Predicting the Future in an Uncertain World

Paige Francis | September 29, 2015

A few months ago I wrote an article on the phrase ‘palm leadership,’ coined while trying to describe my leadership style. The tag line read: As a CIO, a leadership role in something as fickle and ever-changing as technology, your leadership style can't just be charismatic, innovative, pace-setting and transformational — you also need to predict the future.

It is clear at Fairfield University that the expectation for mobility and seamless integration between systems and solutions starts long before our students reach us as freshman. Real world here: my five-year-old daughter walks up to a flat-screen TV at Costco and swipes. I’m not teaching her this. Responsive, smart integration is a basic expectation. It’s intuitive to children. In her world everything should work as easy as an iPad.  

"Responsive, smart integration is a basic expectation" Tweet

And why not? Kids plausibly know more than we do because we’re growing them these days to test boundaries, try new things and embrace change. They expect things to simply work — and they want to drive it, not wait for it to happen.

Imagine how archaic it seems to a college student should they need to jump systems to complete a basic task. Imagine how your business’ new hires might look if they need to do the same.

So today I work with college students. I work with the business world’s future.

For anyone attending the EMS Live! 2015 event, please note when I talk about needing to plan for the future: I’m looking at you. Whether you support an integrative solution like EMS, schedule rooms and resources for events ranging big to small, whether you are the decision-maker for Marketing, IT, Facilities or Finance — ‘Palm Leadership’ ain’t just for CIOs. The expectation is that we create a simple, floating base capable of comprehensive connectivity and the ability to respond with agility to the adoption of rapidly changing technology. Rapidly changing into something very mysterious in the future that we need to be prepared for. Simple. Clean. Fast. Connected. Responsive to a very unknown future.  

The expectation is that we create a simple, floating base capable of comprehensive connectivity and the ability to respond with agility to the adoption of rapidly changing technology.

I look forward to sharing with you at the conference what we’re doing today to attract, engage, and retain in higher education while gazing into the crystal ball that is our future of innovation. Hopefully any takeaways will assist in driving transformation in your own world.

Follow Paige on Twitter @fairfieldcio.

Paige Francis
written by Paige Francis, CIO, Fairfield Univiersity

Paige Francis has defined the digital campus and the role of IT. Having lead a highly successful digital strategy and implementation at Fairfield University, Paige believes that the role of IT must align fully with business — from strategy to marketing to the ability to communicate well with others. With this philosophy, Paige rallies consensus across diverse functional, service and campus wide interests, and fosters teamwork and collaboration in order to maintain and implement new technology. Follow Paige @FairfieldCIO on Twitter.

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