Showing posts from August, 2023

Respect Your Limitations (Karina Mikhli)

Being a fractional isn't easy. I already blogged about the challenges to consider before going this route so I won't repeat them, but there are others I wanted to address: context switching not being able to coast required experience and expertise personal limitations Context Switching It is challenging having more than one client, whether fractional or otherwise, but if you're a fractional, you need to focus on a regular basis to get results. As a Fractional COO, since I run companies, I have to be available daily and the only way I've been able to do this is with strict time blocking.  This means that I literally have blocks on my calendar per each cilent/type of work I do, and I have synched my SavvyCal scheduling links per time block. So Client A can only schedule a meeting during the Client A time block, Client B during the Client B time block, etc.  I actually discussed this in detail with Shadi Yazdan on her podcast, The Raw Founder, which you can listen to here

Striking a Balance between Scalability and Being Human (Rachel Nazhand)

In the world of high-growth business, where demand for scale and efficiency reigns supreme, there is a nuanced layer that often goes unnoticed: emotions. Beyond the spreadsheets and workflows, emotions play a profound role, influencing everything from employee engagement to customer loyalty. In fact, this emotional attachment is often what can deter a company from bringing in fractional operators - how could an “outsider” possibly understand their intricacies. Consider the common paths leveraged to scale a company:  Full-time resources are often too deep in the weeds and/or too embedded in interpersonal dynamics to effectively build for scale. External consultants can build countless workflows and process optimization playbooks, but they often don’t have the context or connection to influence how those plans land. In contrast, a great fractional operator strikes the right balance of efficiently diagnosing process gaps while addressing emotional attachment and resistance to change. Frac

Should Your CMO Be Full-Time In-House or Fractional? (Monique Olan)

Want the short answer? It depends. You hate that answer, I know.  “What does it depend on?” …that’s a better question, and one I can try to help answer! Like with any good recipe, it’s a mix of ingredients that will determine whether you’re baking a dessert pie or a savory pie. Or, in this case, a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or a full-time, in-house CMO. Why “It Depends” When triaging with a company, I look at a few different business attributes and situational details to help evaluate if Fractional makes sense: Business type (offering format, size, stage, industry, etc.) Budget (marketing, overhead, in-market, company-wide, etc.) Revenue (total, growth goal + time frame, growth legacy, etc.) State-of-marketing (status, maturity, gaps, opportunities, competitive landscape, etc.) Marketing team (composition, skill mix, gaps, maturity, efficiency, growth potential, etc.) The reason “it depends” is because it’s not just a simple answer for any of these, and the decision lie

Escaping the Donut Hole (Alfred Kahn)

Escaping the Donut Hole In my last post, I introduced the concept of the design leadership “donut hole.” The donut hole is the period between a company’s beginnings as an early-stage startup and its evolution to late stage or growth. Typically, as a startup climbs the maturity curve from the early-stage scramble to the finish line into a mature, growth-stage company, it goes through a period where it has hired product and engineering leadership, but little or no design leadership. You can get more information regarding the risks and challenges associated with the donut hole in my previous post ; in this post, I will discuss how to tell if you are in the donut hole and how to escape it. Are you in the “donut hole”? The simplest answer to this question is, if your company has more than 3 designers reporting to a Product leader, then you are in the donut hole. Very few product leaders have the skills and experience to lead a design team; in fact, having to oversee design is likely a sourc