From OUR EDITORIAL STAFF we have been investigating what outstanding teachers, all of them business experts, are doing to make their classes authentic experiences for students. Let’s say that the thing goes for the telling of stories, which have a true background, which are full of useful testimonies for learning.
Although as we will see later, there will also be false stories but they contain a strong educational content.
But first we are going to see why it is important to tell stories as part of the methodology in business schools. It is that a narrative, however simple it may be, but that is well told and maintains the basic aspects of the daily reality in the work of companies, helps students to connect and understand how companies work in general (beyond a particular case that is intended to be analyzed with the story) and what said narrative represents in terms of highlighting the fit between markets and organizations. This involves learning more about competitive values, strategies, etc.
It’s the perfect way to convey a brand’s story, and it’s exactly in these situations that it helps graduate students feel more connected because they gain a deeper understanding of that special something that represents the value of a brand.
Why is storytelling important to ethics?
Undoubtedly they teach us lessons and morals, because from the stories emerge people (certain and that exist or have existed), places and not least the ideas, that is, the strategic thinking that moved the strings of the company under story (analysis).
In any postgraduate program, to your assistants, whether in person or online, you are giving them role models and, although it may seem an exaggeration, heroes to aspire to (it is common for postgraduate students to look at themselves in the mirror of leaders businesses they would like to emulate).
What are the benefits of telling stories?
We cannot make a list of benefits exhaustively, but merely enunciative, for example:
– Inculcates virtues.
– Increase listening skills.
– Encourages imagination to create situations and simulations.
– Improve communication skills.
– Helps sharpen business memory.
– In general terms, it facilitates learning.
Reviewing both sites to find clues about the importance of stories in postgraduate teaching, for example, the site
in December 2018 points out interesting things like:
– Human beings have always told stories and they are a vital part of our daily communication, but stories have meaning that goes beyond entertainment value.
– Storytelling is a great business skill, and when implemented effectively, it can boost a business in a number of ways, such as improving customer loyalty, creating a strong marketing strategy, increasing profits, etc.
We find this position interesting because it highlights aspects in which we agree from OUR EDITORIAL STAFF, such as:
– Storytelling conveys purpose and purposeful businesses get noticed and win consumer loyalty.
-When an entrepreneur comes up with an idea for his business, there will be a story behind it, whether it has to do with the development of a new product or with the growth of his business.
Therefore, for graduate students, a professor tells a story and provides the context so that both clients and graduate students (anyone interested in the products/services of that company in the story) understand why it is worth buying/investing in that service or product. And this is pure learning.
The idea of the professor and the story has been created to solve a problema, so tell the story of how he was affected by this problem and how it led to that product/service. Be sure to engage the audience in the story by using real-life situations, as this makes it easier to see why your products will add value to their lives.
The use of narration in this way helps the audience to connect with the teacher, a special confidence arises about the perception of that story that they also understand the area in which said brand or company operates. What is your corporate culture, your strengths and weaknesses, your business strategies in recent years, etc. When the story that is told becomes easy to understand, it has the additional benefit that it can be identified with other similar situations that the student knows or has studied, in short, it is part of learning.
The site has also been of great interest to us
in which it refers to the compatibility of true and false stories.
It is a very effective activity for postgraduate learning, the way in which a story is told, at the same time that personal stories (professional experiences) of the students are also exchanged.
According to this BBC British Council portal, this “speaking activity is very effective for practicing telling stories and learning fascinating things about your students. You don’t need any material for this, just a made-up story that you’re ready to tell.”
We find the procedure fascinating for students in an MBA course to clearly distinguish what is genuine in a story and what is false. Because what this way of teaching supports is telling students an interesting story about the teacher’s own professional experience, describing in great detail what happened and why it happened. At the end of the story, give them the chance to ask you questions about the whole story. Finally, the million dollar question to the students: is this story true or false?
