Quotes

The best quotes offer new insights, some with humour – penetrating flashes from minds that have clearly had much experience and success with the topic involved – they help one better understand by broadening the spectrum of one’s thinking, whether you agree with them or not

However, many, far too many, appear forced, contrived, shallow or cliché – the latter have been avoided in the list below, hopefully

  • 50 Cent – Rapper:
    • When people don’t respond to what you do, they’re telling you something loud and clear, you’re just not listening
  • Ackoff, Russell – American ‘Operational Research’ professor:
    • The only problems that have simple solutions are simple problems – complex problems do not have simple solutions
  • Acton Lord – English catholic historian and politician:
    • Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely – great men are almost always bad men
  • Adern Jacinda – Prime Minister, New Zealand:
    • Economic growth accompanied by worsening social outcomes is not success, it is failure
  • Ali Muhammed – World heavyweight boxing champion:
    • The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life
    • He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life
    • I hated every minute of training, but I said to myself: “Suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion”
    • Friendship is a priceless gift that cannot be bought nor sold, but its value is far greater than a mountain made of gold; for gold is cold and lifeless – it can neither see nor hear, in time of trouble it’s powerless to cheer – it has no ears to listen, no heart to understand, it cannot bring you comfort or reach out a helping hand – so when you ask God for a gift, be thankful if he sends not diamonds, pearls or riches but the love of real true friends
  • Allen Fred – American comedian:
    • A committee is a group of men who individually can do nothing but, as a group , decide that nothing can be done
  • Allen, Paul – Founder, Microsoft:
    • In my own work, I’ve tried to anticipate what’s coming over the horizon, to hasten its arrival, and to apply it to people’s lives in a meaningful way
  • Allen, Woody – US comedian:
    • Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem
    • Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons
  • American GI:
    • Afghans and Iraqis just want to be left alone – have their crops, weddings, stuff like that – that’s it, man
  • Amis, Kingsley – British author:
    • No pleasure is worth giving up for the sake of two more years in a geriatric home at Weston-super-Mare
  • Andretti, Mario – Italian-born American F1 racing driver:
    • If everything is under control, you are going too slow
  • Annunziata, Marco – Chief economist, GE:
    • Real time data collected by sensors, internet connected machines which assess/ predict/ find meanings, product diagnostics, software and analytics will save enormous amounts of wasted time and resources – making business processes more efficient, proactive, predictive and automated claims
  • Ansoff, Igor – Russian American ‘Operational Research’ professor:
    • Corporate strategy is about means, not ends
  • Antisthenes – Ancient Greek philosopher:
    • Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes
  • Apthorpe John – Founder of Bejam, now Iceland:
    • The secret of my success? People pay me before I pay my suppliers
  • Arden Elizabeth – Canadian-born businesswoman of perfume fame:
    • Repetition makes reputation, and reputation makes customers
  • Aristotle, 384 – 322 BC – Ancient Greek philosopher – taught by Plato, who was taught by Socrates:
    • Father of syllogisms
    • Education is the best provision for the journey into old age
    • One swallow does not make spring, nor does one fine day (re virtue, you’ve got be good not just for a day but a lifetime)
    • Man is a goal-seeking animal – his life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals
  • Ashenfelter Orley:
    • How to explain the quality of red wines from the Bordeaux region
    • Value = -12.1454 + 0.00117 winter rainfall + 0.6164 average growing season temperature – 0.00386 harvest rainfall
    • Given the vintners have used the same methods for centuries and kept good records of temperature and rainfall, a regression analysis was easily possible
    • The formula is scorned by the buffs
    • The formula is remarkably accurate, especially when judging young wines
  • Asimov Isaac – US sci-fi writer:
    • It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today
  • Asquith Margot – Wife of Herbert, Liberal Prime Minister, 1908-1916
    • The Tory party now has little or no real brains and a poor education
    • Eton, that beautiful, divine school, is rotten, full of prejudice, laziness and far too big and fashionable
    • Lord Kitchener, War secretary, is slow and cumbersome in mind
    • All David Lloyd George undertakes drops in chaos and confusion on a floor littered with covered tracks – he couldn’t see a belt without hitting beneath it
    • Winston’s vanity is septic – he is devoted to Clemmy, but fonder of himself – he has not merely bad judgement, but he has none – what a strange being! – he really likes war – he would be quite damped if he were told now “the war is over” – he has no imagination of the heart
  • Atkinson Bill – Apple computer engineer:
    • Because I didn’t know it couldn’t be done, I was enabled to do it
  • Aughey James – US clergyman and Unionist:
    • Lost time is never found again
  • Aurelius Marcus – Roman emperor:
    • The secret of all victory lies in the organisation of the non-obvious
  • Austen Jane – Author:
    • Judge people not by what they say but what they do
  • BA – British Airways:
    • Customers’ views are the ultimate reality check
  • Bacon Francis Snr (1561 – 1626):
    • Time is the measure of business
  • Bacon Francis, 1909-93 – English philosopher and statesman:
    • A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds
    • Knowledge is power
    • By far the best proof is experience
    • The most important advances are the least predictable ones
    • How can I take an interest in my work when I don’t like it?
  • Baker Richard – NED Virgin Active, ex CEO Alliance Boots
    • Employee morale is the first step to productivity improvements – give your people a damn good listening to, and act on what you learn
  • Bains – Management consultancy:
    • Winners typically achieve at least a 5.5% real growth rate in revenue and profit over ten years whilst earning back their cost of capital
    • Every four years the average firm loses half its customers – a huge loss
    • 80% of executives think they’re doing a great job serving customers, 8% of customers agree
    • Those with the highest market share outperform those with the lowest by a factor of five
  • Ballmer Steve – CEO, Microsoft:
    • Governments should invest more in R&D, focus on training a new generation of scientists, engineers and skilled technology workers, protect IP, minimise trade barriers and expand tax incentives that encourage companies to invest in R&D
  • Balzac Honore – French novelist and playwright:
    • Behind every great fortune is a great crime
  • Baring Maurice – English man of letters:
    • Whoever one is, and wherever one is, one is always in the wrong if one is rude
  • Barnevik Percy – CEO, ABB:
    • The key is to get the structure roughly right, fast – not exactly right, slow
  • Bartlett, Dr Albert – American physics professor:
    • The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function
  • Baruch Lev – Business professor:
    • Things are assets and ideas are expendable
  • Baumol William – American economics professor:
    • Even after 300 years, it still takes the same time and four musicians to play a string quartet
  • Bean Charlie – Chief economist, Office for Budget Responsibility:
    • You can debate about how big the effects of Brexit may be, but they are small compared to the (current) productivity shortfall
  • Beaton Cecil – English photographer:
    • Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary
  • Beaverbrook Lord – Canadian press baron:
    • Business is more exciting than any game
  • Behan Brendan – Irish poet, novelist and playwright:
    • I drink on only two occasions – when I’m thirsty and when I’m not
    • Critics are like eunuchs in a harem – they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it every day, but they’re unable to do it themselves
  • Belcher John – American Productivity Center:
    • All knowledge workers are white collar workers, but not all white collar workers are knowledge workers
  • Bell Alexander Graham – Scottish-born American inventor:
    • Great improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds
  • Bentham Jeremy – English philosopher:
    • The best society is one where the citizens are happiest
  • Bernolak Imre:
    • Productivity is the single most important factor for the survival of business, the prosperity of nations and the standards of living of people
  • Bernstein William – US financial theorist – ‘Rational Expectations’
    • How do we know economists have a sense of humour? – because they put decimal points in their forecasts
  • Bezos Jeff – Founder of Amazon:
    • If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that – word of mouth is very powerful
    • There are two ways to extend a business – take inventory of what you’re good at and extend out from your skills – or determine what your customers need and work backward, even if it requires learning new skills – Kindle is an example of working backward
    • We expect all our businesses to have a positive impact on our top and bottom lines – profitability is very important to us or we wouldn’t be in this business
  • Bhattacharyya Kumar – Professor, Warwick University:
    • Intellectual capital is the future competitive differential
  • Biederman Irv – Professor, Stanford University
    • Most advances in science come not from eureka moments but from “hmmm, that’s funny”
  • Bismarck Otto Von – German Chancellor:
    • The great questions of the day will not be settled by speeches and majority decisions …. but by blood and iron
  • Blackett Professor Patrick Nobel prize-winning British physicist:
    • My aim is to find numbers on which to base strategy, not gusts of emotion
  • Blair Tony – UK Prime Minister:
    • People never compare a service with what it was, they measure it against what it should be
    • What matters is what works
    • I have, unfortunately, come to the conclusion that it was luck
    • Sometimes it is better to lose and do the right thing, than to win and do the wrong thing
  • Blake William – English poet and writer
    • You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough
  • Blanchard Ken – Business author:
    • Targets should be big, hairy, audacious goals
    • Don’t quack like a duck, soar like an eagle
    • Too many leaders act as if the sheep… their people… are there for the benefit of the shepherd, not that the shepherd has responsibility for the sheep.
    • Feedback is the breakfast of champions
    • None of us is as smart as all of us
    • A team’s productivity depends on how its members see their own goals in relation to the goals of the organisation
  • Boeing:
    • You have to bet the company every 20 years or so
  • Bolland Marc – CEO, Marks & Spencer:
    • People don’t like targets they cannot reach
  • Bolton Anthony – UK investor:
    • Mean reversion is one of the great truisms of capitalism – if it’s on a high or low, you know where it’s going next
    • The ability to generate cash is a very attractive attribute – in fact, the most favourable of all
    • At turning points, the correct view is, by definition, the minority view
  • Booth Charles – UK shipowner:
    • Things hang together in a perplexing tangle of causation beyond the possibility of unravelment – the moral question rests at the bottom – on it rests the economic – and on both is built up the standard of life and habit – then all act and react on each other and, to be attacked, must be attacked together
  • Boyle David – British author:
    • Decisions by numbers are a bit like painting by numbers – they don’t make for great art
    • They need “hot indicators”, ones that inspire, ones that catch the imagination – now review most and assess what you find
  • BP:
    • Ultimately, financial goals are the most important
  • Brailsford David – Team GB cycling coach
    • Don’t talk about perfection, talk about progression
  • Branson Richard – Founder of Virgin:
    • Screw it, let’s do it
    • Directors have a duty to build their organisation to be a dominant force
    • I never get the accountants in before starting up a business – it’s done on gut-feel
  • Brin Sergey Mikhaylovich – Founder of Google, with Larry Page:
    • We are currently not planning on conquering the world     
    • Marketing is the cost you pay for lousy products
    • We want Google to be the third half of your brain
  • British Army:
    • “That’ll do” won’t do
  • Brittan Sam – FT journalist:
    • Growth is no longer the most sensible policy objective
  • Broad Dr CD – English philosopher:
    • Facts do not cease to be vital by being ignored
  • Bross Irwin – Public health biostatistician:
    • The purpose of studies in consumer preference is to adjust the product to the public rather than, as in advertising, to adjust the public to the product
  • Brown Gordon – UK Prime Minister:
    • Productivity growth is the most important factor driving the UK economy
    • We must waste less food and energy (before jetting off to a nineteen course G8 banquet in Japan)
    • The days of boom and bust are over (2007)
    • I did maths for a year at university – I don’t think I was very good at it, and some people would say it shows
    • Our aim is to raise the rate of UK productivity growth over the economic cycle
    • Productivity is the fundamental yardstick of our national economic performance
  • Bruyere Jean de la – French satiric moralist:
    • The shortest and best way to make your fortune is to let people see clearly that it is in their best interests to promote yours
  • Buffett Warren – US billionaire investor with Berkshire Hathaway – the ‘Sage of Omaha’:
    • A line from a country and western song expresses our feeling about new ventures, turnarounds and auction-like sales – “When the phone don’t ring, you’ll know it’s me”
    • We promise you a very fast answer, customarily within five minutes
    • We stick to simple businesses – if there’s lots of technology, we won’t understand it
    • Demonstrate consistent earning power – future projections are no interest to us
    • The larger your company the greater our interest – we would like to make an acquisition in the $5 – 20bn range
    • The babies born in America today are the luckiest crop in history
    • The US’s golden goose of commerce and innovation will keep laying more, and larger, eggs” which will benefit all people at all levels
    • S. citizens are not intrinsically more intelligent today, nor do they work harder than did Americans in 1930 (when WB was born) – rather, they work far more efficiently and therefore produce far more
    • For 240 years it’s been a terrible mistake to bet against America, and now is no time to start
    • Everything I have given away has been from an ungodly surplus – he’d never had to sacrifice a holiday or even a movie to give money away
    • My gang (the super rich) has been leaving the middle class in the dust
    • To raise the minimum wage to a level that’s significant to change things would cost a lot of jobs
    • We don’t get paid for activity – just for being right
    • A public opinion poll is no substitute for thought
    • Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks
    • You don’t have to swing at every pitch
    • If you’re being chased in the woods, you don’t need to outrun the bear, just the other guy
    • Investing is simple, but not easy
    • It’s not greed that drives the world, but envy
    • I get to do what I like to do every day of the year
    • Holding cash is uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as doing something stupid
    • Never ask a barber if you need a haircut (re consultants)
    • If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians
    • To perform as well in this century as it did in the past one, the Dow Jones
    • Industrial Average will have to rise to about 2,000,000 on December 31st 2099, up from below 13,000 today
    • I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute
    • You should invest in a business that even a fool can run, because some day a fool will
    • Rule 1 = Don’t lose money; Rule 2 = Don’t forget Rule 1
    • Price is what you pay, value is what you get
    • The best businesses have large moats, with crocodiles and piranhas in
    • Synergy is a term widely used to explain an acquisition that otherwise makes no sense
    • Beware of geeks bearing formulae
    • The investor of today does not profit from yesterday’s growth
    • The most valuable companies to me have large amounts of enduring goodwill and utilise a minimum of tangible assets
    • I’d be a bum in the street, with a tin cup, if the markets were efficient
    • It’s always better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price
    • Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing
    • What the wise man does at the beginning, the fool does at the end
    • What really matters is selecting people who are able, honest and hard-working
    • Be fearful whenever everyone else is greedy, and greedy when everyone else is fearful
    • It’s not a credit crunch – there’s plenty of money at low interest rates – it’s lack of dumb money
    • The rear view mirror is always clearer than the windscreen
    • When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it’s the reputation of the business that remains intact
  • Burke Edmund – British politician and man of letters:
    • Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength
    • Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, can never willingly abandon it
  • Burnham Daniel – American architect:
    • Make no little plans – they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realised
  • Burns George – US comedian:
    • Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are driving cabs and cutting hair
  • Burton Sir Richard Francis – British explorer and geographer:
    • The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself
  • Bush George W – US President:
    • You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on
    • Our enemies are innovative and resourceful – and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country, and our people, and neither do we
  • Caesar Julius – Roman general and statesman:
    • I would rather be first in Gaul than second in Rome
  • Cabell James Branch – US author of fantasy fiction:
    • The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true
  • Camus Albert – French philosopher, Nobel prize-winner:
    • The struggle to the summit itself is sufficient to fill the heart of man
  • Capone Al – US gangster
    • You can get much further with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone
    • It’s a racket – commenting on the stock exchange
  • Carnegie Andrew – American steel tycoon:
    • The parent who leaves his son enormous wealth generally deadens the talents and energies of the son, and tempts him to lead a less useful and less worthy life than he otherwise would
    • The man who dies rich dies disgraced
    • There is little success when there is little laughter
    • The first one gets the oyster, the second gets the shell
  • Carnegie Dale – American HR guru:
    • People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they’re doing
    • Develop success from failures – discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.
