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Cave wall to internet, storytelling, the ancient learning art

Gerry Beamish (Beamish Associates International, Newtownbutler, UK)
Jonathan Beamish (Beamish Associates International, Newtownbutler, UK)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 1 June 2015




The purpose of this paper is to show the value of storytelling in developing organisational culture and values, facilitating change and accelerating learning.


The paper looks at why storytelling is important and how it has survived and adapted to changing technologies.


Storytelling is crucial in bridging the knowledge/action gap that is at the centre of most management, change and learning problems. The fact that oral storytelling has survived so many changes in technology is testament to its value but more recent research has underlined the scientific reasons for its success.


A story is the only way to activate parts in the brain so that a listener turns the story into their own ideas and experience. In terms of influencing there is nothing more powerful than people thinking that the idea is their own. When people believe the idea is their own they put all their energies behind implementing it thus reinforcing culture/values and facilitating learning and change.



Beamish, G. and Beamish, J. (2015), "Cave wall to internet, storytelling, the ancient learning art", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 47 No. 4, pp. 190-194.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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