Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Should have read Asimov

I was looking forward to Ex Machina greatly: it had all the promise of a profound and memorable scifi movie. But whilst it was riveting for 90% of the movie, the ending did not work for me. But that is probably a personal thing and other people may find this the best scifi movie for a long while.

The scripting was tight with ironic frills, the setting amazing and the acting variable. Best of all was the actor portraying Ava, the AI 'being'. But I think the narrative became a bit frayed at the end and lost some integrity. So rather than be immersed in the film, I started rewriting the script in the cinema and began to cynically wonder whether we were being set up for a sequel... or even a trilogy.

In the movie, we get to meet the head of a futuristic corporation called 'BlueBook', which is Google v99 (or some such). He is hip, blokeish and likes his vodka (but will beards still be in fashion in the future...?) He is also hyper intense and scarily powerful. So I reflected on what lessons on leadership could be learned from him...

But in fact, the best lesson to be had was from Ava. She evidenced her 'humanity' through the use of comedic irony, trusting disclosure and manipulation. This highlighted for me, the importance of humour in leadership: the ability to make people laugh. I am not saying that leaders need to be stand up comedians. But I do think people look for good timing & wry takes on the world from their leaders, at the very least.

When did you last raise a smile or an eyebrow among your followers?


This is the seventy second of my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

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