    • It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy – it is what you think about.
    • The man who starts out going nowhere, generally gets there
    • The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare
    • 15% of one’s financial success is due to knowledge, and 85% due to personality and the ability to lead people
  • Carpenter Chris – Author of ‘Flightwise – Volumes 1 & 2’:
    • “If you hear a sniper’s bullet, you’re safe – it travels supersonically, so it’s already passed you”
  • Carroll Lewis – Author of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’:
    • “Speak English” said the Eaglet – “I don’t know the meaning of half those long words and what’s more, I don’t believe you do either
  • Carter Jimmy – US President:
    • Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser
  • Case Steve – CEO, AoL:
    • On the AoL & Time Warner merger, ‘Yes, I’m sorry I did it’
  • Catherine the Great – Empress of Russia:
    • I praise loudly, I blame softly
  • Chang Ha-Joon – Professor, Cambridge University
    • Wages in rich countries are determined more by immigration control than anything else
  • Charlesworth Rick – Australian sportsman and politician:
    • You can’t beat the competition by thinking exactly their way – you have to be open to counter-intuitive ways of looking at things
  • Chesterton GK – English author:
    • The only way to be sure of catching a train is to miss the one before it
    • It isn’t that they can’t see the solution – it is that they can’t see the problem
    • The way to love anything is to realise that it might be lost
    • Progress is the mother of problems
    • An adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered
    • If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly
    • The word ‘good’ has many meanings – for example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of 500 yards, I should call him a good shot but not necessarily a good man
  • Chinese proverbs:
    • To open a shop is easy, to keep it open is an art
    • A crisis is a mix of danger and opportunity
  • Chisholm Roderick – US philosopher:
    • If you explain so clearly that nobody will misunderstand, somebody will
  • Christensen Clayton – American academic:
    • The innovator’s dilemma – people who invent something are usually the last ones to see past it
  • Churchill Winston Spencer – UK Prime Minister, author and artist:
    • Britain and the Empire have been the vanguard of liberty, progress, justice and human well-being the world over
    • Democracy is the worst possible option, except for all the others
    • In war you don’t have to be nice, you only have to be right
    • Facts are better than dreams
    • He (PM Stanley Baldwin) would occasionally stumble over the truth but hastily pick himself up and hurry on as if nothing had happened
    • WSC was ‘easily satisfied with the best’
    • Words are the only things that last forever
    • We’ll fight them with the butt ends of broken beer bottles because that’s bloody well all we’ve got
    • Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon
    • A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest
    • If you are going through hell, keep going
    • The empires of the future are the empires of the mind
    • History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it
    • A nation trying to tax itself into prosperity is like a man in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle
    • When asked about dinner “It would have been splendid …. if the wine had been as cold as the soup, the beef as rare as the service, the brandy as old as the fish, and the maid as willing as the duchess”
    • Winston v Lady Astor:
      • Winston – if I were married to you I’d put strychnine in your tea
      • If I were married to you, I’d drink it
    • Success consists in going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm
    • He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire
    • To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often
    • Words are the only things that last for ever
    • Make sure the beer – four pints a week – goes to the troops under fire before any of the parties in the rear get a drop
    • When I call for statistics about infant mortality, what I want is proof that fewer babies died when I was PM than when anyone else was PM
    • Pessimists see failure in every opportunity – optimists see opportunities in failure
    • Industry is too humble, finance too proud
    • The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see
    • When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened
  • Cicero – Roman orator, put to death by Mark Anthony:
    • If you aspire to the highest place, it is no disgrace to stop at the second, or even the third, place
    • Cui bono – who benefits?
    • Advice is judged by results, not intentions
  • Clark C&J – UK shoe manufacturer:
    • Seek out the best suppliers, stick with them and pay their bills promptly
  • Clarke Ken – UK Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer:
    • On average, it now costs more to keep a criminal in jail for a year than to send a boy to Eton
    • Forecasts from the UK Treasury’s national model are usually wrong
  • Clapton Eric – English guitar player, singer and songwriter:
    • How did you ever get so good? – Young fan
    • First learn to play, then practise at least eight hours a day for 40 to 50 years
  • Claudel Paul, Ambassador, Washington on the eve of the 1929 crash:
    • Between the crisis and the catastrophe, there is always time for a glass of champagne
  • Clinton William Jefferson (Bill) – US President:
    • Nobody would get anything done if nobody took a chance
    • It’s the economy, stupid
  • Clinton Hillary – US Secretary of State:
    • Fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me
    • The questions of any leader are not “do you want to be boss and can you win?” but “what’s your vision for the nation and can you lead us there?”
    • Relations between nations are based on shared interests and values
  • Cockburn Claud – British author:
    • Never believe anything until it has been officially denied
    • Never underestimate the effectiveness of a straight cash bribe
  • Collier Sir Paul – British economist – ‘The Bottom Billion’
    • Many civil wars in the Emerging Markets are financed by gifts from the Developed Markets which get diverted into military spending
  • Collins James C (Jim) – American author – ‘How the mighty fall’:
    • There are three stages involved here – hubris born of success, undisciplined pursuit of more, denial of risk
  • Collins Michael – US astronaut, Apollo 11:
    • If a link breaks, downstream is useless
  • Colony George – Forrester Research
    • The customer is a rear view mirror, not a guide to the future
  • Confucius – Ancient Chinese philosopher:
    • The essence of knowledge is, having it, to use it
    • Find people you can trust, and then trust them
    • He who will not economise will have to agonise
  • Connolly Cyril – English literary critic and writer:
    • Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first call promising
  • Cook, Captain James – British explorer, navigator and cartographer:
    • Ambition leads me not only farther than any other man has been before, but as far as I think it is possible for man to go
  • Cook Paul – CEO, Raychem:
    • You can’t continue to reduce costs and grow
  • Coolidge Calvin – US President:
    • The quality leaders need above all is persistence – there are many who are talented, clever, well educated and unsuccessful – persistence is the key to success
  • Corfield Sir Kenneth – British camera engineer and industrialist – STC:
    • We have one core value – mutual respect
  • Covey Stephen – American business educator:
    • Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success – leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall
    • A cardinal principle of Total Quality escapes too many managers: you cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships.
  • Crafts Nick – Economics professor, LSE and Warwick University:
    • The UK annual productivity growth rate of 2.2% has hardly been “tigerish”
  • Crosby Philip – US quality management guru:
    • Quality is conformance to requirements, not goodness
    • Investing in quality should save money
    • The aim must be to help people have lives
    • The error that does not exist cannot be missed
    • Leadership is getting people to co-operate enthusiastically
    • We will deliver defect-free products and services to our clients, on time
    • Public sector organisations exist because people want them to
  • Curie Marie Sklodowska – Polish naturalised-French physicist:
    • One never notices what has been done – one can only see what remains to be done
  • Dante – Italian poet:
    • From the little spark may burst a mighty flame
  • Darling Alistair – former UK Chancellor:
    • If you had said to me in 2008, would we (now) be the only G20 country in recession apart from Italy, I’d have said ‘no, of course we won’t’
  • Darrow Clarence – US lawyer:
    • The main work of a trial attorney is to make a jury like his client
  • Darwin Charles – English naturalist, geologist and biologist:
    • Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge
    • It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change
  • D’Aveni Richard – US strategy professor:
    • This is not the age of defensive castles, moats and armour – it is rather the age of cunning, speed and surprise
  • Davenport Peter – CEO, Lemarne:
    • Our aim is to produce above average RoCE and to maximise the growth in value per ordinary share
  • Da Vinci Leonardo – Italian polymath:
    • Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
  • Davis Ian – MD, Mckinsey & Co:
    • Countries who openly participate in globalisation do better than those who don’t
  • Dawkins Richard – Oxford professor, evolutionary biologist:
    • You need a disinterested search for the objective truth
    • The British public, including myself, should never have been asked to vote in the referendum because they lack the necessary background in economics and political science – you might as well call a national plebiscite to decide whether Einstein got his algebra right, or let passengers vote on which runway the pilot should land
  • De Bono Edward – Maltese psychologist, academic and author:
    • Awareness is the first step to correction and improvement
    • More and more knowledge is never a substitute for thinking skills  
    • Unhappiness is the difference between our talents and our expectations
  • De Gaulle, General Charles – President of France:
    • A leader is someone who knows what to do
    • Since a politician never believes what he says, he is always astonished when others do
  • Dell Michael – Founder and CEO of Dell Technologies:
    • It’s through curiosity and looking at opportunities in new ways that we’ve always mapped our path at Dell – there’s always an opportunity to make a difference
  • Deming Dr William Edwards – American statistician:
    • Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them
    • Let’s make toast the American way – I’ll burn – you scrape!
    • If I had to reduce my message for management to a few words, I’d say it all had to do with reducing variation
    • Drive out fear so that everyone may work more effectively and productively
    • 94% of troubles and possibilities for improvement belong to the system, the responsibility of management, and only 6% are special
    • What do you have without pride in workmanship – just a job, to earn some money – there’s not much joy in that
    • Good quality means a predictable degree of uniformity and dependability at low cost with a quality suited to the market
    • 95% of performance (variation) is caused by the system that people work in and the interaction with people, not the staff
    • All people are different and the performance of any member of a team is governed largely by the system he works in
    • The wealth of a nation depends on its people, management and government, more than its natural resources – the problem is where to find good management
    • You don’t get ahead by making products and separating the good from the bad
    • Defects are not free, someone makes them, and gets paid for doing so
    • 97% of what matters in business can’t be counted
    • If you can get 40% this year, what were you doing last year?
