What does it takes to be a successful integrator? Choosing an integrator is also a hard choice. The right fit for Visionary and Integrator is critical to the success of this high-powered team.
There are many aspects to consider because some integrators work in specific industries; some emphasize a specific set of services. In contrast, others provide a wholesome service, regardless of the industry involved. However, if you don’t understand why your organization needs Operations and Business Management, take a moment, and give this blog a read: Does Your Business Need Operational Support?
With all kinds of service providers available online, it might get confusing to choose the right one. This article will help you identify successful integrators based on three essential attributes. Read further to find out more.
What is an Integrator?
Let’s start by defining what an integrator is.
An integrator is responsible for planning, implementing, coordinating, scheduling, testing, and improving an organization's operations. Integrators are the glue of organizations, and they keep them working efficiently towards their goals and targets. They improve the coordination between various departments of the organization and organize their suppliers.
Fifty percent of businesses have a visionary – a person who has numerous fantastic ideas. The visionary is also someone who sets the goals of the organization. Integrators specialize in different skills. Integrators and their more traditionally named COO counterparts foresee how one action will impact the future of the organization. Putting it simply, Integrators help in bringing the Visionaries’ goals into reality.
Find out more about the relationship between visionaries and integrators by reading this: Visionaries and Integrators – Part 1: Why both are essential?
Hence, they help the organizations that have hired them in making essential decisions. They seek out better opportunities for their organizations, opportunities that will benefit the organization and its partners.
Role of an Integrator
The role of an Integrator is to contribute towards the well-being and prosperity of the company. There are specific domains for integrators to work on, which include: business development, partnerships, computer networking (the tech stack), the marketing, computer programming, project management, etc.
If you want to know more about an integrator's job description or role, read this article: What is an 'integrator' role?
Three key attributes
Now that we know what an Integrator does. Let us get to the qualities that make a successful Integrator.
A successful integrator needs to have good communication skills, as they have to deal with different departments of an organization. Similarly, there are a ton of other qualities that a right Integrator must-have. However, research suggests the following three attributes make a successful Integrator:
1. Intellectual acuity
We know that an Integrator needs to be specialized in planning, organizing, and coordinating, etc. Hence, a successful Integrator must always be ready to learn more. They must possess a keenness within themselves to learn new strategies and methodologies.
Intellectual understanding is the ability to understand new ideas easily and adapt these to new situations. An Integrator's job incorporates juggling various duties and roles. Such a job is only suitable for a person who is quick to grasp new concepts.
The role of an integrator also includes hearing and understanding the needs of the stakeholders both internal and external. Listening to people belonging to different departments requires understanding their perspectives. An integrator needs to listen to different ideas, pick out the good ones, and integrate them for execution. Their job demands they be pragmatic thinkers, strategic planners, and problem solvers.
2. Critical thinking and Analyzing
Any great service provider needs to be a great listener. One cannot fulfill the needs of the customer if they haven't heard what they said. Similarly, all Integrators need to be a great listener. Notice that we say "listening" not "hearing" because listening involved understanding others' perspective. After listening, a successful integrator is also thinking critically about the goals of the company.
Integrators pick useful ideas and separate them from the worthless ones. Then, they need to analyze which ideas can be worked upon and which ones should be applied to achieve the set goals and targets. Their job requires analyzing the consequences of actions before they’re acted upon.
Hence, being a successful Integrator, one needs to be able to think critically, analyze ideas, and judge the results. Integrators ensure that the provided solutions have a great chance of allowing the organization to succeed.
Expert Integrators have a ton of knowledge and experience, which helps them evaluate a solution’s productivity and quality as well. Therefore, integrators are given full access to company data so that they can analyze previous data and then work on the solutions accordingly.
3. Effective communication and organization skills
A successful integrator has to deal with every department within the company as well as with the company's partners. So, he needs to have clear and practical communication skills. There is a significant difference between the skills of an ordinary and an expert Integrator. When an expert Integrator presents a solution to the company, he will ensure there is buy in from the stakeholders and the solution is the best available one using their feedback as subject matter experts.
There are times in an integrator role when they must inform the team leaders or the visionary that their suggestive solution is not the right one. To communicate such messages without offending the receiver is not child's play. Hence, an expert integrator knows how to convey their message in a smart way. No matter what the news may be.
Do you want to know why communication is essential? Read: The "communications integrator" is born.
Last but not least, while the Integrator has so many duties to perform, they must have stunning organization skills. This means they have to know how to prioritize, organize, and number which duty to perform first.
The Integrator's duty does not end by selecting the right solution. After the selection, they need to make sure that it is implemented in a proper way. During the implementation, s successful Integrator has the power to see the bigger picture. In other words, they can sit back and take a look at the bird’s eye view of all departments working in the organization. This helps perform their duty proficiently.
Things to Consider:
Regardless of the niche of your business, an Integrator or COO becomes a vital part of your organization.
To make an informed decision, you can have a look at this article as well: Essential role of an Integrator.
Repetition or work: If similar companies have hired an integrator for the same job, this indicates that he is a good integrator. Integrators who have a history of repeat work is because they have built their reputation as credible and trustworthy Integrator.
Ask the right questions: Like mentioned above, an integrator has a solid knowledge base. Ask the right questions, and you'll know if they is qualified and experienced enough to be your Integrator.
Check history: An integrator plays smart so that they would have some information about your company beforehand. Check if they are interested in being your Integrator.
Observe their ways: Integrators should be great listeners, and the best thing is to talk your needs out. Check what they think about your business and if their vision aligns with yours. Closely observe how attentively they listens.
Strategic thinkers: Even during a casual conversation, you'll see that a good Integrator is thinking critically and strategically. Their minds are business-oriented, and they understand the whole system. They'll be focused and goal-oriented. Not all of them are, so if you happen to find one, keep them.
Choosing an Integrator is a hard decision. A successful Integrator can make your company succeed but selecting the wrong one will make things messier. A successful Integrator would be interested in listening to your needs and suggestions. Dealing and communicating professionally with business partners will be a piece of cake for them.
Switching between so many roles may not be easy, but they make it look like it is. Finding the best Integrator in your niche isn't enough. More importantly, you have to observe whether they are the right fit for you. It can only be done by holding meetings, asking the right questions, and getting to know their perspective.
So, don't be hasty while making such an important decision. Observe closely and then choose the one Integrator with who you'll be comfortable around. The right Integrator will add value to your business and will meet your needs accordingly. If you want another perspective on what makes a right integrator, take a look at this article: How to choose an effective Integrator?
A great read on the visionary – integrator mix is Rocket Fuel.