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Visionary and Integrator: The Most Valuable Relationship in an Organization

by Andrea Grubb on Nov 29, 2017 9:35:25 AM

In October, Hal and I had the opportunity to speak about our Visionary/Integrator (V/I) relationship on VoiceAmerica’s radio program “Operationally Speaking” with Sergiu Simmel.  It was a chance to explain our unique roles at Trilogy Partners as well as showcase the benefits of having a Visionary and Integrator within a company.

The terms Visionary and Integrator are used in the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®) and are also explained in Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters’ book Rocket Fuel.  Visionaries, generally business owners like Hal, are creative, big thinking, idea generators while Integrators like me are analytical, process oriented and drivers of the day-to-day operations.  Integrators are responsible for implementing the ideas of the Visionary.

A valuable aspect of this relationship is its complimentary yin-yang dynamic.  To put it simply, Visionaries and Integrators have opposing points of view because of their inherent “wiring”.  This healthy conflict enhances an organization since perspective on issues broadens.  When the V/I partnership is in sync, more robust resolutions formulate and, under the direction of the Integrator, lead to realistic goal setting, positive results and ultimately traction.

We at Trilogy have seen many Visionaries who have tried to fill both roles.  While not impossible, we strongly recommend having a V/I partnership since it allows for the Visionary to fully concentrate on his/her own competencies.  Just think about this:  How can a Visionary’s groundbreaking idea take flight if he/she does not have the time, bandwidth or natural skill set to keep it in motion?  As Hal mentioned on the radio program, it was only until he hired an Integrator that he felt comfortable letting go of certain areas within the business and focusing on his strengths.  He also realized that the company could scale at a faster pace with an Integrator’s support which it indeed has.

The V/I relationship is built upon trust, honesty, mutual respect and requires constant communication.   The commitment to adhere to these elements is key to its success.  It is well worth the effort and investment as a Visionary and Integrator working in conjunction with varying capabilities can be instrumental in taking a company to new heights.

Interested in listening to our radio program?  Click HERE.  Let us know what you think.

If you are curious about the Visionary/Integrator relationship and would like to learn how Trilogy can provide guidance, please email me at agrubb@gettrilogypartners.com or call at 609-688-0428.

 

 

 

 

Who’s Your Integrator?

by Andrea Grubb on Dec 01, 2016 9:32:47 AM

Whenever I meet someone new, I’m often asked what I do for a living.  I proudly respond that I am the Chief Integrator Officer at Trilogy Partners.  My answer is often followed by the question, “What exactly is an integrator?”.  I first saw the term in Gino Wickman’s 2011 book Traction.  Mr. Wickman defines the integrator as “the person in an organization who harmoniously integrates the major functions of the business” (Sales/Mkt., Operations and Finance).  Simply put, the integrator is the glue that binds the company together.

Most business owners are the visionaries within their organizations, generating ideas about future opportunities and creative ways to expand.  They are big picture, forward thinkers who need the space to brainstorm and explore.  This is the visionary’s unique gift.  All too often though, they try to be the integrator as well by attempting to manage people and tasks.  Unfortunately, this is a recipe for stress since visionaries’ strengths lie outside of those realms.  Structure and processes are not their friends and the more they try to manage day to day functions and gain traction, the more they end up just spinning their wheels.  Sound familiar?

Integrators, on the other hand, are process and detailed oriented; they minimize chaos, set boundaries, communicate effectively and understand the power of now.  Their attributes are in direct contrast to those of the visionary which is a positive since each role is vital in providing balance to an organization.  More importantly, a good integrator can take the vision of the business owner and manifest it into something tangible and expandable.

A well respected, trusted relationship between the business owner/visionary and integrator is arguably a key component to the success of a company.  The visionary should be able to be vulnerable with the integrator who naturally serves as the sounding board.  In turn, the integrator must be comfortable telling his/her boss the hard truth.  When this synergy works, it often leads to company alignment, innovative ideas, focus and direction.  Hence, great building blocks for a solid foundation to achieve personal and professional dreams and goals.

Seems obvious that every company should have an integrator, right?  Well, you’d be amazed at how many companies that are trying to function without one.  So, here’s some food for thought:  Who brings your visionary’s ideas to fruition while also leading employees, creating structure, maintaining accountability and improving processes?  If you’re at a loss or unsure of the answer, contact me at agrubb@gettrilogypartners.com as I can further the conversation and offer deeper insight on the benefits of having an integrator.

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