The Hollywood Holographic Team

Do you think creating successful business teams is more or less important in today’s world than in the past?   The reality is that it’s a collaborative world that depends on teams of people working together across time zones and continents.  However, do managers and leaders really consider how to create a high-performance team?  It’s not so easy.

The mechanics of developing successful teams requires time, patience, energy, commitment, knowledge, superb communication skills, and tremendous resources. Perhaps because of this, the actual implementation of teams is not as widespread as you might think.


Successful Teams

Successful teams happen when you envision all the elements as if they are in place. Then take action to make it happen.


Teamwork is often met with overwhelming resistance. Many of us don’t like to work on teams. Some are loners who contribute best when left to work on their own. Others feel that teams are time-consuming, expensive, uncertain, or risky.

The reality is that teamwork does not come naturally.

Basic human fears enter the picture: the fear of speaking up in a group, the fear of being punished for the mistakes of others, and the fear of having to be forced to agree with opposite points of view. People often resist being part of a team when they are not the leaders.

In today’s hyper-connected, flat world, the concept of teamwork often takes a backseat to individual responsibility and self-preservation. We’re reluctant to trust others, and the illusion of separability remains the dominant paradigm.

So, what is the solution?  Let’s look for an out-of-the-box answer by examining the makeup of a hologram.  Technically, a hologram is a three-dimensional image formed by the interference of light beams from a laser or other coherent light source.

Do you know what happens when a hologram is cut or divided or cut into a number of pieces?  Amazingly, each piece contains the information of the whole from a slightly different perspective.   This is the ideal metaphor for a super-charged team which I call a Holographic Team.

Over the years I’ve looked to many areas for examples of high-performance teams, including sports.  The one that rings most effective is the art of making a movie.  Having appeared in a number of films and married into a family of firm producers, I’ve been fortunate to witness the process of making a movie firsthand.


Moviemaking As A Model For Successful Team Building

What makes moviemaking a great model for high-performance, self-managed teams?  Everyone is committed to and united by a strong vision (a successful production), and there are several self-managed teams with their own vison that support the whole (i.e., costumes, set design, lighting, script, director). Of course like any team, there are potentially damaging egos and conflict, but the driving force of the overriding grand vision is always strong enough to surmount whatever challenges or conflicts arise.

The mind-set of the Holographic Team is a major paradigm shift from ‘‘me’’ to ‘‘we’’ and includes all the support points of empowerment that go with it. When the ‘‘we’’ paradigm is in place, challenges will work themselves out. Synergy, the acid test of teamwork, will propel the whole to unexpected heights.

The role of the team leader is neither to control nor to allow team members to slough off their responsibilities. The team will directly reflect the quality of its leadership. Therefore, the team leader must be a master at diplomacy, persuasion, communication, and conflict resolution.

In order to make a team successful, you must first fire up your imagination and envision all the elements of a Holographic Team “as if” they are in place.  Then take action to make it happen.


James Mapes is a keynote speaker, best-selling author, coach and hypnotist. His most recent book IMAGINE THAT! Igniting Your Brain for Creativity and Peak Performance is the first web-supported book with access to 21 video-coaching clips.