The Elastic Workforce and Interim Management

The world of work is evolving quickly and as we run the course of COVID-19, there will be profound changes. We are already seeing some trends emerging – more people working from home, the management of virtual teams, less travel, new ways of connecting with customers and employees, more diverse supply chains and ultimately slimmer organizations.

As we get through this, organizations will be reviewing their disaster preparedness plans. It’s no longer acceptable to have a single supplier for a key product component. We will be looking for interchangeable components and more options – across the board, from our suppliers to our people. 

We’ll have more staff that is cross trained to do a variety of roles. We’ll have back-ups identified for all key roles. Successful companies will focus on agility, creating processes and structures that allow them to quickly respond to changes, either to upsize or downsize, to shift, to pivot smoothly with minimal disruption to their income stream. Think of it like an elastic band, with flexibility and strength – it twists, it bends – it holds everything in place.

Now, imagine an elastic workforce with which you’ll have the ability to increase and decrease staff rapidly. There are four components to this strategy:

    • Core workforce of permanent employees for ongoing key area.

    • Pool of temporary labour at the shop floor and junior admin level

    • Selected independent providers/contractors at the specialist level for project work

    • Fractional management to complement your leadership team.

The first three components are intuitive. The fourth, fractional management, has become common in Europe and is now quickly emerging in North America. What is Fractional Management? It’s seasoned managerial expertise provided on a

part time basis, dedicated and focused on your business. A fractional senior manager or executive can bridge the gap between your emerging needs until you need and can afford a full-time senior manager.

These are seasoned managers that work shoulder-to-shoulder with you under your guidance and within your budget to help move your business forward, but at a fraction of a full-time commitment. They can work anywhere from a few days a month to a couple of days a week, depending on the needs of your business, and have the flexibility to adjust their schedule as required. Often, successful companies establish an ongoing relationship with a fractional manager, so they become embedded in your business and culture.


What are the benefits of fractional management?

    • Immediate access to expertise. These are typically senior executives in their
    • field of specialization. As they often work for more than one company, they bring broad knowledge of best practices and current trends.
    •  They provide expertise at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee, while allowing you to do what you do best – run your business.
    • They can be longer term assets, so they have a stake in your company’s success.

Fractional managers can also be used as peer reviewers, offering professional second opinions to help develop your ideas and strategies. They are often great coaches for junior staff. They can serve as department heads, handling big picture issues, while lower cost staff executes the day to day work.

The bottom line is that fractional managers are experienced staff members whose expertise is available at a fraction of the cost of hiring a fulltime employee. For companies in start-up or growth mode, they can be an immediate accelerator to your growth and credibility.


“I don’t need to have all the answers. I just need to have people who can

give them to me.” – Henry Ford


As you create your new elastic workforce, consider strategically using fractional managers as an alternative to permanent hires or consultants. As a Principal with mgmt2go for over six years, I’ve seen how our fractional management experts have established a reputation for quality and value. 


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