of a normal full-time Integrator’s role (the 20%), with a couple of tweaks:

  • Lead, Manage, and Accountability (particularly relating to the leadership team)
  • Strategic Partner for the Visionary (because they are an experienced executive)
  • P&L / business plan (because they’ve done this before, they help lay out a game plan that will allow the Visionary to achieve his or her goals, including, but not limited to, everything in the Vision / Traction Organizer)
  • Remove obstacles & barriers
  • Strategic projects

Because a Fractional Integrator / COO works in the business part-time, they make the most of their time by consolidating their leadership, coaching, management, and consultation by setting up time on a weekly basis for meetings and strategic work.  

These weekly meetings and strategic work often include weekly same-page-meetings with the Visionary, leading the leadership team’s “Level 10 Meeting,” holding one-on-one meetings to be a resource and provide support and coaching to the members of the leadership team, setting aside additional time for ad hoc problem-solving, and working on strategic Rocks like driving key “right person right seat” hires, implementing a new CRM/ERP, or driving process documentation and training. 

Ben Wolf is the founder and CEO of Wolf’s Edge Integrators, an amazing team of Fractional Integrators/COOs. To learn more about, explore and understand more about what a Fractional Integrator/COO actually is, or if you want to actually retain a Fractional Integrator, just click on our contact us page and we will be happy to explore that with you and answer any questions that you have.