This site also tells us that it is interesting to divide students into groups (depending on how many groups and how many members each one has, depending on whether it is face-to-face or online). But the interesting thing is that the students, after having lived the experience of the teacher’s story, will be entrusted to each group to prepare their stories for another class. Some may be true and others false (the request for this category will depend on the number of groups). “The important thing is that the false stories must be realistic and the true stories must be unusual”, a nuance that we find interesting.
What is the teacher’s task?
Be available to help students with the language of the stories and take notes so that at the end, in the session in which a joint feedback is made, all the observations and all the errors can be used, which strengthens the learning.
Some teachers who have stood out with this methodology
From media as important as the Financial Times and in a very interesting and recent report (December 2021), space and voice are given to professors from important business schools on which we will comment below. You can see this article at
To make it easier for our followers of the AEEN website, we are going to summarize some of the opinions expressed.
This is the case of Professor Bertrand Monnet who says “that other academics can follow his example and turn a class into a media-friendly story”. He teaches “Criminal Risk Management” and goes so far as to create situations such as a meeting in Mexico between Monnet and and a member of the Sinaloa drug cartel. All this effort has led him to turn these stories into documentaries (two 70-minute episodes) called “Le Business du Crime” co-produced by CinéFrance Studios and KM and broadcast on the French television channel RMC Story in 2021.
Monnet says that his pedagogy is based on the study of real cases of organized crime, that while there are many textbooks that are essential, they are not enough. “It is important to know how criminals choose their targets or how they launder their money. It shows reality and is much more shocking.”
Monnet has written about the business of crime for French newspapers and magazines Le Monde, L’Express and L’Expansion and made another documentary on Somali pirates for the French channel Canal+ in 2016.
There has certainly been a paradigm shift, as all types of online learning during the pandemic have made it easier for many teachers to introduce their stories in a way that creates an environment of real experience in which they feel comfortable and the students also experience an experience very positive outside the conventional realm of classrooms and conference rooms. Currently, NT’s allow any teacher to do for themselves and become protagonists of stories that a decade ago depended on massive open online courses. Today they own their own media channels.
Another interesting case is that of Oluwasoye Mafimisebi, Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management at De Montfort University’s Leicester Castle School of Business in central England, who used YouTube to help students through the pandemic. The lectures that he uploads to his channel, YouTube Professor, have received more than 20,000 views. And a YouTube channel of finance lectures by David Hillier, executive dean of the University of Strathclyde Business School in Scotland, has attracted more than half a million views.
Other teachers have chosen podcasts. “We need academic influencers,” says Alberto Alemanno, a professor at HEC Paris, host of the Citizen Lobbyist podcast, and founder of The Good Lobby, a nonprofit that helps citizens and other organizations counter the influence of special interest groups.
“But academics are not trained to relate to the general public. It’s not even what most universities expect us to do. By telling the stories of people pushing for good, my podcast aims to inspire our students and other listeners to play their part in the most controversial challenges facing our societies today.”
In Italy, MIP Politecnico di Milano School of Management professors Antonella Moretto and Davide Chiaroni co-host Innovators’ Talks, a podcast where they interview entrepreneurs, managers and CEOs twice a month. Backed by Forbes Italia magazine, the podcast was first proposed by one of his former Executive MBA students, who had launched a digital audio business.
“After the launch, Forbes contacted us, who were interested in a partnership and sharing our podcasts on their channels,” says Professor Moretto, adding that the podcast allows students to hear stories of innovation from different fields. “Through the podcast, you learn innovation without realizing that you are learning something new.”
She admits that podcasting is very different from what business school academics are used to, from the short wait times and the importance of speaking bluntly to the informal nature of the conversations. “I recommend finding a reliable partner,” she suggests.
From the AEEN we are convinced that the teachers of all the associated schools have taken advantage of the limit experience to which the pandemic has forced us, in having appealed to creativity more than ever, because face-to-face training was absolutely stopped and online training, passed to be the form, so this type of methodology became one of the most useful for learning.