How the Integrator Breaks Down Barriers

The Visionary and Integrator™ team is one of the hallmarks of EOS®. By putting the right person between the Visionary and the rest of the business, the Visionary is freed to focus on shaping the big ideas that really drive companies forward.

Just as important are the role the Integrator plays as the coordinator of the business’s many moving parts. In a way, the Integrator is the business’s chief mechanic. If gears are getting stuck, the Integrator is there to step in with the right kind of grease to get them moving again.

Obstacles everywhere

Barriers to success are everywhere in the business world. Some of them are out of our control. Labor shortages are a good example. Every one of my clients is struggling to find the right people. Supply chain disruptions are another external challenge many businesses are facing.

Many of the barriers to growth are internal. Even some that start from the outside can have an internal character. If you can’t find the right person to fill a seat, then chances are you’re making do with the wrong person in the seat for now. Perhaps spreading your team too thin. It’s a big obstacle, and common. Barriers like these are where the Integrator plays a vital role.

What makes a good demolitionist?

Integrators need a range of tools to help their Visionaries and the rest of the team break down the impediments to growth. Many of the things they need are also what inspired them to seek out the role of Integrator—or made others recognize their potential for the job.

These are some of the key features that I’ve observed in successful Integrators:

  • Focus on process. Some businesses build value by creating intellectual property. For the rest, service is usually the deciding factor. To build value beyond the talents of a few capable people, a business needs to have repeatable, sustainable processes in place. Other things, like a documented processes can help new hires contribute right away. An Integrator for one of my clients likes to say, “When something goes wrong, it’s usually a process problem.”
  • Effective “top-down” communication. Knitting together the different pieces of a business requires a consistent message from the top. Most Visionaries are too distracted by their latest idea to stay the course. That’s why an Integrator needs to be a good communicator, always keeping in mind the company’s goals for the quarter and beyond.
  • Fostering “bottom-up” communication. The other side of the communication coin, of course, is the Integrator’s ability to listen. EOS emphasizes solving problems as a team, and that only works if the people making the final decision on important issues have really heard what the rest of the group is thinking. Fostering a culture of trust and open dialogue is a key part of the Integrator’s work.
  • Embracing the copilot role. People who love the limelight often don’t like the Integrator role. Seasoned business leaders may respect what the Integrator does, but outside that small circle the job is not well understood. Successful Integrators need a healthy dose of humility. One of my favorite Integrators once told me, “If no one recognizes what I’m doing, I’m doing a good job.”
  • Finding the blockages. Good Integrators have a knack for recognizing when an issue is inhibiting a business’s progress. They use EOS tools like IDS™ to identify the real source of issues so they can be addressed with the team. In many businesses, the Integrator is the most passionate advocate for following the EOS framework, in part because it helps them do their job more efficiently.

Where are your business’s barriers?

Every business faces problems. In fact, most entrepreneurs go through long stretches of feeling like their company is barely holding together. EOS offers a system for addressing that feeling, and even making it disappear. The Integrator is a key part of that system.

How has the Integrator role changed your business? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Send me an email or give me a call at (818) 649-1103 anytime.