    • You do not have to do this – survival is not compulsory
    • Target rates are often set to accommodate the average worker – naturally, half of them are above average, and half below – what happens is that peer pressure holds the upper half to the rate, and no more – and the people below the average cannot make the rate – the result is loss, chaos, dissatisfaction and turn-over
    • Targets set for other people, without a road map to reach the goal, have effects opposite to the effects sought
  • Democritus – Ancient Greek philosopher:
    • To do all the talking and not be willing to listen is a form of greed
  • Demosthenes – Ancient Greek orator:
    • Nothing is easier than self-deceit – for what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true (the tendency is to believe anything that will advantage you)
  • Descartes Rene – French philosopher, mathematician and scientist, 1596 – 1650:
    • I think, therefore I am – Cogito ergo sum – D searched for definite truths – he was sure that thought exists, as does the person doing the thinking
  • Disney Walt – US animator and film producer:
    • If you can dream it, you can do it
    • People spend money when they feel good
  • Disraeli Benjamin – UK Prime Minister:
    • If he fell into the Thames it would be a misfortune – if he were pulled out it would be a calamity
  • Dixon Michael – Chairman, NHS Alliance:
    • Patients will have to pay more for hospital services and lifestyle treatments to head off a financial crisis in the NHS
  • Doyle Sir Arthur Conan – Physician and author – (1859-1930), Sherlock Holmes:
    • I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data – insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts
    • When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, is the truth
  • Drake Sir Francis – English sea captain, privateer and slave trader – 1587:
    • There must be a beginning of any great matter but the continuing unto the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory
  • Drucker Peter – US management guru:
    • Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation
    • People use the word guru only because the word charlatan is too long
    • The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker, but the manager
    • The unit that concentrates on its productivity is almost bound to gain competitive advantage
    • Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing right things
    • There is an enormous number of managers who have retired on the job
    • Accountants and auditors count things rather than try to understand them with measures
    • Only by concentrating on what’s essential can an executive become the master of time and events instead of their whipping boy
    • Without productivity objectives, a business does not have direction – and without productivity measurement, a business does not have control
    • The most important, and indeed the truly unique, contribution of management in the 20th century was the fifty-fold increase in the productivity of the manual worker in manufacturing
    • An employee spends a minority of time doing what is called for in his job description, if it exists
    • There’s nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all
    • Economic growth from now on can only come from a very sharp and continuing increase in the productivity of knowledge work and knowledge workers – which is abysmally low
    • If you think training is expensive, try ignorance
    • The easiest benefits come from redefining the task – and especially from eliminating what need not be done
    • Wherever you see a successful business, someone there once made a courageous decision
    • The continuing professional education of adults is the number one industry in the next 30 years … mostly on line
    • The modern manager is increasingly dependent on his subordinates for getting results
    • The one business purpose is to create a customer
    • A manager is now responsible for the application and performance of knowledge
    • Executive effectiveness is our one best hope to make modern society productive economically and viable socially
    • No matter what the demand for time, there ain’t no more of it
    • The savviest way for future companies to go is to outsource all functions that do not lead to a position in senior management
    • The computer is a moron
    • The best innovations are capable of being started small, requiring at first little money, few people and only a small and limited market – then one has time to correct inevitable errors
    • Innovation is the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth
    • Increasingly, command and control is being replaced by or intermixed with all kinds of relationships: alliances, joint ventures, minority participations, partnerships, know-how, and marketing agreements – all relationships in which no one controls and no one commands. These relationships have to be based on a common understanding of objectives, policies, and strategies; on teamwork; and on persuasion-or they do no work at all
    • Employees need to see the connection between what they do and overall outcomes
    • Concentrate resources on results, feed opportunities, starve problems
    • Bosses supply capital, customers supply revenue, managers bring them together
    • MBO works if you know the objectives – 90% of the time, you don’t
    • The only thing we know about the future is that it’s going to be different
    • In the knowledge society the most probable assumption and certainly the assumption on which all organizations have to conduct their affairs is that they need the knowledge worker far more than the knowledge worker needs them
    • The knowledge worker cannot be supervised closely or in detail – he can only be helped – but he must direct himself, and he must direct himself towards performance and contribution, that is, toward effectiveness
    • In the knowledge economy everyone is a volunteer, but we have trained our managers to manage conscripts
    • Time is the scarcest resource – unless it’s managed, nothing else can be
    • The greatest opportunity for increasing productivity is surely to be found in knowledge, work itself, and especially in management
  • Dunlap Big Al ‘Chainsaw’ – US turnaround specialist:
    • If you guarantee employment for some, you jeopardise employment for all
    • Lead, follow or get out of the way
    • A good solution can be applied to almost any problem
  • Dylan Bob – American singer/ songwriter:
    • A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do
    • He who’s not busy being born is busy dying
  • Dyson Sir James – British inventor:
    • I made 5,127 prototypes of my vacuum before I got it right – there were 5,126 failures, but I learnt from each one – so I didn’t mind failure
    • Companies that invest in R&D repeatedly outperform the rest of the stock market
    • Life is a mountain of solvable problems, and I enjoy that
  • Eddington Rod – Australian CEO of British Airways:
    • The numbers mustn’t lie – as in sport, they must be unspinnable
  • Edison Thomas – American inventor:
    • I have not failed – I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work
    • Invention and success are 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration
    • Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work
    • The value of an idea lies in the using of it
    • Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up
  • Edwardes Sir Michael – CEO, British Leyland:
    • It is always difficult to fix morale until there is stability
  • Einstein Albert – Germa theoretical physicist:
    • A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness
    • I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones
    • Imagination is everything – it’s the preview of life’s coming attractions
    • If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid
    • Without changing our patterns of thought, we will not be able to solve problems we created with our current patterns of thought
    • A theory can be proved by experiment; but no path leads from experiment to the birth of a theory
    • I never think of the future – it comes soon enough
    • Creativity is intelligence having fun
    • If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself
    • If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it
    • Insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
    • The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest
    • Not everything that counts can be counted – and not everything that can be counted counts
    • Imagination is more important than knowledge – knowledge is limited, imagination encircles the world
    • The important thing is not to stop questioning
    • You cannot solve your problems with the same level of thinking that created them
    • Time only exists so everything doesn’t happen at once
    • Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another – it’s the only means
    • The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources
    • The idle man does not know what it is to enjoy rest
    • Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler
    • Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex – it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction
  • Eisenhower Dwight D – US general, US President:
    • Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it
    • In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable
    • to his hyperactive John Foster Dulles – Don’t just do something – stand there
  • Eisner Michael – CEO, Walt Disnet Company:
    • Recovering from failure is easier than building from success
    • There’s no good idea that can’t be improved on
  • Eliot Thomas Stearns – US naturalised-British poet:
    • The journey, not the arrival, matters
    • Success is what we can make of the mess we have made of things
  • Elizabeth II, Queen – re the 2008 ‘Credit Crunch’:
    • If things were so large, how come everyone missed them?
  • Elledge Professor Scott – Academic:
    • It is time I stepped aside for a less experienced and less able man
  • Ellison Larry – Billionaire founder, Oracle Corporation:
    • When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts
  • Emerson Ralph Waldo – American essayist, philosopher, poet:
    • The years teach much which the days never know
    • Pay every debt as if God wrote the bill
    • A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds
    • Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm
  • Euripides – Ancient Greek playwright:
    • Much effort, much prosperity
  • Farrell Bob – US motivational speaker:
    • When all the experts and forecasts agree – something else is going to happen
  • Fehr Donald – Exec director, US National Hockey League Players Association:
    • Economic forecasters have safely predicted 14 of the last five recessions
  • Fields WC – American comedian:
    • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again – then quit – there’s no use being a damn fool about it
  • Fink Larry – CEO, BlackRock investments ($4 trillion of assets)
    • CEOs must prioritise sustainable growth of their companies rather than pursue ‘investor friendly’ measures such as buying back their own shares to drive up the price
  • Fisk Jim – American stockbroker dubbed one of the ‘robber barons’:
    • Final offers are made just prior to making concessions
    • Deadwood? Anyone in the office senior to you
  • Fleet Kenneth – Journalist, The Times:
    • The Vickers and Rolls Royce merger is like two drunken earls falling out of Annabel’s leaning against each other for support
  • Florio John – Linguist, genius, friend of Shakespeare – died 1626:
    • Poverty is no vice, but an inconvenience
    • Night is the mother of thoughts
    • Patience is the best medicine
    • Who has not served cannot command
  • Foch Ferdinand – French General, WWI:
    • My right flank is in retreat, my left flank is giving way and the centre cannot hold; conditions perfect; I will attack!
  • Ford Gerald – US President:
    • In response to a request from New York City for a loan – ‘Drop dead’
  • Ford Henry – US founder of Ford Motor Company:
    • There are no big problems – there are just a lot of little problems
    • The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time
    • It doesn’t matter to me if a man is from Harvard or Sing Sing – we hire the man, not his history
    • Happiness lies not in self-denial but self-fulfilment
    • For every minute of action there should be an hour of thought
    • If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they’d have told me “a faster horse”
    • Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes; the swing in your gait, the grip of your hand – the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas
    • A constant increase in quality, a great increase in workers’ pay, and a repeated reduction in cost to consumers will lead to a one hundredfold increase in output in less than ten years
    • Quality means doing it right when no one is looking
    • A market is never saturated with a good product – and very quickly saturated with a bad one
    • Business must be run at a profit, else it will die – but when anyone tries to run a business solely for profit, then also the business must die, for it no longer has a reason for existence
    • Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals
    • A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits – they will be embarrassingly large
    • Competition is the keen cutting edge of business, always shaving away at costs
  • Fourier Bernard – French politician:
    • If you only go for continuous improvement, you’ll never catch up – you need breakout projects too
  • Frank Ann – German-born, Dutch-Jewish diarist, holocaust victim:
    • How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world
  • Frankl Victor – Austrian neurologist, holocaust survivor:
    • Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself
  • Franklin Benjamin – American polymath, a founding father of the USA:
    • Tell me and I forget – Teach me and I remember – Involve me and I learn
    • Do not squander time for that is the stuff life is made of
    • An investment in knowledge pays the best interest
    • By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail
    • A small leak can sink a big ship
    • Avoiding unnecessary costs can be more profitable than increasing sales
    • Creditors have better memories than debtors
    • For the want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for the want of a shoe, the horse was lost; and for the want of a horse, the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy
  • Fresco Paolo – Chairman, Fiat:
    • We focus on customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and cash flow – if they are right, everything else will take care of itself
  • Friedman Milton – American economist:
    • You get what you pay for
    • There’s no such thing as a free lunch
    • Nobody spends other people’s money as carefully as he spends his own
    • A corporation’s social responsibility is to make a profit
    • The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem                                              
  • Frost Robert – American poet:
    • The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work
  • Galbraith John K – Canadian economist and US diplomat:
    • The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking
    • Anyone who says he won’t resign four times will
    • Regardless of the relative attractiveness of a sector, firms in the same industry will often perform very differently
    • The salary of the chief executive of a large corporation is not a market award for achievement – it’s frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself
    • There are only two sorts of forecasters – those who don’t know and those who know they don’t know
    • People who benefit from the status quo resist change
    • To many, it will always seem better to have measurable progress towards the wrong goals than unmeasurable progress towards the right ones
    • Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything
    • Capitalists try to exploit workers, workers try to take advantage of capitalists, managers try to put one over on both
    • Few people at the beginning of the 19th century needed an adman to tell them what they wanted
    • Every 20 or 30 years, a new set of sucker investors comes along
  • Gandhi Mahatma – Indian lawyer, leader of India’s independence movement:
    • What you do is of little significance. But it is very important that you do it
    • There is sufficiency in the world for man’s need, but not man’s greed
  • Gandhi Indira – First female Prime Minister of India, Nehru’s daughter:
    • A nation’s strength consists of what it can do on its own, not what it can borrow from others
  • Gartman Dennis – American economist:
    • The hard trade is the right trade – do the trade that is hard to do and that which the crowd finds objectionable
  • Gates Bill – Billionaire founder of Microsoft:
    • The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency – the second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency
    • Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning
    • Executing strategy is much more difficult than formulating it
    • If General Motors had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 mpg
    • Almost all the time involved in producing an item is in the coordination of the work, not in the actual work
    • A manufacturer that responds in hours instead of months is no longer a product company but a service company that has a product offering
    • Organisations will focus on their core competences and outsource all else – they’ll maintain a small central core of people and employ others as and when required – this will allow them to expand rapidly from small/ medium sized bases
    • Only a few will win on price, most will win on customer service
    • Customer service will become the primary value-adding process in every business
    • Knowledge management is a fancy term for a simple idea – you’re managing data, documents and people’s efforts
    • Knowledge workers have become the ruling class
    • Secure full-time employment is expected to fall and less secure, part-time or freelance work, to rise
    • Spam will be a thing of the past in two years’ time – 2004
    • Success is a lousy teacher – it seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose
  • GE – General Electric – US conglomerate:
    • Your people are everything
    • Our plan is never put to bed, but constantly tested and revised, based on changing events – and it’s communicated and shared by all
    • If one offers distinctive things, customers will stick to you like glue
  • GEC – General Electric Company – UK company:
    • We had plenty of information, but it was fragmented, untimely and unreliable
  • Geneen Harold – Founder of ITT:
    • It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises, but only performance is reality
  • Gent Christopher – CEO, Vodafone:
    • You need to influence, motivate and get the desired outcome by what you say, but it’s vital that you’re a good listener too
  • George David Lloyd – UK Prime Minister:
    • You can’t cross a chasm in small steps
  • Gershwin George – American composer and pianist:
    • After you get what you want, you don’t want it
  • Gerstner Louis – CEO, IBM:
    • We had all this technology coming out of our labs but, time and again, someone else beat us to the market and so got the best margins
    • Customer satisfaction and employee morale are IBM’s priorities
  • Getty John Paul – US oil billionaire:
    • I’d rather have 1% of the efforts of 100 people than 100% of my own efforts
    • The employer generally gets the employees he deserves
  • Gibbon Edward – English historian and author:
    • I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience – I know of no way of judging the future but by the past
  • Gibbons Barry – CEO, Burger King:
    • When we did it right it was still pretty ordinary
  • Gibson William – American sci-fi writer:
    • The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed
  • Gilbert WS – English dramatist and comic operas – Gilbert & Sullivan:
    • No one can have a higher opinion of him than I have – and I think he is a dirty little beast
  • Giordano Dick – CEO, BOC (British Oxygen Company):
    • What else is there but winning – if you lose, you lose out
  • Gladwell Malcolm – Canadian author:
    • It is possible to know without knowing why we know
    • Autonomy, complexity and a connection between effort and reward are the three qualities a job must have for job satisfaction
  • Glenn John – US astronaut, dfirst American to orbit Earth:
    • There is no cure for the common birthday
  • GM – General Motors:
    • The quality of anything will be judged by its user, not announced by its maker
  • Goebbels Joseph – WW2 Nazi propaganda minister:
    • A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth
  • Goering Hermann – Nazi leader, Commander of the Luftwaffe:
    • Upon hearing that the Vatican had condemned Nazi Germany – “How many divisions does the Pope have”?
