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Real IT Leaders are Story Tellers

By Jenny Levy, Chief Information Officer, Primary Health Care


Jenny Levy, Chief Information Officer, Primary Health Care

The year is 2099. The global population is now 15 billion and technology has transformed the way we live.

Destinee is gently woken by the cool mist that dissolves into her skin. The spray comes from vents over her bed that have been tailored for her unborn baby’s genome.  It provides the necessary nutrients and hormones for optimal living.  The same vents conduct a body scan each day to check for abnormalities developing in her body. These devices, funded by government health initiatives, have lowered medical costs and increased the average life span to one hundred and thirty five.

Destinee’s unborn baby, Fortune, will be identified by her genetic code at birth. Aunique profile that will inform almost every life transaction, movement and event. Body scanning devices that read people’s genetic codes are now the transaction tool for the globe.  This unique profile tracks health records, performs banking transactions, is an employment id, conducts shopping transactions, monitors consumable purchasing and monitors criminal activity. We no longer need passports as genetic code is used to trace all individuals who travel across the globe.

As a result, the world is a safer place - hacking, identity theft and terrorism are all things of the past.  All devices have scanners and any significant changes, be it monetary or behavioural, are tracked across the world, strengthening security and reducing fraudulent activities. Individual biometric markers authenticate all transactions and erratic human behaviour is detected and managed before significant events occur.   

However, the primary purpose of this valuable genetic code is to help design lives to be ‘perfectly imperfect’.  Based on her genetic type, Destinee was guided into the right school, the right friends and the career most suited to her unique genetic make-up. She is as an eco-restorer, designing methods to replenish the damage done to the earth over the last two centuries, mainly soil and forest restoration. Destinee was guided away from work that would result in depression or sports that would reduce her life span. Based on Destinee’s genetic code a suitable husband was matched to her for optimal success. This program has reduced divorce rates by eighty percent.

By sampling the global population, healthcare predictive data analytics has enhanced the understanding of mankind. It has guided everyone into ‘perfectly imperfect’ lives to the extent that global wars have ceased to exist. It has created such sophisticated artificial intelligence to the extent that most menial jobs have been replaced by robotics.

Destinee rises from her bed to a moving floor that takes her into the shower, then her body dryer and finally her cloths fitter. Water and dryer temperature, along with her clothes are all chosen based on Destinee’s morning scan which analysed her body temperature, the weather, her hormone levels and stage of pregnancy.

In the kitchen she presses two buttons and print food and juice are extracted providing the correct nutrients again to match her scan from this morning.  And her droid is responsible for re-stocking supplies for both print machines within the house. Retail stores rarely exist as most products are made by print machines in homes. Individual print stylists that program the home’s print machines work to maximise living, based on a person’s genetic predisposition.   

Her dog Surii runs into the room and says, “Hello, can you pat me?  When are we going for a walk?” Surii has a chip inside him that has enabled speech. All pets can now have two-way conversations with humans. Destinee responds whilst patting Surii,

“This afternoon I’ll take you across town to the Pet Greens.”  

After breakfast Destinee starts her work day at home. All corporate employees work from home now - offices were phased out fifty years ago.  The buzz of the meeting hologram rings and she leans in and presses the button. Meeting attendees appear around her table as though they were seated beside her, inducing natural conversation. Their cellular scanners, the same ones that read each person’s genetic code, have changed not only the way we work but the way we socialise. You can have dinner parties with friends in other countries. As a result, travel between countries, towns and cities is completely different to the old fashioned methods of fifty years ago.  Physical visits to the doctor no longer exist given this hologram technology, making it possible to meet with your doctor from home and view all your personalised health records.

After all work tasks are completed, Destinee says aloud,

“Catch a ride to Pet Greens please.” Destinee and Surii walk through the front door that opens and closes with no touch required. The voice-activated request turns off lights, opens doors and finds her a vehicle for travel. Outside her home a lift quickly pulls her up four metres into the air to reach a moving path. A vehicle, round and made from toughened glass, scoops Surii and herself up, and within minutes they are flown across town to the pet greens, where all the dogs and their owners are running, swimming and talking together.

Back to 2016 … Why tell a story and dare to be creative? Most inventions of today came from a story of some kind in the past. For example:

  • In Edward Bellamy’s 1888 Utopian novel he wrote about debit cards
  • In Hugo Gernsback’s 1911 electronic magazine he wrote about video conferencing
  • Jules Verne was remarkably accurate in his depiction of the moon landing his 1800s novel, From Earth to Moon
  • Spookily, Arthur C. Clarke wrote about wireless networks in his 1945 novel, The Space Station
  • And we all saw Captain Kirk in Star Trek hold a mobile phone, well before it was invented
  • Not to forget the Jetsons with print machines!

Creative minds determine our future through story telling. And effective leaders tell stories. It is proven that story telling inspires our teams, colleagues, customers, friends and children. To be heard with influence, use a creative anecdote. And it doesn’t have to be a future prediction: start with your current work deliverables, create a story related to the deliverable outcomes and the strength of the message will be enhanced. Using true historical stories is a sure way to win the hearts and minds of an audience. However, I encourage you though to take a leap of faith in yourself and envision the future!

I challenge you to be a real IT leader, create, make dreams come true and create the future of IT.

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