The Holographic Organization

The holographic paradigm

A hologram is a special type of optical storage system that can best be explained by an example. If you take a holographic photo of, say, a personal computer, and cut out one section of it – the keyboard, for example – you will obtain a picture not of the keyboard but of the whole computer. In other words, each individual part of the picture contains the whole picture in condensed form. The part is in the whole, and the whole is in each part.

The technique of holography was first invented in the mid-1950s, by the Hungarian Nobel Prize winner, Denis Gabor. Some 30 years later, the English nobel physicist David Bohm (see Wilber 1982) concluded (p. 59) that: “In the explicate or manifest realm of time and space, things and events are indeed separate and discrete. But beneath the surface, as it were, in the implicate or frequency realm, all things and events are spacelessly, timelessly, intrinsically, one and undivided.” In other words, the physical universe itself seemed to him – just as the organizational universe does to me – to be a gigantic hologram.

The implications of all of this for total learning and for quality management are huge. In the first instance, it becomes apparent that all the elements of learning and of management, identified in table 14.1, are explicitly separate but implicitly integrated. In the “explicate” order, for example, the deliberative style of learning is separate from the reactive one, and such a ...

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