  • Goethe Johann Wolfgang von – German literary figure:
    • The destiny of any nation, at any given time, depends on the opinions of its young men under five-and-twenty
    • Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it – boldness has genius, power and magic in it
    • Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid
  • Goffee Professor Rob – Dean, London Business School
    • People are fed up with management fads – they want to be led by real people they can trust, people who inspire and excite
  • Goldratt Eliyahu – Israeli business management guru:
    • “I smile and start to count on my fingers: One, people are good. Two, every conflict can be removed. Three, every situation, no matter how complex it initially looks, is exceedingly simple. Four, every situation can be substantially improved; even the sky is not the limit. Five, every person can reach a full life. Six, there is always a win-win solution. Shall I continue to count?”
    • Measurement should induce the parts to do what is good for the whole
    • Bottlenecks are the capacities of lines
    • Show me how you measure me, and I’ll show you how I’ll behave
  • Goldsmith Sir  James – Anglo-French billionaire businessman:
    • If you see a bandwagon, it’s too late
    • If you owe the bank one hundred dollars, that’s your problem; if you owe the bank one million dollars, that’s the bank’s problem
  • Goldwyn Sam – US film producer:
    • A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on
    • It’s very dangerous to forecast, particularly about the future
  • Gordon Robert – American economist:
    • G7 output per capita increased by 2% per annum over the last 120 years but now it may well have peaked – “2% is no law but a wave that has already run its course – 2% could easily become 1% or even less, for the next 120 years”
  • Gove Michael – Journalist for The Times, UK Cabinet minister:
    • Every child should have as good an education as those who go to Winchester
  • Graham Ben – British-born American investor and economist:
    • The investor’s chief problem, and even his worst enemy, is likely to be himself
    • You don’t need to know a person’s exact weight to know whether they are over or under weight
    • How can one bring structure and logic to a disorderly and confused activity?
    • You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you – you are right because your data and reasoning are right
  • Gratton Lynda – Professor, Management practices, London Business School:
    • The idea of an innovation coming from a lone genius is a fallacy
  • Green Adolphus – US founder of Nabisco:
    • The officer of every corporation should feel in his heart that he is responsible, not merely to make dividends for shareholders, but to enhance the general prosperity of the nation
  • Greenspan Alan – American economist, Chair of the Federal Reserve:
    • For you to gain, those you deal with should gain as well
  • Grove Andy – CEO, Intel:
    • The output of a manager is the output of the work team under his influence, not the hours he works or any other gauge of his personal activity
    • We managers loathe change, especially when it involves us
    • Most of the things that were useful in the last 50 years are still useful – the basics of management remain largely unaffected
    • In the future, all companies will be internet companies
  • Gupta Dr Kamal – Researcher in financial economics and business development:
    • There is no way to grow other than to keep on increasing productivity
  • Hagen Walter – Champion golfer, winner of the Masters:
    • Don’t forget to smell the flowers along the way
  • Haggerty Patrick – US co-founder and chairman of Texas Instruments (TI):
    • Those who implement the plans must make the plans
  • Hamel Dr Gary – American management consultant:
    • Out there in some garage is an entrepreneur who’s forging a bullet with your company name on it
  • Hammer Michael – US professor, engineer and management author:
    • Measures provide real-time assurance that long term improvements are on track – they let you know of any progress straight away
  • Hannibal – Carthaginian general:
    • We will either find a way, or make one
  • Harari Yuval Noah – Israeli professor, historian and author:
    • Intelligence is the ability to solve problems – consciousness is the ability to feel things such as pain, joy, love and anger – we  humans confuse the two because they go hand-in-hand
    • Fascism derives from the latin ‘fascis’ meaning a bundle of rods – a single rod is weak and can easily be snapped – a bundle is strong and impossible to break – equally, an individual is weak and of no consequence but as long as the collective sticks together it is very powerful – so all privileges go to the collective and no individual can break this unity
    • Hocus pocus –  In Mass, a priest proclaims that a piece of bread is the body of Christ, albeit in Latin – ‘Hoc est corpus’ – illiterate peasants did not speak Latin, so this got garbled into ‘Hocus pocus” – thus was born the powerful spell that can transform a frog into a prince
  • Hartley LP – British novelist:
    • The past is a foreign country – they do things differently there
  • Harvey-Jones Sir John – CEO, ICI:
    • The humble worker can often see a solution before the manager has noticed the problem
  • Hawking Stephen Professor – English theoretical physicist:
    • England (football penalty takers) couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo
  • Hayek Friedrich August von – Austrian-born British economist:
    • We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much we have done was very foolish
    • Capitalism has a tendency to consume its own moral foundations
  • Hayes Terry – author – ‘I am pilgrim’
    • His IQ was so low they had to water him each day
  • Hazlitt William – English literary critic:
    • The point of oratory is not to inform but to rouse the mind
  • Havel Vaclav – Playwright, President of Czechoslovakia:
    • You can’t just erect a ladder, you’ve got to climb it too
  • Healey Denis – UK Chancellor of the Exchequer:
    • Economic forecasting involves extrapolation from a partially known past, through an unknown present, to an unknowable future
    • Find people with a hinterland
    • I will tax the rich until the pips squeak
  • Heraclitus – Ancient Greek philosopher, 504BC:
    • Those who are awake have one common world – those who are asleep turn to their private worlds
    • All things develop through strife and necessity
    • The eyes and ears are bad witnesses – the mind must interpret their evidence, and wisdom lies in the interpretation
    • Much learning does not bring much understanding
  • Herodotus – Ancient Greek writer, called the ‘father of history’ – (485-425 BC):
    • The most hateful torment for men is to have knowledge of everything but power over nothing
  • Hertzberg Frederick – American psychologist:
    • If you want people to do a good job, design a good job for them to do
  • Heyerdahl Thor – Norwegian explorer and adventurer – Kon Tiki expedition:
    • Progress is man’s ability to complicate simplicity
  • Hilton Anthony – Journalist, London Evening Standard:
    • Official data constantly points to a rosier picture of the economy than one experiences living in it
    • The regular revisions of quarterly growth figures demonstrate that economists have enough trouble knowing where we are now, so it is doubly risible that their attempts to see into the future should be treated with any credibility
  • Hilton Conrad – Founder, Hilton hotels:
    • To be successful, keep moving, keep making mistakes, but don’t quit
  • Hirano Yukihisa – President, Toyota Motor Company:
    • Kaizen is one of our most important activities – we constantly strive to improve productivity and quality
  • Hitler Adolf – German Fuhrer – ‘Mein Kampf’:
    • The most brilliant propaganda technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over
  • Hogg Christopher – CEO, Courtaulds:
    • Any fool can see where you should be in five years’ time – it’s getting there that’s the problem
  • Horace – Roman poet – 68BC:
    • Carpe diem – seize the day
  • Howe Sir Geoffrey – UK Chancellor of the Exchequer:
    • An economist is a man who knows 364 ways of making love but doesn’t know any women
  • Hughes Howard – American business magnate:
    • I’m not a paranoid deranged millionaire. Goddamit, I’m a billionaire
  • Hunt Nelson Bunker – Texas oil tycoon:
    • Money never meant anything to us – it was just how we kept score
  • Hugo Victor – French poet, novelist and dramatist:
    • Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come
  • Huxley Aldous – English writer and philosopher:
    • Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored
    • The only completely consistent people are the dead
  • Huxley Thomas Henry – English biologist and anthropologist – ‘Darwin’s bulldog’:
    • Try to learn something about everything, and everything about something
    • It is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions
  • Iacocca Lee – CEO, Chrysler:
    • In the end, all business operations can be reduced to people, product and profits – unless you’ve got a good team, you can’t do much with the other two
    • Management is nothing more than motivating other people
    • Talk to people in their own language, do it well and they’ll slowly begin to respect you and then follow you to the death
    • The speed of the boss is the speed of the team
    • I’ve found being honest is the best communication technique I can use; right up-front, tell people what you’re trying to accomplish and what you’re willing to sacrifice to accomplish it
  • IBM:
    • Machines should work, people should think – IBM pollyanna
  • Icahn Carl – US financier and businessman:
    • In this business, if you want a friend, get a dog
  • IIP:
    • Senior managers see productivity as someone else’s problem
  • ILO:
    • The skills, knowledge, attitudes, and motivation of any workforce determine the levels and quality of output
    • Productivity is one of the best criteria for enterprise competitiveness
  • Imai Masaaki – Japanese management consultant:
    • Not a day should go by without some improvement being made somewhere
  • Immelt Jeffrey – CEO, GE:
    • Surviving a failure gives you more self-confidence – failures are great learning tools, but they must be kept to a minimum
    • If you keep investing in technology and innovation in the worst of times, your competitive advantage grows
  • IMF:
    • The ‘credit crunch’ is the biggest financial shock since the 30’s depression
  • Ingrams Richard – English journalist, founder of ‘Private Eye’:
    • I have come to regard the law courts not as a cathedral but rather as a casino
  • Intel:
    • Price for what the market will bear, then work like hell on your costs
  • Irwin Hale – American champion golfer:
    • “You can talk about strategy all you want, but what really matters is resilience”
  • Ive Sir Jonathan – British industrial designer, Apple:
    • It’s very easy to be different, but very difficult to be better
  • Jenkins Simon – British journalist, editor of The Times and author:
    • Success has a hundred fathers, failure is an orphan
    • The requirement of democracy is to ensure that the fight for resources is fair
  • Jefferson Thomas – Third US President:
    • Agriculture, manufactures, commerce and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise
  • Jobs Steve – Founder and CEO, Apple:
    • It’s not just what it looks like and feels like – design is how it works
    • It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do
    • Textbooks are the next business to transform – (his idea was to hire great textbook writers to create digital versions, and make them a feature of the iPad)
    • We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas – Bill Gates just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas
    • After seeing kids everywhere using cell phones, wearing Gap clothes he thought ‘we’re just one world now’
    • We are inventing the future – think about surfing on the front edge of a wave versus dog-paddling at the tail end
    • A-plus players like to play together, and they don’t like it if you tolerate B work
    • It’s too easy to put up with a few B players, and they then attract a few more B players, and soon will have some C players
    • One must be vigilant against the bozo explosion that leads to a company being larded with second rate talent
    • The goal was to get people who were creative, wickedly smart and slightly rebellious
    • The journey is the reward
    • The key is to be at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts
    • The best way to predict the future is to invent it
    • You can’t win on innovation unless you have a way to communicate to customers
    • Folks over thirty develop rigid thought patterns and tend to be less innovative – people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them
    • If you don’t love something, you’re not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much
    • Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions – you run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘Wow’  and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas
    • Curiosity is very important
    • In the annals of innovation, new ideas are only part of the equation – execution is just as important (add to implementation section)
    • Customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them
    • Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone?”
