“There are two distinct types of leaders in all small businesses: The Visionary and the Integrator” - Gino Wickman, Rocket Fuel. One sees the future, and the other makes it happen. The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) operates on the premise that both are essential for healthy growth.
In EOS-speak, the Visionary is typically the owner, founder, or partner of a business. They intuitively see the big picture, generate lots of ideas, are great at big relationships, and have that “hunter” mentality. They build companies with vision, passion, and perseverance.
Integrators are managers. They hold the people accountable for the processes, priorities, and strategy of the company. They manage the day-to-day issues that arise and improve the overall communication within the Leadership Team and throughout the organization. They have that unique skill to execute upon the owner’s vision by getting everyone on the same page.
The Problem: Vision + Integration Isn’t Always Easy or Seamless
Great visionaries aren’t necessarily good integrators and visa-versa. Each role requires different skill-sets and mindsets. Strong organizations need both.
For example, the owner’s vision may be to create a healthy culture with the right people in order to build a company that “runs itself” (the Vision). Unfortunately, the Vision won’t happen without the creation and execution of a solid hiring process that aligns the organization’s Core Values with its Accountability Chart (the Integration). For many visionaries, the implementation piece is a roadblock.
The inverse is also true. Perhaps a company has a strong #2, COO, or General Manager filling the Integrator role. If so, is there a clear, concise operating system in place that everyone follows? Is it tied to the vision and goals of the organization? Is the team all moving in the same direction? Missing any of those components leads to a lack of control, lack of profits, and never-ending people issues. There may be strategies and efficiencies in place, but if they aren’t aligned with the owner’s Vision and the organization’s Core Values, stalled growth and endless frustration abound.
The Solution: A Fractional Integrator
An experienced EOS Fractional Integrator is the glue that holds everything together over time. They will:
A good Integrator walks that fine line between holding the Leadership Team accountable and still maintaining healthy relationships by simply being honest and open with them. Integrators act as the ”bridge” between the Visionary owner and the rest of the team to foster better communication and accountability while providing clarity of the vision.
Full-Time or Fractional?
If full time is what you’re after, then look within your company (or use a recruiter familiar with EOS) and have them take the Integrator Assessment in the book Rocket Fuel.
If you’re not quite ready for a full-time Integrator, then a Fractional Integrator, who serves on an outsourced, part-time basis, is a great option. For a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time integrator/Interim COO - no contracts, severance packages, or costly benefits to worry about - your company can work with a seasoned professional who has successfully run businesses using the EOS model, someone who provides the necessary structure and people-building skills that hold everyone accountable and exact impactful, lasting change.
The EOS model has transformed thousands of businesses around the world. Imagine what it can do for your organization!