University of Oklahoma professor Jeremy Short will speak on textbooks he’s created in graphic novel format at Friday’s TEDxOU conference at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
“I’m speaking on the ‘graphic’ approach to education that I’ve developed by writing several graphic novels on management, entrepreneurship and college survival,” Short said. “Most recently, I co-authored a free online textbook that incorporates a graphic-intensive approach to teaching key concepts in my primary area of study: strategic management.”
Short is the Rath Chair in Strategic Management at OU’s Price College of Business. He also co-authored the first Harvard business case in graphic novel format. He’s written textbooks in graphic novel format including “Managing to Succeed” and the sequel “Atlas Black: Management Guru,” and co-authored “Tales of Garcon: The Franchise Players” and “University Life: A College Survival Story.”
“What’s new about all of these works is that they are graphically interesting and convey what we’ve known for years: Individuals learn better through memorable visual storytelling. What might surprise some is that textbooks don’t have to be boring,” he said.
TED is a nonprofit devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” It began in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: technology, entertainment and design.
The TEDx program is designed to stimulate TED-like experiences at the local level. TEDx events are planned and coordinated locally. The sold-out TEDxOU conference, to be held in Meacham Auditorium, is part of a locally organized TED event featuring ideas worth sharing from creative minds with Oklahoma ties.
Short’s textbook “Mastering Strategic Management,” co-written with lead author Dave Ketchen at Auburn University, has been made available through the publisher to read free online.
“The average person thinking about starting their own business can use our book now, for free, to think through important issues,” Short said. “I think this is great because academics like myself often struggle for ways to be relevant to a broader market, and this provides a resource to reach out beyond the classroom or the pages of journal articles we publish.”
Short says using the graphic novel format to illustrate concepts helps make it easier for readers to understand the latest in business research.
“Our most recent book, ‘Tales of Garcon: The Franchise Players,’ tells the story of a family business that is considering franchising,” Short said. “While you might tend to think of graphic novels as dumbing down content, as in ‘aren’t comics for kids?,’ we actually provide a richer narrative than many books that summarize concepts.”
“Franchise Players” is by Ketchen, Short, Jim Combs and illustrator Will Terrell.
And Short has more graphic novel textbooks potentially on the way, one featuring the character Garcon, and the other looking at a venture capital firm hosting a competition for a great entrepreneurial idea.
“Think ‘The Amazing Race’ meets ‘Shark Tank,’” Short said.
By Matthew Price
From Friday’s The Oklahoman