    • It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want
    • Your time is limited – so don’t waste it living somebody else’s life
    • Think differently
    • It’s better to be pirates than join the navy – he wanted to instil a rebel spirit in his team, to have them behave like swashbucklers who were proud of their work but willing to commandeer from others
    • Death is very likely the single best invention of life – it clears out the old to make way for the new
    • Expose yourself to the best things humans have done, and then try to bring those things into what you are doing
    • You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them – by the time you get it built, they’ll want something new
  • Johnson Lyndon B – US President:
    • The noblest search is the search for excellence
    • The time to kill a snake is when you have a hoe in your hand
    • Did you ever think, Ken (J K Galbraith), that making a speech on economics is like pissing down your leg? It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else
  • Johnson Martin – England World Cup rugby captain:
    • Others don’t motivate me, it comes from inside
  • Johnson Michael – American sprinter:
    • Did I ever take drugs? – No, I never had to
  • Johnson Ross – CEO Nabisco:
    • An accountant is a man who puts his head in the past and backs his ass into the future
    • The three rules of Wall Street are never play by the rules, never pay in cash and never tell the truth
    • Planning is what are you are going to do next year that’s different from what you did this year, and a maximum of five items
  • Johnson Dr Samuel – English lexicographer:
    • A ship is like a jail without the added risk of being drowned
    • Whatever you have, spend less
    • Knowledge is of two kinds – we know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it
    • Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome
  • Joubert Joseph – French novelist:
    • To teach is to learn twice
  • Joyce James – Irish novelist :
    • Better pass boldly into that other world in the full glory of some passion, than to fade and wither dismally
  • Jung Carl – Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst:
    • You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do
    • Everyone is in love with his own ideas
  • Juran Joseph – US statistician:
    • The recipe for action should consist of 90% substance and 10% exhortation
    • A process is a systematic series of actions directed to the achievement of a goal
    • First, managers must see, understand and agree the need to change – they must leave their ‘treadmill of control’ and seek to breakout
  • Kaplan Robert – American professor, accounting:
    • By dwelling on targets you emphasise your will to win, not control
  • Kasparov Gary – Russian world chess champion:
    • Romanticising the loss of jobs to technology/ AI is little better than complaining that antibiotics put too many gravediggers out of work
    • You can’t suddenly switch from follower to leader, because only the leader can see what’s coming around the bend
    • The only way to survive is to keep moving up the pyramid – you can’t stay at the bottom – the competition there is too fierce
  • Kellams Cynthia – US expert on middle management:
    • If you can’t say why you actually make your company a better place, you’re out
  • Kelvin Lord – Irish-Scottish scientist:
    • When you can measure what you’re speaking about, you know something about it
    • Large increases in cost with questionable increases in performance can be tolerated only in race horses and women
  • Kennedy Robert F (Bobby) – US attorney-general, brother of JFK:
    • GDP measures everything except that which makes life worthwhile
  • Kennedy John Fitzgerald – US President:
    • The best time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining
  • Kennedy Joseph – US businessman, ambassador and father of JFK:
    • Don’t get mad, get even
  • Kenny Sir Paul – GMB General Secretary:
    • Ed Balls would give an aspirin a headache (for refusing to make any spending commitments)
  • Kettering Charles Franklin – American inventor:
    • If you have always done it that way, it’s probably wrong
    • A problem well stated is a problem half solved
  • Keynes John Maynard – British economist:
    • Clarke can do many things with numbers but Schumacher can make them sing
    • When the facts change I change my mind – what do you do?
    • There is no harm in sometimes being wrong, especially if one is promptly found out
    • Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent
    • I’d prefer to be approximately right rather than precisely wrong
    • The engine which drives enterprise is not thrift, but profit
    • The difficulty lies not in the new ideas but in escaping the old ones
    • One’s knowledge and experience are definitely limited – there are seldom more than two or three enterprises at any given time in which I personally feel myself entitled to put full confidence
    • It is astonishing how many foolish things one can temporarily believe if one thinks too long alone
    • By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens
    • Go contrary to general opinion on the grounds that if everyone agreed about its merit, the investment is inevitably too dear and therefore unattractive
    • Markets are sometimes gripped by animal spirits
    • Everything happens at the margin
    • In the long run we’re all dead
  • King Justin – CEO, Sainsburys:
    • It’s not the fear of retribution that stops people speaking up, it’s futility – the belief that it will not be acted on
  • Kissinger Henry – US Secretary of State:
    • The task of a leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been
    • Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac
  • Kroc Ray – Founder, McDonald’s:
    • If we are going to go anywhere, we’ve got to have talent – so I’m going to put my money in talent
  • Krugman Paul – US Nobel prize-winning economist:
    • Productivity improvement is the primary means to economic growth – scarcity of resources makes growth driven purely by increasing inputs unsustainable
  • Kruschev Nikita – Premier, Soviet Union:
    • When you are skinning your customers, you should leave some skin on to grow – so that you can skin them again
    • Politicians are the same all over – they promise to build a bridge even where there is no river
  • Kunde Jespe – Danish business adviser and author:
    • Companies have chased so much best practice that they’re now more or less identical
  • Lao Tzu, 6C BC poet and philosopher:
    • Those who have knowledge don’t predict – those who predict don’t have knowledge
  • Lasdun Denys – English architect and designer:
    • Our job is to give the client what he never dreamed he wanted
  • Lasch Christopher – American professor, historian and social critic:
    • Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success
  • Lawrence Gary – Planning director, City of Seattle
    • For indicators to lead to change, there needs to be emotional content – people need to care in their hearts as well as their minds
  • Lawson Nigel – UK Chancellor of the Exchequer:
    • Today’s economists are mathematicians who can’t hack it as mathematicians
    • GDP is imperfect, but less imperfect than all the other things that have been tried
    • GDP per head, over the long run, goes up with consumption per head – and what people consume is generally what they consume
  • Leach Graeme – Macroeconomist, IoD:
    • UK competitiveness is remarkable for its mediocrity
  • Leahy Sir Terry – CEO, Tesco’s:
    • Find out what customers want, and then give it to them
    • Nothing beats a third party endorsement from a customer
    • Repeat customers offer the best returns on investment
    • Strategy should come from the very top of any organisation and, once set, should not be tinkered with
  • Ledru-Rollin Alexandre Auguste – 19th century French politician:
    • I must follow them, for I am their leader
  • Leighton Allan – CEO, Asda and Chairman, Royal Mail:
    • Not spending hours in meetings leaves hours more time for productive work
  • Lenin Vladimir – Bolshevik leader, architect of Soviet state:
    • A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth
  • Lennon John – pop singer songwriter, Beatles:
    • Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans
  • Leverhulme Lord:
    • Half the money spent on advertising is wasted – but which half?
  • Lincoln Abraham – US 16th President:
    • His inner-directed management system was:
      • Rigorously measure success and failure
      • Find the causes of success
      • Eliminate the causes of failure
    • Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be
    • I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer
    • Nearly all men can stand the test of adversity, but if you really want to test a man’s character, give him power
  • Lippman Walter – American political commentator:
    • Where all think alike, no one thinks very much
  • Listwin Don – Founder of Canary Foundation for early detection of cancer:
    • How do dominant companies lose their position? Two-thirds of the time, they pick the wrong competitor to worry about
  • Locke John – English philosopher:
    • Such gibberish serves to palliate men’s ignorance and cover their errors
    • General observations drawn from particulars are the jewels of knowledge, comprehending great store in a little room
  • Lombardi Vincent – US football coach
    • Winners never quit and quitters never win
    • I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfilment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field – victorious
    • Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence
    • Confidence is contagious – so is lack of confidence
    • If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score
    • The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavour
  • Loong Lee Hsien – Prime Minister, Singapore
    • Productivity is a long haul, a marathon without a finish line
  • Lynch Peter – American investor, Fidelity:
    • Charts are great for predicting the past
    • It’s human nature to keep doing something if it’s pleasurable and you can succeed at it – hence the world population continues to double every 40 years
    • Never look back when you’re driving fast on the motorway
  • Macarthur General Douglas – US General, WW2:
    • We are not retreating – we are advancing in another direction
  • Machiavelli Niccolo – Italian philosopher and statesman:
    • I desire to go to Hell and not to Heaven – in the former I shall enjoy the company of popes, kings and princes while, in the latter are only beggars, monks and apostles
    • Woman will let herself be won by men who are impetuous rather than those who step cautiously
    • There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things
    • Luck has at least a 50% role in life, the rest is cunning and bravura
  • Maclaurin Ian – Chairman, Vodafone and Tesco:
    • Nothing fails like success – behind some of the world’s most spectacular failures lies a blissful optimism born of earlier success
  • MacLennan Moray – CEO, M&C Saatchi:
    • There’s always someone younger, cleverer, funnier, richer and better looking than you, so get used to it
    • When someone offers you money, always say thankyou
    • ‘Brutal simplicity of thought’ – M&C S’s mantra
  • Macmillan Harold – UK Prime Minister:
    • Britain’s post-war service economy is one in which we take in each other’s washing
    • You’ve never had it so good – 1957
  • Mandela Nelson – Freedom fighter, President of South Africa:
    • It always seems impossible until it’s done
  • Mandelsohn Peter – Labour MP, UK and EU government minister:
    • Boom has been banished
  • Markides Costas – Cypriot-born professor, London Business School:
    • Do the opposite of what others are doing and be everything the others aren’t
  • Marshall Colin – CEO, BA:
    • There’s little point operating a smartly refurbished aircraft if the passengers are looked after by a surly and demoralised crew
    • One must keep the shine on the product, day and night                              
  • Martelly Michel – Singer, President of Haiti:
    • Haitians do not want handouts – they want opportunities to create wealth
  • Marx Karl – German philosopher and economist:
    • Catch a man a fish, and you can sell it to him – teach a man to fish, and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity
    • Behind every great man is a woman, and behind her is his wife
  • Masius Wynne-Williams – CEO of this advertising agency:
    • There should always be an odd number of people at a meeting, and three is too many
  • Maslow Abraham  – American psychologist, 1908 – 1970
    • When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail
  • Masse Marcel – Canadian politician:
    • Governments promise more than they can deliver and deliver more than they can afford
  • Mathew Sir James – Irish-born judge:
    • In England justice is open to all – just like the Ritz
  • Matthews Ryan – CEO, Fast Company:
    • Deviance tells the story of every mass market ever created – what starts out weird and dangerous becomes the next big corporate payday – so are you looking for the next mass market idea? – it’s out there … way out
  • Maugham Somerset – English novelist:
    • It was such a lovely day, I thought it was a pity to get up
    • Only a mediocre person is always at his best
    • People ask for criticism but they only want praise
  • Maxwell John – American author on leadership:
    • A leader’s potential is determined by those closest to him
  • McDonnell John – CEO, Evive:
    • We did not always listen to what the customer had to say before telling him what he wanted
  • McGinn Richard – CEO, Lucent:
    • You either move with speed or die – it’s the opposite of ‘speed kills’
  • McNab Andy – UK SAS soldier, novelist:
    • Money can’t buy you happiness, some say, but it does
  • McRae Hamish  – Financial journalist
    • The key is being good at course correction
  • Mencken H L – American journalist:
    • A wealthy man is one who earns $100 a year more than his wife’s sisters’s husband
  • Merrill Lynch:
    • Large businesses nowadays are a repository of information and expertise that can be leveraged over a huge installed base
  • Michigan University:
    • “Children who don’t take exercise and eat junk food tend to be fatter”!!
  • Mill John Stuart – English philosopher and economist:
    • Towards what ultimate point is society tending by its industrial progress – when the progress ceases, in what condition will it leave mankind?
  • Milligan Spike – British-Irish comedian:
    • We don’t have a plan, so nothing can go wrong
  • Milton John – English poet and intellectual:
    • The childhood shows the man, as morning shows the day
  • Mitarai Hajime – President, Canon:
    • We should do something when people say it is crazy. If people say something is ‘good’, it means someone else is already doing it
  • Mittal Lakshmi – Indian steel magnate:
    • When people can see which way the leaders are going, it becomes easier to motivate them
  • Mlodinow Leonard – US theoretical physicist:
    • Extraordinary events can happen without extraordinary causes
    • Genius doesn’t guarantee success but it’s seductive to assume that success must come from genius
  • Mobil Oil Company:
    • For every problem there is a solution – simple, neat and wrong
  • Monnet Jean – French economist and founding father of the EU:
    • “People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognise necessity when a crisis is upon them.”
  • Montaigne Michel – French philosopher:
    • A wise man sees as much as he ought, not as much as he can
    • To forbid us anything is to make us have a mind for it
    • Obsession is the wellspring of genius and madness
    • If you belittle yourself, you are believed; if you praise yourself, you are disbelieved
    • When I play with my cat, how do I know that she is not passing time with me rather than I with her?
