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Integrator or Implementer?

Today, I want to talk to you about a topic that I’ve seen happening too much really. There’s some confusion out there and I want to do my best to try to clear up some terminology. Simply stated, Integrators are not the same thing as Implementers.

Now, the words are really similar and I understand how people get confused and start using them interchangeably. I want to clear up how they’re different.

You hear me talk about Integrators all the time. They’re the ones who are going to take the ideas from the Visionary and make them real. They drive execution. They pull together all the different functions in the organization and really get us marching down the path of making the vision happen. And there’s a lot of special ways that they work with the Visionary. That’s what Integrators are. Hopefully, you’re crystal clear really on what that word means.

Although the name sounds very similar to Integrator, Implementers are very different. In the context of the things we talk about here, the Implementer is all about implementing an operating system into the company. That’s really all that word means. When I say operating system, I mean whatever operating system you might decide to use at your company. You’ve probably heard us talk a lot about EOS®. That’s one we often think of. We have a lot of friends in the EOS® community and a very close relationship there. It’s a great system. It could be that operating system, but if not, the same idea still applies. Who implements the operating system in your company?

Going back to the Integrator, one of the core accountabilities of the Integrator is the operating system. But what I want you to be clear on is that owning doesn’t necessarily mean doing. The Integrator owning the operating system simply means they’re accountable for making sure that we have an operating system and that it’s being implemented and working well. It’s doing what it needs to do.

As far as the implementation of the operating system, this can be somebody that you bring in from the outside. It might be be a professional Implementer. EOS® Worldwide has great professional Implementers that can help you implement that operating system. This could also be another person in your organization, someone on the team who is mastering the tools and elements of your operating system. They may be the implementation resource.

Could it be the Integrator? Maybe. I just don’t want you to think that by default those two are overlapping and the same. The Integrator executes the vision, makes it real, and pulls all the pieces together. Implementers implement the operating system. They work together to help you get where you need to go.

Three key things to wrap this one up:

1. The Integrator and the Implementer are not the same thing. They don’t mean the same thing and have different roles and different focuses.
2. The Integrator owns the operating system.
3. Owning does not necessarily mean doing. The owner is the project manager, the champion. They’re going to make sure that it happens and gets done. There may be somebody else leading the doing on the operating system and that may be an Implementer for you.

Come see us on Take the Visionary and Integrator assessments . See where you’re great. See where you could use some help. We’ve been having some great discussions with other Visionaries & Integrators over on LinkedIn and Facebook.  Regardless of where you are in your process, I encourage you to join the conversation! And finally, read Rocket Fuel. If you’ve already read Rocket Fuel, and you liked it, we’d love to see a review from you on Amazon. We’d really love to hear what you think. 

Until next time, Go Rocket!



PS – If you know of other Visionaries & Integrators who you think might benefit from this message, or any related Rocket Fuel content, please pass this along to them.

Mark C. Winters

Co-Author, Rocket Fuel

Visionary, Rocket Fuel Ventures




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