The Startup Integrator

January 24, 2014

in Leadership, Operations

When a startup grows to a certain size, the function of executing the business machine begins to separate from the visionary function of the entrepreneur. Another way to say this is that the amount of work required to work “on” the business and the amount of work to lead execution with”in” the business becomes more than a single person can handle.

At this point, the entrepreneurial operating system suggests finding an integrator. The integrator is the person who manages day-to-day issues that arise and is the glue that holds the company together. The integrator harmoniously integrates the three major functions of the business:  sales/marketing, operations, and finance.

Integrators need to have the respect of all the business units. They need to understand how to manage engineers. They need to be eloquent with customers and partners. They need to be great at marketing and selling naturally. They need to be able to manage a budget. They need to be capable leaders and adroit at hiring and firing. In our business, all of those boil down to two skills:  1) technical know-how and 2) great people skills.

My suggestion is that entrepreneurs focus on things that they can do best and find integrators to fill substantive delegated responsibilities.

What are your thoughts on finding an integrator for your business?

 

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