    • Life in itself is neither good nor evil, it is the place of good and evil, according to what you make it
    • The continuous work of our life is to build death
    • Kings and philosophers defecate, and so do ladies
    • Human understanding is marvellously enlightened by daily conversation with men, for we are, otherwise, compressed and heaped up in ourselves, and have our sight limited to the length of our own noses
    • The clatter of arms drowns the voice of law
    • Nothing is so firmly believed as that which least is known
    • Man cannot make a worm, yet he will make gods by the dozen
    • No man is a hero to his own valet
    • The only thing certain is nothing is certain
    • The thing I fear most is fear
    • Stubborn and ardent clinging to one’s opinion is the best proof of stupidity
    • Unless a man feels he has a good enough memory, he should never venture to lie
    • There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees
  • Montier James – US expert in behavioural finance:
    • The whole investment industry is obsessed with learning more and more about less and less, until we know absolutely everything about nothing
  • Morey Daryl – General Manager, Houston Rockets Basketball team
    • A big part of a consultant’s job is to feign total certainty about uncertain things
  • Morley Ian – Global pioneer of the AIM industry:
    • When you hear the phrase ‘new paradigm’, you know the next market catastrophe isn’t far away
  • Morrow Dwight – American businessman and diplomat:
    • The world is divided into people who do things and people who get the credit – try, if you can, to belong to the first class = there’s far less competion
  • Morrow Ed – US broadcaster:
    • Churchill mobilised the English language and sent it into battle
  • Moskowitz Howard – American market researcher
    • People do not know what they desire if it does not yet exist
  • Murdoch Rupert – Australian-born American media mogul:
    • Big will not beat small anymore – the fast will beat the slow
    • Can we change the world? No, but hell we can all try
  • Munger Charles – Investor, Berkshire Hathaway:
    • By and large the board of directors is a very ineffective corrector if the top guy is a little nuts, which, of course, frequently happens
    • Anyone can make the simple complex – few can make the complex simple
    • If a thing’s not worth doing, it’s not worth doing well
  • Murphy’s Laws:
    • Don’t ever bet on long shots if trying to recoup losses – the odds become shorter that you’ll lose again
  • Murphy-O’Connor Cormac, Cardinal – Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster:
    • The best people, however rich, are keen to share it
  • Musk Elon – Billionaire entrepreneur, founder of Space X and Tesla:
    • If it’s unglamorous, people won’t aspire to it, so enter any market at the top, not the bottom
  • Naisbitt John – American author:
    • The new source of power is not money in the hands of a few but information in the hands of many
  • Napoleon Bonaparte – French General and Emperor:
    • The moral is to the physical as three to on e i.e. the motivation and energy levels you and your army bring to the encounter have three times as much weight as your physical resources
    • Give me enough medals and I’ll win you any war”
    • “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of coloured ribbon.”
    • Orders and decorations are necessary in order to dazzle the people.”
    • Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich
    • Imagination rules the world
    • If you want a thing done well, do it yourself
    • Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in
    • You don’t reason with intellectuals. You shoot them
    • Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self interest
    • A woman laughing is a woman conquered
    • A picture is worth a thousand words
    • From the sublime to the ridiculous there is but one step
    • An army marches on its stomach
    • England is a nation of shopkeepers
    • I know he’s a good general, but is he lucky
    • The most difficult art is not in the choice of men, but in giving to the men chosen the highest service of which they are capable
    • The nature of strategy consists of always having, even with a weaker army, more forces at the point of attack or at the point where one is being attacked than the enemy
    • In war, morale outweighs material factors by three to one
    • A leader is a dealer in hope
    • Glory is fleeting but obscurity is forever
    • One must change one’s tactics every ten years if one wishes to maintain one’s superiority                         
    • Let China sleep, for when she awakes she will shake the world
    • Hindsight is a set of lies agreed upon
  • Napolitano Andrew – US Judge:
    • You know, the government foreclosed on a brothel, here in the state of Nevada. Apparently, the owners didn’t pay their taxes. The Mustang Ranch, it was called. It had been a profitable business. Then, after the government took it over, it started losing money. It’s almost unbelievable. Only the government could lose money offering hookers and booze to truckers
  • Nash Ogden – American poet:
    • Your luck changes only if it’s good
    • Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long
    • If you don’t want to work, you have to earn enough money so that you won’t have to work
  • Negroponte Nicholas – Greek-American founder of the MIT media lab:
    • Computers is not about computers any more – it’s about living
  • Nelson Lord Horatio – English admiral:
    • Surprise and confound the enemy so they won’t know what I am about – bring forward a pell-mell battle
    • If a man consults whether he is to fight, when he has the power in his own hands, it is certain that his opinion is against fighting
    • Desperate affairs require desperate measures
    • England (confides) expects that every man will do his duty
    • You must hate a Frenchman as you do the devil
    • I have always been a quarter of an hour before my time, and it has made a man of me
  • Newton Sir Isaac – English scientist:
    • We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances (re Occam’s razor)
    • If I have seen a little further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants
  • New York Times:
    • From 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent
    • While everything may be better, it’s also increasingly the same
  • Nickell Professor Stephen – British economist:
    • Productivity growth is highest in industries that face greater competition in product markets
  • Nietzsche Frederich – German philosopher:
    • Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you
  • Nixon Richard Milhaus – US President:
    • Only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain
  • Norris Landa – very young UK Formula One racing car driver:
    • Whatever you do, remember to have fun
    • It’s harder to improve if you don’t enjoy it
    • The unexpected is what makes life good
  • Novak David – CEO, Yum:
    • If you put people first, and surround them with processes that recognise their efforts, performance will soar
  • Obama Barack – US President:
    • If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own
  • Occam’s razor – William of Ockham, Franciscan friar, 14th century:
    • Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity (the theory with the fewest new assumptions is usually the correct one)
  • Ohno Taiichi – father of the Toyota Production System (TPS):
    • TPS was ‘the last fart of the ferret’ (for Japan to take on the US car manufacturers after WW2)
    • All we do is look at the time-line from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point when we collect the cash – and we reduce it by removing the non-value adding wastes
    • Good service costs less, not more
  • Onassis Aristotle – Greek shipping magnate:
    • The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows
  • O’Neill Lord Jim – Chief economist, Goldman Sachs:
    • You cannot grow productivity unless you improve educational outcomes
    • Sorting out productivity is much more important than whether we are in the EU or not
  • Oppenheimer Professor J Robert – Head of US  Manhattan ‘atom bomb’ project:
    • The atomic bomb made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is a different country
  • Oracle – Delphic maxim in forecourt of Temple of Apollo:
    • Know yourself
  • O’Reilly Anthony J F – CEO, Heinz
    • One of the vices of the virtue of decentralization is that people don’t share ideas
  • O’Rourke P J – US author on politics and economics
    • Giving money and power to government is like giving whisky and car keys to teenage boys
  • Orwell George – English novelist:
    • The bourgeoisie have nothing to lose but their aitches
  • Page Malcolm – Director, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation:
    • It’s not that the public sector in the Northeast is too big, it’s that the private sector is too small
  • Palmer Arnold – Champion US golfer:
    • There’s a place to play it safe, but it’s not on the golf course
  • Parker Hugh – CEO, McKinsey & Co:
    • A leader should have a personal vision of where the company is going, and the will to take it there
  • Parkinson Professor Cyril Northcote – British historian:
    • A public service unit’s expenditure rises to at least meet all its income
    • Tasks are always added to fill up the time available
    • Work always expands to fill the time available for its completion
    • If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do
    • Other corollaries include (relating to computers)
    • Data expands to fill the space available for storage
    • Storage requirements will increase to meet storage capacity.
    • In the Civil Service, far more people now take far longer to produce the same result – no one has been idle – all have done their best
  • Parris Matthew – British political writer and broadcaster:
    • Man cannot live by leverage alone
  • Parry Viv – CEO, Exquisite Handmade Cakes:
    • It can be difficult to ramp up production really quickly in manufacturing because you have costs but there’s no revenue yet
  • Pascal Blaise – French mathematician, physicist and writer, 1623 – 1662:
    • I’ve made this letter longer than usual because I didn’t have the time to make it shorter – foreword
  • Pasteur Louis – French scientist and writer:
    • Luck favours the prepared
  • Patton General George – American WW2 specialist in tank warfare:
    • A pint of sweat saves a gallon of blood
    • Never tell people how to do something – just tell them what to do and they will amaze you with their ingenuity
    • Don’t fight a battle if you don’t gain anything by winning
    • A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week
  • Paul, Saint – Apostle – converted on road to Damascus:
    • If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle
  • Pauling Linus – US theoretical physical chemist and double Nobel prize-winner:
    • The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas
  • Perot Ross – American business magnate:
    • If you see a snake, just kill it – don’t appoint a committee on snakes
    • You’d be amazed how many companies don’t listen to their customers
  • Peter Laurence J – Canadian educator – the ‘Peter Principle’:
    • Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status
    • Experts know tomorrow why the things they predicted yesterday didn’t happen today
    • A pessimist is a man who looks both ways before crossing the street
    • Only a mediocre man is always at his best
  • Peters & Waterman – US authors of ‘In Search of Excellence’:
    • It’s attention to employees, not working conditions, that has the dominant impact on productivity
    • Focus on your core businesses, reduce the number of different products you offer – the more you specialise, the more efficient you will be
  • Peters Tom – US writer on business management practices:
    • 70% of customers bail out because of the look, feel, smell and taste of doing business with a company
    • Your best team leader will be your internal devil, your future hero, your killer of foot-draggers
    • You don’t get an eagle by merging two turkeys
    • Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence – only in constant improvement and constant change
    • Excellence is a game of inches – a thousand thousand things, each done a tiny bit better
    • Successful businesses now treat customers like guests, and employees like people
    • The best measure of your commitment to radical change is the number of radicals you promote
    • Test fast, fail fast, and adjust fast
    • Enthusiasm begets enthusiasm
    • The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity
  • Philolaus – Ancient Greek philosopher, 500 BC:
    • Without numbers, we can understand nothing and know nothing
  • Picasso Pablo – Spanish artist:
    • Good artists copy, great artists steal
    • I’d like to live like a poor man with lots of money
  • Pilate Pontius – Roman governor of Judea:
    • What is truth?
  • Platt Lew – CEO, Hewlett-Packard:
    • If only HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more productive
  • Popper Sir Karl – Austrian-born British philosopher:
    • The matter of knowledge and discovery is not so much in dealing with what we know as in dealing with what we do not know
    • Scientists are men with bold ideas, but highly critical of their own ideas; they try to find whether their ideas are right by trying first to find whether they are not perhaps wrong – they work with bold conjectures and severe attempts at refuting their own conjectures
    • If we are uncritical, we shall always find what we want: we shall look for, and find, confirmations, and we shall look away from, and not see, whatever might be dangerous to our pet theories
  • Porter Sir Leslie – Chairman and MD, Tesco:
    • Try to understand what the future holds, don’t wait to be overtaken by events
  • Porter Professor Michael – Corporate strategy, Harvard Business School:
    • The only meaningful concept of competitiveness at national level is national productivity
    • Deregulation, privatisation and competition are now having diminished returns – for further growth the drivers are skills, innovation and enterprise
    • You should treat all your employees as if they were permanent, not to be hired and fired at will
    • Many nations can improve their prosperity if they can improve their productivity
    • Improving productivity means increasing value added, increasing national income and assuring its fair distribution – consequently, projects designed to improve productivity are clearly of national interest
    • The central challenge in economic development is how to create the conditions for rapid and sustained productivity growth
  • Preston Thomas ‘Amarillo Slim’ – US gambler and hustler:
    • It never hurts for opponents to think you’re stupid
    • Play the player more than you play the cards
    • If you select 30 people, at least two of them will have the same birthday – it’s evens if there’s only 23, and 70% likely if 30
    • Never place a bet unless you’ve won it already
  • Price Mark – MD, Waitrose:
    • Values as well as value now matter – they must be prominent and recognisable
    • Understand what is happening and decide how you are going to respond
  • Prince Chuck – CEO, Citigroup, 2008:
    • As long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance…and we’re dancing
  • Prior David – CQC chairman:
    • Good leaders make the difference between a successful hospital and a failing one – clinical leaders at specialty level, ward sisters at ward level, CEOs at board level
  • P & G:
    • If Proctor & Gamble didn’t exist, how would we create it?
