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One useful map with which to guide our interaction with people and organization is the Integral Quadrant map which has been extensively developed by Ken Wilber. This map relies on holons (which could be people, organizations, products, etc…), and perspectives of holons. Each holon has an interior perspective (an inside) and an exterior perspective (an outside). It also has an individual perspective and a collective (or plural) perspective. If you map these into quadrants, you have four quadrants, or dimensions.

4Quad

Much of what business is made up of, and the activities it performs can be mapped into the four quadrants, giving further insight as to areas that may be overlooked or over stressed.

For example, the curriculums of most business schools today are heavily oriented, many times exclusively oriented, toward the exterior two quadrants. Leadership programs focus on limited interior development. Executive coaching programs have somewhat more extensive interior development while still not displaying a well balanced approach.


Traditional Biz


Another way of using the quadrant map is to combine it with a developmental model such as Spiral Dynamics. In such a developmental model each individual or group has many lines of development. In general the lines of development fall into the following categories, although this is just one perspective, there are many others.

  • Cognitive
  • Emotional
  • Interpersonal
  • Ethics
  • Spiritual
  • Physical

Within these broad groupings, there exist many more specific lines of development. When mapped using the four quadrants the lines typically (but not always) fall into one of the quadrants. Spiral Dynamics uses a color system (beige, purple, red … yellow, turquoise…) for the various stages that a line of development can pass through.


Lines of Development


An interesting observation emerges which we all intuitively recognize: Individuals and groups can be extensively developed in some lines of development yet quite under-developed in others.

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