We covered the essence of the Visionary role in a previous post. Now we turn our attention to the critical role of the Integrator. The Integrator can come in many forms and job titles, but the key is they are charged with executing against the objectives laid out by the Visionary. Like the Visionary, there are tools developed by EOS designed to help them be more effective in their mission.
We’ll lay out some of the key characteristics / job description according to EOS of the Integrator and give a glancing view of some of the tools available in their toolbox.
2. Leads, manages, and holds the leadership team accountable for achieving agreed-upon commitments.
3. Integrates all major operating functions of the business. Ensures everyone is rowing together in the same direction. Models the way, always working toward the greater good of the business.
4. Resolves issues effectively—seeing real problems, being comfortable with conflict, calling out the problems, and solving the problems in a practical and healthy manner. Ensures the leadership team is healthy, functional, and cohesive.
5. Ensures that everyone is truly following, and adhering to, the company’s core processes and operating system with consistency. Demonstrates effective project management skills.
In terms of their attributes, they include:
• TEAM UNITY
• FOLLOW-THROUGH • TIEBREAKER THAT KEEPS THINGS MOVING
• REMOVE OBSTACLES AND BARRIERS
The Integrator role can also be a thankless one. The Visionary is often out front and is given a lot of the credit for both wins and loses, but the Integrator is as or more likely to be responsible. Among their challenges are:
• ACCUSATIONS OF PESSIMISM
• BEING THE BEARER OF BAD NEWS, THE “BAD GUY”
• HAVING TO DO THE DIRTY WORK (FIRING PEOPLE)
• LACK OF RECOGNITION
• HAVING TO SAY “NO” A LOT
• BEING ACCUSED OF MOVING TOO SLOWLY
But as we stated at the outset, this role is critical to an organization’s success. It’s also a complex role that requires keeping the team in unison and working at optimal capacity. To accomplish these goals, EOS has a series of structured tools that include:
– Accountability Chart
– 90 Day World (Big Rocks)
– Weekly Meeting Pulse
If you never read the book, The Great Game of Business, its worth checking out. Although a bit dated, it was one of the early books discussing a team approach to goals accompanied by score-keeping. EOS has created the modern version of this. Everything we can measure, we can manage. Also, meetings are to follow a very specific structure to ensure they generate maximal output.
As we said, it’s a holistic system. We’ll explore components in a coming post. For now, we challenge every entrepreneur to ask the question of whether they have an Integrator on their team. Investors should ask the same question of their portfolio companies. (If you own a medical/dental practice, you should be asking the same questions of your practice.) If your portfolio companies dont have a clear Integrator, work with them to recruit and develop one.
(Note:In the earliest stages the Visionary may well play the Integrator, but they should work aggressively to identifying the person to take on the role and pass the mantle.)