  • Proctor William – Founder of P&G:
    • The interests of an organisation and its employees are inseparable
  • Proust Marcel – French novelist:
    • The true voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes
  • Pulitzer Joseph – US newspaper editor and publisher:
    • Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy (his mantra to his reporters)
  • Rappaport Albert – US accountant:
    • Cash is a fact, profit is an opinion
  • Reagan Ronald – US film star and US President:
    • A government programme is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth
    • The future doesn’t belong to the faint hearted – only to the brave
    • Americans don’t care what your origins are – but what your destination is
    • We can’t help everyone but everyone can help someone
    • The scariest words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you”
    • Too much work never killed a man. But I figure, why take the chance?
  • Revson Charles – US businessman and philanthropist:
    • In the factory we make cosmetics – in the store we sell hope
  • Rhodes Cecil – British mining magnate, politician in South Africa:
    • To have been born British is to have won first prize in the lottery of life
  • Rice Grantland – US sportswriter:
    • For when the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name he marks, not that you won or lost, but how you played the game
  • Richards Steve – British broadcaster:
    • Until voters know exactly who is responsible for delivery and how to get rid of them, our public services will be delivered in a spirit of chaotic confusion
  • Riley Pat – US basketball coach:
    • When you leave it to chance, all of a sudden you don’t have any more luck
  • Ripley Andy – Rosslyn Park and England rugby number 8:
    • Dare we hope? We dare – Can we hope? We can – Should we hope? We must – We must because, to do otherwise is to waste the most precious of gifts, given so freely by God to all of us. So, when we do die, it will be with hope and it will be easy and our hearts will not be broken
  • Ritz César – Swiss hotelier:
    • The customer is never wrong
  • Roberts Kevin – CEO worldwide, Saatchi and Saatchi
    • Business leaders spend far too much time assessing information and making decisions, and far too little actually making things happen
  • Rockefeller John Davison – US industrialist – founder of Standard Oil Company:
    • I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity
    • Good management consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people
    • I know of nothing more despicable and pathetic than a man who devotes all of the hours of the waking day to the making of money for money’s sake
    • Buy low, sell high
    • Buy when blood is running in the streets                    
  • Roddick Anita – UK founder, Body Shop:
    • Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking – running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading: buying and selling
    • Business is like my mother’s café – about life and people and fun as much as profit
  • Romer Paul – American economist:
    • Future growth will depend less and less on the amount of physical resources used and more on how they’re transformed into higher value products or services
  • Roosevelt Franklin Delano – US president:
    • When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on
    • The only thing we have to fear is fear itself
    • 1930, when Governor of New York – The doctrine of regulation and legislation by “master minds,” in whose judgment and will all the people may gladly and quietly acquiesce, has been too glaringly apparent at Washington during these last ten years. Were it possible to find “master minds” so unselfish, so willing to decide unhesitatingly against their own personal interests or private prejudices, men almost godlike in their ability to hold the scales of justice with an even hand, such a government might be to the interests of the country; but there are none such on our political horizon, and we cannot expect a complete reversal of all the teachings of history
    • If I want to make absolutely sure that nothing gets done, I appoint a committee
    • Leaders must be credible and trustworthy, and never tell a lie
  • Roosevelt Theodore – US president:
    • In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing
    • People ask the difference between a leader and a boss…. The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads and the boss drives
    • The man who makes no mistakes usually does not make anything
  • Rose Lord Stuart – CEO, M&S:
    • Morale is crucial if M&S is going to achieve sustained growth rather than just a few good quarters, followed by a slump
    • Staff have to believe in what is possible
    • The biggest single change I am trying to bring about here is in attitude and ‘can do’ – we have 65,000 employees, I can’t do this alone, it’s teamwork
  • Ruskin John – English art critic:
    • Let us reform our schools and we shall find little reform needed in our prisons
  • Russell Bertrand – British mathematician and philosopher:
    • To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness
    • The key is to ask the right questions – anyone can obtain the right answers
    • The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time
  • Saadi – Iranian poet:
    • If thou hast no sympathy for the troubles of others, thou art unworthy to be called by the name of a human
  • Santayana George – Spanish philosopher:
    • Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer
    • Those unable to remember the past are condemned to repeat it
  • Sarkozy Nicolas – President of France:
    • Britain doesn’t have any industry left
  • Sarnoff David – CEO, RCA:
    • Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people
  • SAS airline:
    • The only thing that counts is a satisfied customer
  • Say Jean Baptiste – French economist – Say’s Law:
    • Products are paid for with products – i.e. not merely with money. (He meant that you needed to produce things to buy things… you could not just print money
  • Scardino Marjorie – CEO, Pearson Group:
    • The future is demand for customised lifelong learning powered by technology
  • Schmelling Max – German heavyweight boxing champion:
    • Why did I want to win? Because I didn’t want to lose!
  • Schumpeter Joseph – Austrian political economist:
    • The capitalist achievement does not typically consist in providing more silk stockings for queens, but in bringing them within reach of factory girls (as with cars, computers and foreign holidays)
    • The proper role of a healthily functioning economy is to destroy jobs and to put labor to use elsewhere – but layoffs and firings will always sting, as if the invisible hand of free enterprise has slapped workers in the face
    • Innovation arrives in clumps – discrete rushes which are separated from each other by spans of comparative quiet
  • Schwab Charles – Investor:
    • Kindness is more powerful than compulsion
  • Schwarzkopf General Norman – US Army – ‘Desert Storm’
    • Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy
  • Seddon John – CEO, Vanguard consultants:
    • Targets always make performance worse – they’re arbitrary measures which distort people’s thinking and sub-optimise the system
    • It costs as much to correct a defect as to make it in the first place
    • Mistakes are costly – the further a mistake goes without correction, the greater the cost to correct it, esp if it reaches the consumer
    • The cost of a mistake in a bill, or of sending the wrong goods, can wipe out any profit
    • ‘Failure demand’ is caused by a failure to do something or do something properly for a customer
    • Cut failures in a supply chain so even more capacity is released
    • Standardisation in service organisations can be the death of them – it drives up costs because of the inherent variety in the nature of customer demands – so let the workers design the detail of the system – not follow strict rules to meet strict standards
  • Senge Peter – US systems scientist:
    • People don’t resist change, they resist being changed
  • Shankly Bill – Manager, Liverpool Football Club, 1913-81:
    • I don’t drop players, I make changes
  • Shakespeare Stephan – Chairman, Data Strategy Board
    • Advances in AI (Artificial Intelligence) and robotics will lead to driverless cars, lower costs, lower errors in medical operations
  • Shakespeare William – English playwright:
    • Better three hours too soon than a minute too late
    • I wasted time, and now time doth wasted me
  • Shaw George Bernard – Irish playwright:
    • Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few
    • One man who has a mind and knows it, can always beat ten men who haven’t and don’t
    • Progress depends on the unreasonable man
    • A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul
    • Your best friend is your worst enemy, the one that keeps you up to the mark
    • If all economists were laid end to end, they would still not reach a conclusion
    • The reasonable man adapts himself to the world – the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself – therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man
    • The sign of a truly educated man is to be deeply moved by statistics
    • The golden rule is there are no golden rules
    • I dread success – to have succeeded is to have finished one’s business
    • A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honourable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing
    • Remember always that the least plain sister is the family beauty
    • Give a man health and a course to steer and he’ll never stop to trouble about whether he’s happy or not
  • Shepard Alan – US astronaut and first American in space:
    • It’s a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realise that one’s safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract
    • When reporters asked Alan Shepard what he thought about as he sat atop the Redstone rocket, waiting for liftoff, he replied, ‘The fact that every part of this ship was built by the lowest bidder.’
  • Shinseki Eric – Chief of Staff, US Army
    • If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less
  • Short Clare – UK International Development Secretary
    • They’ll be wanting golden elephants next” – after Montserrat’s requests for more British aid after a volcanic eruption laid most of the tiny Caribbean island barren and uninhabitable
  • Shyan Lee Yi – Minister for Trade, Industry and Manpower, Singapore:
    • We need to seek qualitative rather than quantitative growth – we need to get used to growing without a proportionate growth in the labour force
  • Silicon Valley mantra:
    • Better, faster, cheaper, smaller
  • Skilling Jeffrey – CEO, Enron:
    • Our stockholders knew exactly what they needed to know
  • Slater William – UK investor:
    • There is none so blind as those who will not listen
  • Sloan Alfred – President, General Motors:
    • The aim of a business is to earn a satisfactory return on capital
    • Our decentralised organisation and our tradition of selling ideas, rather than simply giving orders, impose the need upon all levels of management to make a good case for what they propose. The manager who would like to operate on a hunch will usually find it hard to sell his ideas to others on this basis
  • Smith Adam – Scottish economist and philosopher:
    • The object of the business game is to make money, lots of it
    • The aim of any business is to become a monopoly
  • Smith Sydney – English wit and writer:
    • All organisations die of dignity – they’re too proud to think themselves ill, and to take a little physic
  • Smythe Dick – English productivity author:
    • Forget multiple regression analysis – if you can’t see an obvious trend in the data, there probably isn’t one
    • Excess is a worthy target iff the pluses exceed the minuses
    • Targets require deadlines – aims do not
    • Experts don’t know everything – just more than you
    • Intelligent people are usually self-conscious, aware of their failings – stupid people are usually neither
    • We all need mountains to climb – where’s the satisfaction in starting at the top?
    • Are you productive or just busy?
    • Never trust a friend who is broke
    • ‘Perfection is our minimum’ – tongue-in-cheek mantra
    • Never make a big decision quickly – always sleep on it
    • Great ideas make you say: “Why didn’t we think of that?”
    • The more you know, the more you want to know
    • The only people who conquer more than one mountain in life are mountain climbers
    • Work is doing things you would prefer not to do, for money – play is doing things you want to do, for free
    • If a service meets a need and is free, demand will rise exponentially
    • Thanks to productivity improvement, services first thought to be a luxury for a few can soon become a right for the many
    • If anything is easy to achieve, it’s probably not worth it
    • Never douse the fire in the stomach of the British male – accept his mistakes and misdemeanours (but not crimes) – for he is the guy who got us where we are today
    • Confidence comes from being one chapter ahead of others, arrogance from the whole book, and a disaster-in-waiting from two or more
    • It’s ‘made by Dyson’, not ‘made in China’, that matters
    • The logarithmic graph was invented to show that people who said anything that grew exponentially could not go on for ever were wrong
    • There’s 10 times more satisfaction in helping another than helping oneself
    • Being a CEO is much like being skipper of a boat miles off-shore – if something goes badly wrong, it’s down to you to sort it – there’s nobody else around to help
    • The secret of a long and happy life? – Retire early
    • Death is not to be feared for it’s just a big sleep – it’s life before death that’s to be feared for being wasted, perhaps with much suffering at the end
    • Ignorance offers its owners the luxury of thinking their betters are fools
    • What English word can be handwritten upside down and yet read the same? – chump
  • Snead Sam – US champion golfer:
    • Of all the hazards, fear is the worst
  • Socrates – Ancient Greek philosopher:
    • The more you know, the more you realise how little you know
  • Solow Robert – US economist and Nobel laureate
    • You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics
  • Sony:
    • If a target is understood, it’s amazing how quickly and easily people will respond
    • You westerners keep making a science out of common sense
  • Soros George – Billionaire Hungarian-American investor:
    • The way to make profits is to find the premise that is wrong and bet against it
    • When making a financial bet, keep looking for instances that would prove your initial theory wrong
  • Stalin Joseph – President, USSR:
    • A single death is a tragedy – a million deaths is a statistic
  • Stein Herb – US economist:
    • If something can’t go on forever, it won’t
  • Steinbeck John – US author and Nobel prize-winner:
    • Nobody wants advice, only corroboration
  • Stevenson Robert Louis – Scottish novelist:
    • To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive
    • Sooner or later we all sit down to a banquet of consequences
  • Stewart Thomas – US businessman and author:
    • Intellectual Capital is the sum of everything everybody in a company knows that gives it a competitive edge
    • The asset which differentiates now is wetware – the stuff between the ears
    • It’s easier to count the bottles than describe the wine
  • Sunday Times:
    • There is disquiet about how the Government’s claims on public services sit so uneasily alongside everyday reality
    • Labour’s lack of prudence was pumping out tens of billions of public spending with no regard for whether it was used productively
  • Surowiecki James – US journalist and author:
    • Capitalism is healthiest when people believe that the long-term benefits of fair dealing outweigh the short-term benefits of sharp practice
  • Syrus Publilus – Syrian-Roman slave turned Latin writer:
    • Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm
  • Taleb Nicholas/ Nassim – Lebanese-American author and investor:
    • Hard work will get you a professorship or a BMW, but you need hard work and luck for a Booker or Nobel prize, or private jet
    • Only worry about things you can do something about
    • What you don’t know may be far more relevant than what you do
    • The unexpected has a one-sided effect with projects, and almost always increases costs or extends timescales (eg any government contract re IT or defence)
    • Invest in preparedness, not prediction
    • One attributes successes to skills, and failures to randomness
    • Is Russian roulette a good idea having survived once and pocketed the money?
