Fractional teams solving complex problems
Some business problems present a clear and present danger, requiring a rapid response by highly-skilled experts who know how to solve complex problems.
Enter the corporate SWAT team.
SWAT is a military term that stands for Special Weapons and Tactics. In business, the weapons and tactics are not guns and artillery, but these teams are important tools which can be deployed to resolve business challenges.
COVID-19 was the example
If there was ever a case study for a SWAT team approach, it was the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March 2020, businesses faced unanticipated and unprecedented challenges with lockdowns, shuttered stores and offices and multiple unknowns.
Some businesses faced dramatic downturns while others saw demand go through the roof. Both scenarios required a crisis response.
Fractional SWAT teams deployed for response
Many businesses did not have the expertise in-house to deal with an unexpected challenge on this scale.
They turned to the outside market and built fractional SWAT teams to address the challenges of business recovery and continuity.
While the pandemic represented a business emergency for the entire economy, there are other problems and challenges that can be tackled by fractional SWAT teams.
Business challenges for SWAT expertise
- Rescuing a failing business
- Replacing a leader after a sudden departure
- Preparing a company to go public or raise private investment
- Launching a new product or service
- Dealing with reputational risks and crises
- Responding to a cybersecurity attack or a ransomware threat
- Acquiring an ISO accreditation
Planning the SWAT response
Taking a SWAT approach to a problem requires planning and preparation. The first challenge is to identify the problem, time frames, the type of expertise required and desired outcomes.
If subject matter experts are not available internally, the company can source them elsewhere. In a crisis, time is of the essence.
In some cases, the SWAT team might be assembled to plan the SWAT response.
Who is the SWAT team?
It’s one thing to identify the problem and the need for a SWAT response, it’s another thing to tap this talent rapidly and create the teams.
A strong project manager will be required to lead research and assemble consultants with the best experience.
The type of talent necessary will depend on the problem anticipated or challenge a company is facing.
A financial challenge would require CFOs and financial experts. A reputational crisis would require communications and legal specialists. A cybersecurity challenge requires IT expertise.
In most cases, the SWAT team will include a combination of expertise and will include internal and external resources.
Where do you find SWAT professionals?
Forward-looking businesses will be on the hunt for SWAT talent before they encounter the problem.
They will be nurturing relationships with subject matter experts and partnering organizations with a Rolodex of this talent available on demand for contract engagements.
The good news is that there is a burgeoning supply of talent selling their expertise and services on the freelance market. Many are leaders and executives who have left long careers in organizations.
They bring experience and insights and can add value to an organization confronting a complex problem in need of an urgent response.
SeasonedPros.ca is an on-demand executive recruiter. Clients with an immediate need for experienced talent trust us to source professionals for project, interim and part-time roles. Each professional in our national database has 20 + years of business experience. We provide our clients 2-4 four vetted professionals in 10 business days or less.