“WHAT IS AN INTEGRATOR?”
Many confuse a COO with an Integrator, and while they can be the same they are NOT!! I mean to say an Integrator can be a great COO but not all COO’s can be Integrators. If you are a Visionary who does not understand what the function of an Integrator is you will vastly underestimate their value and short change yourself and your company by limiting them to a COO role. You can have a COO running your operations and an Integrator acting as the conductor that turns it all into beautiful music.
An Integrator is someone a Visionary can talk to who will understand, someone who will listen when things are frustrating, someone who will make sure your team understands your vision and what their role is in making it come to life. An integrator is a trusted advisor who can find clarity and direction in the daily storms. An Integrator is the interpreter for the Visionary and the team helping to translate that vision into reality.
What does an Integrator do for your business?
Well to quote a Visionary, John Pollock, “Integrators can and will focus the mess that is a visionary, because their skill set, because their very being, can and will do that.”
If you read the book Rocket Fuel by Mark C. Winters you will know that he refers to Integrators and Visionaries working together as Rocket fuel for your business.
And to quote John Pollock once again “Rocket Fuel spilled randomly (how a visionary functions) is incendiary and volatile, focused it will launch something that can’t and shouldn’t leave the ground. The Visionary is a blinding light, they bring the heat, but [the Integrator] turns it into energy.”
And now a highly-debated question; Can an Integrator be effective when working remotely?
Is it necessary for the Integrator to be located full time geographically in the business? Many say that an Integrator can’t possibly be effective when working remotely. But this brings us back to the difference between a COO and an Integrator, they are distinct functions.
As John Pollock so passionately puts it “FUNCTION supersedes proximity” don’t underestimate the value of your Integrator just because they are not front and center or IN a specific location.
Proximity does not matter…”
Having this subject arise again recently prompted me to go back to the post by John Pollock on the Rocket Fuel group discussion. As a Fractional Integrator who often works remotely I find myself engaged in this discussion quite often. Thank you, John, for the clear and passionate way you articulated this, it has stuck with me over time.
While there are certainly circumstances and individual Visionary/Integrator duos that will require them both to be on-site there is much more room for remote VI relationships to create wonderful results together than is frequently believed.