The Story Doctor – Author and Adviser
Earn and sustain the attention you seek in today’s distracted, fragmented world
Born in Dublin, James McCabe displayed a passionate interest in true stories from infancy. First published at the age of twelve, James achieved the highest standards in a literary education – including a Double First degree at University College Dublin and an award-winning doctorate at St. John’s College Oxford.
For the last quarter century, he has pioneered the use of classical story in business – long before the popular trend for business storytelling today which blurs the lines between rhetoric and real drama.
Along the way, James has helped give birth to revolutionary new ideas in the form of products, services, experiences and entire ecosystems. Executive clients from some or the world’s most recognisable corporations utilise Dr McCabe’s skills to navigate complex patterns of change and help them narrate new forms of value – kinds of value that do not even have a language to start with. James turns singular ideas into unforgettable emotions that move employees, customers, investors and the public through spoken word and digital media.
Uniquely for a storyteller, James applies his toolkit directly from the timeless world of art story – drama, poetry, fiction, film and the emerging metaverse. He has worked for European, American and Asian companies and organisations as well as Irish entities from his Dublin base.
Once upon a time fellow Dublin James Joyce created the Monomyth – the one story that encapsulated all others – in his masterpiece Finnegans Wake. This became the lifetime inspiration of mythographer Joseph Campbell, who in turn inspired George Lucas to create the STAR WARS storyworld. Everything is connected, and it is narrative that connects people to ideas – and ultimately to other people.
You may want to go deeper into a topic for your audience. The keynote topics can be tailored and developed to suit your audience needs, be it a 90-minute Masterclass, a half-day or full-day workshop or a full online or face-to-face programme. Please contact one of our expert team to discuss.
Fable – The Art of Story
For millennia, professional storytellers have applied a set of specific principles to gaining and sustaining the attention of their audiences. Now more than ever these techniques are critically necessary in the commercial world, where persuasive rhetoric has run aground amid audience fragmentation, multi-screen distraction and general attention deficit. Fable, The Art of Story transfers the key tenets of classical story design from principles and models to exemplars and your own emerging story.
Telling AI like a Story
Artificial Intelligence has been around for decades as a concept but has now taken over as the dominant paradigm in today’s economy and society – for good and bad. Learn how to distinguish your own narrative from the buzzwords and trends – and apply story design to how you engage your audience through empathy, suspense and surprise. Abbreviations and acronyms don’t win friends and clients – true stories that emotionalise unique ideas generate the tribal cohesion you need to succeed today.
Sustaining Your Future
A sustainable climate – both in planetary and commercial terms – is top of the agenda today across both the private and public spheres in society. But sustainability itself is a vast abstraction which is very challenging to imagine accurately let alone dramatise and instrumentalise. Transform your operational behaviour around this key philosophy by generating genuine stories that transform how your people think.
You may want to go deeper with your audience. Masterclasses can be tailored and developed to suit your audience needs, be it a 90-minute Masterclass, a half-day or full-day workshop or a full online or face-to-face programme. Please contact one of our expert team to discuss.
The Fable Masterclass is an intensive workshop for a limited number of individuals – virtually or present – which transfers the core ideas and design principles of classical storytelling. When the Greeks designed a new city, they always started with the theatre – the teatron or “place of seeing”. Why? Because once a tribe has cohered around its core ideas and feelings, any task was possible. Storytelling – and more importantly storysmithing or making – is the mark of homo sapiens. Other creatures have tools, and even languages. None other has narrative. A word which means “knowledge”. Narrative and science mean the same thing – to know. Science knows things by experiment, narrative knows things by experience. And once your people have experienced new ideas as emotional energy, they will enact and operate them.
“A writer of immense promise.” – Professor John Kelly, Oxford University
“What James does professionally is always embedded in the grand scheme of mankind and literature. This allows him to liaise with potentially everyone, he bypasses the obstacles of professional skills to reach out to the things and values that matter to every human being with alert senses.” – Emilio Galli-Zugaro, Head, Group Communications, Allianz
“James McCabe is – without exaggeration – surely the only storytelling expert in Europe who comes close to what Robert McKee is in the USA and Hollywood. A staggering foundation in classic literature, both content- and structure-wise, that is combined with a deep knowledge of the business narratives that many companies have, but do not use or even know about”” – Tobias Dennehy, Corporate Communications, Siemens
“James McCabe’s knowledge of the narrative arts and their employment in commerce runs deeper and broader than anyone I have ever taught or met.”- Robert McKee, Story coach to 60 Oscar® Award winners
“James McCabe is one of those rare minds, capable of detecting, analysing and understanding the grand arc of the human story and how it impacts individuals and organisations. McCabe is a master storyteller, but more, a visionary of the immediate future of communicating and engaging people to change consumer behaviour across a broad spectrum of markets. As a student, educator and practitioner of story craft, he understands the priceless value of ideas and a few well-chosen words to convey meaning. James McCabe has no contemporary equal.”Craig Snider, Executive Director, The Snider Foundation