Stories in Learning: The Firm

Last week, Erin Murphy and I attended Brandon Hall’s Innovations in Learning conference, which also included the Excellence in Learning Awards. One of the award winners, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, had a great spin on corporate training.

PWC created a video series called “The Firm,” which follows several characters—the Sr. Associate who parties too much, the New Hire, the Partner, the Baby Boomer executive assistant, the Generation Y fashionista Associate—through their everyday lives as PWC employees and illustrates the finer points of employee coaching.

They released a new episode of The Firm every two weeks, got thousands of internal views, and made the episodes available on YouTube and to as part of their recruiting strategy.

I love this approach because it’s a story. The people are real employees with real quirks—they shave in the bathroom after partying all night and complain about the way their co-workers dress. The second season of the show was even accompanied by a fictitious blog*.

The cases used in business education already incorporate the element of story, so why not take those stories to the next level (someone out there already is, no doubt)? For starters, what about the Learning Lab’s Raise game, in which students allocate salary increases by reading employee profiles? It be so fun to give those characters a voice.

*Writing a fake blog as part of your job? Sign me up!


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