In partnership with the IRT Nanoelec and Glénat Concept, Grenoble Ecole de Management has launched a series called "Management through Comic Books." These nine pages comic books tell the story of workers who have to think about the fundamentals of company strategy. Here are four good reasons to adopt this method.
The benefits of using comic books for teaching have already been demonstrated and they are now being offered by Grenoble Ecole de Management. Written by Séverine Le Loarne, a professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management, and illustrated by Roger Brunel, the first book in this series is titled "Strategy in the Land of Nanolie" and uses humor to depict three scenarios that took place in the company. The goal is to train readers in company strategies for nanotechnology. This first edition was pre-tested by 13 middle managers at STMicroelectronics and the results were astounding.
The use of comic books for learning creates surprise and encourages curiosity. The power of comic books lies in their ability to grab the attention of readers and have them concentrate 100% on what they are learning. "They are an excellent tool to focus students at the beginning of a work session." highlights Séverine Le Loarne.
Traditional case studies for teaching include the answer to the problem. "Learners are guided to look for answers in the documents they've been given. But in the real world, the solution is not always available." explains Séverine Le Loarne. Comic books find their utility in the fact that they serve not simply to tell a story but they offer a means to encourage critical thinking. The answers are hidden throughout the comic book: in one bubble, one situation, one action by a character, etc. This encourages participants to search, find, recognize and interpret solutions - key skills for strategic management.
Using emotional intelligence
This approach also develops learners' know-how and their emotional intelligence, which are essential for any employee. It's not just about building on acquired knowledge and rational thinking. "The discussion is not so much about the story but rather the interpretations we can have of each situation: What is the middle manager in this story really thinking? Is he or she sharing the right information? As with movies, comic books leave room for extrapolation and interpretation." adds Séverine Le Loarne.
In a traditional class or case study, we tend to remember the example rather than the theory. Comic books have the advantage of offering multiple opportunities for memorization. Individuals can remember the example in the story, but also an image, one key conversation bubble or any other aspect of the book. It's a tool that encourages the long-term integration of the idea or strategy being taught.
Next up in this series: three new books on innovation management, entrepreneurship and feminine entrepreneurship in nanotechnology.