There has been an integrating theme across my work recently, of integration.  First it was in Istanbul exploring the integrator role of pharmacists in the health care team. Then it was implicit in working with a Joint Venture team of two different cultures and companies.

When we seek to integrate, we expand our possibilities.  It need not just about integrating across sectors like a Tri-Sector Athlete, but on a day to day level of integrating ideas, beliefs, values, learning and others into our lives.   Serving to integrate our past, present and future.

What does it take to integrate?

From my observation of people who do it well, including across organisational and national cultures, and with a penchant for alliteration, could it be these 8Cs?

  • Compassion:  they care –  you can feel that they do.
  • Courage: they act despite of their fears.
  • Communication: they strive to understand.
  • Comfort with complexity: they say yes to the mess and embrace ambiguity.
  • Connect detail with the big picture: they see the interplay between factors, are visionary and practical.
  • Collaborate: they know they aren’t an island, but part of the team/solution.
  • Creative: they spark off ideas.
  • Connected:  they cultivate a rich, connected and vibrant network

And perhaps these can all be integrated into the work of big C.  Carl Jung’s lifetime work focused on this.  How we integrate and bring ourselves into wholeness.  A quick fix won’t do.

Photo by Yan Ming on Unsplash

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Penelope Mavor
7 years ago

Really appreciate your comments Anne. Knowing a bit about your world I can see that integration is at its core..and indeed very challenging. Your point about integrity, values and vision and being prepared to walk away resonates and takes me to a point about knowing and working at our boundaries…http://quintessenza-consulting.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/does-life-happen-at-our-boundaries.html

Anne Carthy
7 years ago

Great piece Penny… Speaking as an integrator by both choice and need, I'm seeing good opportunity to deepen my learning about integrating across dispersed culture, sense of location, education, life outlook, faiths, personal or professional status. It has been challenging, growth filled….inspiring and disappointing in places. I'm working to hold to the eight qualities you describe, and they fit. However it is also so important to keep to ones own sense of integrity and values, holding a clear vision and being willing to walk away or back from misguided or poor integration. Integration is hard.