With technology developing rapidly, integration has become a necessity. The larger the business, the more effort is needed, but generally, every business needs to step up integration processes to be able to remain competitive in the long run.
That’s the very reason why businesses are increasingly looking to hire integrators — people tasked with overseeing and managing integration efforts in an attempt to improve organizational agility.
What Is an Integrator?
Integrators drive business integration and differentiation by applying leadership, agile methodologies and efficient prioritization. These are just on the top of the list; efficient integrators are versed in a number of approaches and methodologies and have expertise in directing integration in large businesses.
Some of the traits a good integrator possesses include:
- Business skills
- Data analysis skills
- People management skills
- Situational leadership skills
- Decision making
- Performance assessment skills
- Contribution skills
Finding the Right Integrator
Hiring an integrator is not an easy task, especially since expertise is simply not enough. The finest of integrators also possess beneficial behavior treats, including:
- Balanced behavior patterns manifested in mild manners
- A balanced orientation
- Decision-making rooted in knowledge and competence
- Sense of unity
- Ability to resolve all kinds of disputes effectively
Simply put, integrators are versed in soft skills, as well as in hard skills, and are graced by a mild temper and a balanced nature.
What to Look for in Prospective Candidates
Even though the list of traits to look for in prospective candidates may be long, some soft skills may not be necessary in the beginning. However, some skills are required in order for the candidate to be able to be successful as an integrator, so look for the following:
- Skill sets compatible with the industry
- Capability to uphold the company’s core values
- Same or similar vision with the business
- New perspectives
- Innovative ideas
- Solutions to fill the gaps in business procedures
- Errors and mistakes in business procedures
- The capability to bring a positive challenge
How Integrators Help Companies
As a rule, integrators are charged with multiple tasks, including but not limited to:
- Business development
- Corporate development
- Project management
Basically, their goal is to create an inspiring atmosphere that sustains consistency and enables agility, while at the same time integrating the leadership team and ensuring prioritization.
Prioritization is the keyword here. Integration takes time and joint efforts of all participants, so it is important to prioritize the areas that need to be enabled faster than others.
Generally speaking, integrators must have a positive outlook and be able to handle all kinds of challenges. Ideally, an integrator will always contribute original ideas and inspire others to brainstorm ideas and solutions.
For an integrator to be successful, they must have a clear vision of how to achieve differentiation and integration.
That is to say, on top of the abovementioned skills and attitude, integrators need to have expertise and be capable of brainstorming ideas fast and efficiently.
The best integrators are natural-born leaders capable of executing the business plan effectively while being accountable for the profit and loss results.
What is of extreme importance in this complex process is cadence, which is attained by integrators’ strategic thinking rooted in the business vision and dynamics.
Finally, a successful integrator must know how to exactly bring about a team’s full potential by leading by example.
Every Company Needs an Integrator
Suffice it to say that performance management the majority of businesses apply is simply not enough to integrate and diversify all roles.
One of the chief reasons is the fourth industrial revolution, with new tech developing faster than the human mind. Another one is the rise of startups and remote work, both of which have literally changed the rule of the game for billions of people worldwide. The same applies to businesses.
If you run a large company, you may need to hire more integrators to ensure all business processes are being efficiently dealt with. System integrators and business integrators, for example, come with a set of different skill sets but both of them will deal perfectly well with their respective departments.
It is crucial to empower integrators by giving them the autonomy to do things the way they think is best. These people should be given the authority to apply any processes they deem necessary for integration to take place.
Integrators will help you diversify your workforce in multiple ways, primarily by simplifying performance management and delivering purpose in an easily understandable manner.
Keep in mind that performance management frameworks are often rather a matter of individual performance. That’s why integrators need to diversify everyone’s role and ensure they are aligned with the company’s clear-cut goals.
No matter what the circumstances might be, integrators will never lose sight of the bigger picture.
One of the most important roles of an integrator is conflict resolution in the workplace. It is only to be expected that the over-complicated performance management will overlook individual performance, which is certain to result in one conflict or another.
Integrators will step in to diversify every respective role in the team, making sure that all potential conflicts are being dealt with immediately and efficiently.
Integrator Services: Where to Find Them
Sometimes, the process of finding the right integrator may take longer than a business can afford to wait. Fortunately, integrator services are abundant, with many companies offering part-timers to fill the role.
More often than not, companies offering integrator services hire professionals with previous experience with major firms, which ensures that they will bring different skills and the expertise your business needs.
Typical Tasks of an Integrator
While there is no final list of all tasks an integrator should perform, some responsibilities are likely to arise, as follows:
- Executing the business plan
- Achieving P&L objectives
- Integration of all major operations of a business
- Manages the leadership team
- Resolving issues and conflicts
- Ensuring that everyone is on the same page
- Leading by example
- Demonstrating core company values
- Directing everyday operations
- Improving operating procedures
- Establishing and maintaining schedules
- Providing training
- Developing innovative approaches
- Controlling and reviewing work
Integration in the Digital Era
The digital world we live in calls for rather specific integration skills. Digital tools are no longer optional; they are a necessity. Software integrators are, hence, in high demand.
These people truly have to master a whole slew of tools and brainstorm the best approaches to be able to help businesses integrate their processes as fast as possible.
Data transformation is just the first requirement; software integrators are also required to be skilled in scripting, solutions architecture, customer experience and product strategies, software engineering, data mining, project management and digital strategy management.
Basically, it’s not sufficient to only convert data from one format to another and make it circular; it is also necessary to include all other processes that make the business run smoothly and find the best approach how to integrate them, without causing any conflicts in the process.
Data integration is a complex process, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Every business needs to find its own measure, set its own OKRs, assemble the finest team of integrators, and set up reliable communication channels.
Even these steps may not be enough, especially if a business isn’t versed in integration. For many businesses, in fact, the best integrators are already part of the management team.
Whether they’ll be willing to forgo their usual roles for the sake of business integration is another matter entirely. Integration is hard and lengthy work and doesn’t leave one with much free space to do anything else.
It is, hence, always a good idea to hire part-time integrators and learn from them. Different industries need different solutions, so assembling a team of professionals with previous experience in integrating major businesses in the same industry seems to be the strongest recommendation.
Instead of a Conclusion
Integrators are crucial for any business, that much is clear. However, finding one may prove a challenging task, especially since expertise of that sort is usually found in people already occupying managerial roles.
If you’re having difficulties recruiting integrators, you may consider integration service companies that will help you get started.
However, on top of the hard and soft skills a successful integrator must possess, it is also important that they align with your company’s vision and mission.
Integrators should be given all the resources they need and the authority to implement tasks the way they see fit.
Their day-to-day tasks may vary, but generally, they should be capable of executing the business plan and resolving conflicts in a timely and efficient manner.
Integrators should be mild-tempered and skilled in communication; they should lead by example and demonstrate the company’s core values at every step. Encouraging active participation and engagement is crucial, so integrators must be able to communicate clearly and calmly the tasks required of all team members.
The best approach, at least in the beginning, is to hire part-time integrators with previous experience in integrating large businesses in the same industry or appointing senior managers with suitable skill sets.
However, remember that it is perfectly okay to learn on the go. Integration is, after all, a rather innovative term.