The Integrator’s Role as a Business Development Strategist
At first glance, the Visionary/Integrator™ relationship looks simple: the Visionary creates strategies and the Integrator executes them. In reality, Integrators are often just as important as Visionaries in crafting business development strategies. This is an idea that’s especially important for people who are new to the Entrepreneurial Operating System® to understand.
A seat with special powers
The Integrator’s unique position within an EOS® business makes it the optimal seat for strategic thinking. The seat’s potential comes from its unifying role. That role can be split into two halves.
The first half comes from the Visionary/Integrator dynamic. Most Visionaries I know constantly look for ways to grow their business. They are always looking out for business development strategies that will take their enterprise to the next level. One Visionary I know gets a kick out of creating what he calls his “lists of crazy ideas.”
The Integrator does more than just turn those crazy ideas into practice. In fact, evaluating the merits of the Visionary’s inspirations is one of the Integrator’s most important jobs. The Visionaries who come into every meeting with a thousand great ideas need the Integrator’s help to choose which plans the team will pursue, which should be put on the shelf, and which should be tossed.
Piecing together the strategic puzzle
This “weeding out” process isn’t only a matter of picking and choosing. The Integrator contributes important strategic thinking to the process. That brings us to the second half of the Integrator’s role: the bridge between all the parts of the business.
Putting any business development strategy into action will require efforts from across the organization. Sales and marketing will need to know what they’re selling and to whom. The managers who oversee the company’s service team may need new processes. If the team doesn’t have the right people in the right seats to accomplish the new strategic vision, HR might need to step in.
The Integrator’s strategic thinking pulls together all these threads into a coherent whole to answer a key question: Is the Visionary’s good idea also the right idea for the business?
The “crazy ideas” Visionary has learned from experience not to invest much energy into every notion that he jots down. He’s had to learn from costly mistakes. He doesn’t consider an idea worthy of being called “strategic” if he hasn’t talked with his Integrator about an idea at a Level 10 Meeting™ or Same Page Meeting™.
Put your contrasting personalities to work
Visionary entrepreneurs who haven’t found their Integrators yet might be wondering: “I have a management team working under me already, so aren’t I in the best position to know how to put my ideas into action?”
This is where the distinctive personalities of Visionaries and Integrators come into play. One of the common reasons entrepreneurs seek out EOS is to find a way out of the labyrinth they have built for themselves by pursuing too many business development strategies at once. This happens because the typical Visionary wants to already be two or three steps ahead of where the business actually is.
In contrast, the Integrator’s strategic vision starts by examining in detail what needs to happen to adapt the organization to the Visionary’s ideas. As one Integrator described it, “The Visionary’s strategies are global. My strategies are local.”
Free to be a business development strategist
For Integrators, the bottom line is this: don’t be afraid to think of yourself as a business development strategist. Your Visionary will thank you.
I encourage my clients to incorporate this kind of thinking into all their EOS routines. By deliberately approaching strategic thinking as a team, you’ll make better decisions and reach superior outcomes.
As always, you’re not alone in this process. As a Certified EOS Implementer®, I work closely with my V/I Duos™ to unlock their full potential.
How does your team approach business development strategy? Let’s start a conversation. Reach out to me on LinkedIn, send me an email, or feel free to give me a call at (818) 649-1103. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.