You, like me, probably hear the word integrate several times a week. You may also, like me, use the word in your daily work.
But what does it really mean? The word, like so many other similar words, comes from Latin. There are three words mentioned: integer, integrare and integratio.
- Integer means whole, unbroken, undiminished.
- Integrare, which is a verb, means to complete, to make complete.
- Integratio ultimately means renewal, the restoration of the previous state.
Integration then means: bring together into a whole; coordinate; complete by incorporation. This ignores the mathematical significance of calculating integrals.
Sweden has applied for NATO membership. This requires integration between NATO’s way of leading and fighting and Sweden’s way. That is, the two parts need to be brought together to form a whole, where we can lead and fight together. Otherwise the effect will not be optimal.
If the integration is not done well, the different NATO members will work in their own way. This is especially devastating if you are in the same physical location, where you need to be able to fight together.
Integration is also frequently used to refer to people who have come to Sweden from other parts of the world. Here we need to come together and become a whole, which is the meaning of integration, to be able to interact and exist together.
In your business, integration is also needed. There needs to be integration between different departments, units, administrations, and all those line organization parts. The different units usually have their own IT systems, think in their own way, focus on their own issues, etc.
For you to work better together, for the benefit of your staff, your beneficiaries and your finances, you need to be better integrated.
It wants you to think the same way. It also means speaking the same language, where terms are the same for one as for the other. If not, there will be confusion and perhaps even conflict. And you can’t have that.
According to what should I integrate, you might think? They work in their own way and we work in ours.
If you’ve been following me for a while in these weekly newsletters, you can probably guess the answer.
Do you even need to integrate?
It is clear that it is the value-creating flows that determine the need for integration. If you and I don’t work in the same process, then we don’t need to integrate. But as soon as we do that, where we create value together, then integration is a must. Without it, we will waste time and resources trying to get the task done.
- We will disagree on how to solve the task.
- We will also manually sit there and enter information from one system to another.
- We will email and call each other to coordinate.
- We will have to have meetings to solve problems that should not even exist.
So the word integrate is very important if you want to work efficiently and make good use of your skills and experience.
Do you want to know more about how to improve integration? Contact me