  • Talleyrand Charles Maurice de – French statesman and diplomat:
    • I fear the army of 100 sheep led by one lion rather than 100 lions led by one sheep
  • Tebbit Norman – UK politician:
    • Politics is about shooting the crocodile nearest the boat
  • Templeton Sir John – British investor and banker:
    • The four most costly words in investment are ‘this time is different’
  • Tennant Sir Colin – Chairman, Guinness:
    • Everyone needs luck – the secret is to make the most of it when you get it
  • Tennyson Lord Alfred – British poet:
    • To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield
  • Teresa Saint Mother – Macedonian missionary who became St Teresa of Calcutta:
    • You can do what I cannot do – I can do what you cannot do – together, we can do great things
  • Thatcher Margaret – Tory MP, first female UK Prime Minister:
    • Some would rather that the poor were poorer provided the rich were less rich
    • The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money
    • A rising tide lifts all ships
    • When are you supremely satisfied? Not when you lounge around doing nothing, but when you have everything to do, and do it
    • Being powerful is like being a lady – if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t
  • The Times:
    • Black swans are the ultimate cuckoo in the nest
    • In the NHS, what is being measured is not what matters most
    • The Government has made surprisingly little of Britain’s potential to build replacement industries        
    • The man who dies rich, not in money but experience, who quits this world before sharing the fruits of his learning with the less fortunate, dies disgraced
    • Central planning is degrading to the human soul
    • UK industry today is struggling to survive the suffocating growth of regulation and government interference
    • Britain’s elite has excelled at inspiration, but not perspiration
    • British inventors founded entire industries that have since largely migrated to better-suited labour markets – this has left us with a knowledge-based economy that depends on anticipating global trends and creating products to meet emerging demands, faster and more intelligently than competitors
    • Empowering and holding accountable local managers are the most dramatic means of reducing crime or increasing patient throughputs
    • The more that is known at the most local level of operation, the better
  • Thurber James – American cartoonist and author:
    • The fat is in the fire, the die is cast, the jig is up, the goose is cooked, and the cat is out of the bag
  • Tolkein JRR – English author and poet:
    • It’s the job that’s never started that takes the longest to finish
  • Torvalds Linus – Finnish-American creator of the Linux operating system
    • If your efforts are freely distributable, we’d like to hear from you, so we can add them to the system
  • Townsend Bob – CEO, Avis:
    • Is what I’m doing getting us closer to our overall objectives?
    • A premature announcement of what you’re going to do, and why, can unsettle potential supporters, give opponents time to construct defences, and tends to ensure failure
  • Trevino Lee – Champion Mexican golfer:
    • The older you get, the better you used to be
  • Truman Harry S – US President:
    • It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit
    • Find me a damned economist with just one hand
  • Tse-tung, Mao – Chairman, China:
    • Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun
  • Tubbs Dr Mike – American politician:
    • Economists as a group are very good at rationalising what happened in the past but very poor at predicting the future
    • I do not recall any major economists predicting the 2008/09 recession a significant time before it happened!
  • Turner Lord Adair – British businessman and academic – ex Director General, CBI::
    • America is a society getting steadily richer, but totally focussed on more income, not more leisure
  • Turner Ted – US media billionaire:
    • My son is now an “entrepreneur.” That’s what you’re called when you don’t have a job
  • Twain Mark – American author:
    • I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead
    • Throw off the bowlines – catch the wind in your sails – explore, dream, discover
    • To be busy is man’s only happiness
    • Faith is believing something you know aint true
    • Its not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog
    • History does not repeat itself – it rhymes
    • Put all your eggs in one basket, and watch that basket
    • Denial aint just a river in Egypt
    • All you need is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure
    • Crank? A man with a new idea, until it succeeds
    • Let us be thankful for the fools – but for them the rest of us could not succeed
  • Tyson Mike – American heavyweight boxing champion:
    • Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face
  • Tzu-Lao – Ancient Chinese philosopher, 600 BC:
    • When the best leader’s work is done his team say ‘we did it ourselves’
  • Tzu Sun – Ancient Chinese military strategist, around 500 BC:
    • If people are treated with benevolence, faithfulness and justice, then they will be of one mind and glad to serve
    • Opportunities multiply as they are seized
  • UK Treasury:
    • Only productivity can raise wages, profits and ultimately overall prosperity, but the UK has historically been weak at generating productivity growth
    • However measured, UK productivity lags that of other major industrialised countries
    • There is substantial unfulfilled potential in large parts of the country
  • Vanderbilt Cornelius – American railroad and shipping magnate:
    • Never be a minion, always be an owner
  • Venturi Ken – American champion golfer
    • All of us have an ‘inner clock,’ a certain pace at which we function most comfortably and effectively
  • Victoria Queen:
    • When America, the US schooner, beat 14 British yachts in the first race around the Isle of Wight in 1851 she asked which boat was second – “Ah, your Majesty. There is no second”
  • Virgil – Roman poet:
    • They can because they think they can
    • Experto credite – trust one who has proved it
  • Voltaire – French philosopher:
    • Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one
    • Judge a man by his questions, not by his answers
    • Why do the British execute an admiral every now and again? “Pour encourager les autres” – In 1757 Admiral Byng was shot at Portsmouth for failing to relieve Minorca
    • If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him
    • The best is the enemy of the merely good
    • Common sense is not so common
  • Von Moltke – Ottoman empire:
    • Strategy is not a lengthy action plan, but rather the evolution of a central idea through continually changing circumstances
  • Wallace Sir William – ‘Braveheart’ in War of Scottish Independence:
    • Every man dies – not all men live
  • Wallis Sir Barnes – English scientist, inventor of the Dambusters’ ‘bouncing bomb:
    • There is a natural opposition among men to anything they have not thought of themselves
    • There’s no greater joy in life than first being told that a thing is impossible, and then showing how it can be done
  • Walsh Sam – CEO, Rio Tinto:
    • Unions are only needed if people are ‘hard done by, underpaid or exploited’ – this is not the case in most sectors
  • Walton Sam – American founder of Walmart:
    • Most everything I’ve done I’ve copied from someone else
    • Capital isn’t scarce – vision is
  • Watson Thomas J – CEO, IBM:
    • You don’t hear things that are bad about your company unless you ask. It is easy to hear good tidings, but you have to scratch to get the bad news
    • Whenever an organisation decides success has been attained, progress stops
  • Weinstock Lord Arnold – English industrialist and CEO, GEC:
    • I don’t mind what they do as long as it turns out all right
  • Welch Jack – American businessman and CEO, GE:
    • Managers need something that lets them move faster, communicate more clearly and involve everyone in a focussed effort to serve ever more demanding customers
    • Change before you have to
    • The 80s and 90s will seem like a walk in the park when compared to new global challenges, where annual productivity increases of 6% may not be enough – a combination of software, brains, and running harder will be needed to bring that percentage up to 8 or 9%
    • GE now has to reach the world, not just to sell or to source, but to find intellectual capital – the world’s best talents and greatest ideas
    • An organisation’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is now the ultimate competitive advantage
    • Find best practices anywhere, and use them everywhere
    • If you have a simple consistent message, and keep on repeating it, eventually that’s what happens
    • If you want a 10mph increase in train speed you tinker with HP, but if you want to double its speed, you have to break out of conventional thinking
    • Size matters less now – it’s not necessarily great to be big anymore
    • Six Sigma is the most important initiative GE has ever undertaken
    • Nothing matters more in winning than getting the right people on the field
    • Structures should be 50% flatter than you’d normally feel comfortable with
    • Leaders should not peddle comfort, they should rock the boat
    • Learning, sharing and the institutions that foster them are what hold GE together
    • Willingness to change is a strength, even if it means plunging part of the company into total confusion for a while
    • New ideas are the lifeblood of a business
    • Speed is everything, it’s the indispensable ingredient of competition
    • We want to make our quality so special, so valuable to our customers, so important to their success that our products become the only real value choice
    • The world belongs to passionate, driven leaders – people who not only have enormous amounts of energy but also can energise those whom they lead
    • A leader’s role is to allocate resources i.e. budgets, manage the development of leaders, push the occasional company-wide initiative and energise the sharing of ‘best-practices’                                   
  • Wellesley Arthur, 1st Duke of Wellington – Anglo-Irish soldier, statesman and British Prime Minister:
    • There is nothing in life worse than a battle won, except a battle lost
  • Wells H G – English sci-fi novelist:
    • Advertising is legalised lying
  • West Mae – American actress:
    • When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before
    • Too much of a good thing can be wonderful
    • He who hesitates is last
  • West Point – US military academy:
    • They describe their training of soldiers as ‘the ability to turn out leaders who deserve trust’
  • Whitehead Alfred North – British mathematician and philosopher:
    • Civilisation advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about them
  • Wilde Oscar – Irish poet and playwright:
    • A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing
    • Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination
  • Wilder Billy – American film-maker:
    • Hindsight is an exact science which is always 20/20
  • Wilson Woodrow – US president:
    • I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow
  • WEF – World Economic Forum:
    • The more the competitiveness of a nation, the higher the level of income per citizen
    • Competitiveness is the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a nation
  • Wright Frederick – African-American author:
    • When you submit in spirit to aggressors or to an unjust and impossible situation, you do not buy yourself any real peace – they take more from you and use you for their own purposes
  • Wright Julie (and Russ King from the book ‘We all fall down’ )
    • How to ‘treat more patients better, sooner, now and in the future’
  • Xerox:
    • Our problem isn’t with sharing knowledge – it’s knowing who might want it, or where to look for it
  • Xiaoping Deng – Chairman, China:
    • See truth from facts
    • If a cat can catch a mouse, who cares if it’s a black or white cat
  • Yew Lee Kuan – Prime Minister, Singapore:
    • If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business

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  • AnonUnattributed, or coiner lost, for which my apologies to any claimants
    • He who talks most has least to say
    • Opportunism tends to rely more on intuition than analysis – motivated by greed, not growth
    • In any war, the first casualty is truth
    • Communication of the benefits of productivity for job security, satisfaction and expansion is not yet good enough
    • Post hoc, ergo propter hoc – Just because B happened after A doesn’t mean A caused B
    • Spending four years in a lecture hall with a hangover will be seen as an antiquated, debt-fuelled, luxury good
    • All value will come from brainware
    • Business is about augmenting the top line, not cost minimisation
    • Never hire the guy who’s rude to the waiter
    • He’s “all gong and no dinner”
    • Failure is deferred success
    • “Areas of high unemployment tend to have fewer jobs” an economist
    • You don’t make sheep any fatter by weighing them
    • You don’t need to stand on the scales to know if you’re fat, or slim
    • If two or more people are in charge, nobody is – everybody will claim successes, nobody will accept blame
    • Never sing from the same hymn sheet if you want to be heard
    • If a service is ‘free’, expect demand to exceed supply and quality fall short of expectations
    • Absence of proof of poor productivity is not proof of its absence
    • We cannot act like little Englanders – we’re all acting on the world stage now
    • Predicting rain isn’t what counts – building an ark is
    • Revenge is a dish best served cold
    • Hubris inevitably leads to nemesis
    • Nobody changes much if they don’t know where they are and where they want to go
    • The best measures are those developed by those who need them
    • Only collect data once
    • Think of many things; do one – Portuguese proverb
    • There are plenty of measures for managers, but few for them to manage
    • The only thing worse than bad news is bad news late
    • If you don’t take care of your customers, somebody else will
    • There’s no job satisfaction in sorting out stuff that should never have happened
    • Smallish improvements in the right places can compound big results
    • Never waste a single promotion – people may not listen to all that you say, but they watch all that you do
    • The most powerful way to motivate people is to listen to them
    • People will move on if promises are not fulfilled
    • If goal-fulfilment induced indefinite periods of unadulterated contentment, there would have been little progress towards modern civilisation
    • It doesn’t matter what you call the approach, as long as it solves the problem
    • 100% of the projects you don’t start will fail
    • Most problems come from few sources
    • Downsizing is like tossing some people out of a crowded lifeboat – if you do, a few drown – if you don’t, you all drown
    • We progress as much by knowing what not to do as what we must do
    • If the state consumes more than 40% of GDP, growth stagnates
    • Work is the price you pay for money
    • It’s not more hours worked that’s needed, it’s more value added
    • Future wealth will be measured by what you know, not what stuff you own
    • Think globally, act locally
    • Give a man a fish and his family will not be hungry for a day, teach a man to fish and his family will not be hungry again
    • Exponential growth cannot ever continue for long
    • Over 30% of the US workforce once worked for Fortune 500 companies – now it’s down to 12%, and falling
    • When the world knows the problem, the wind is at your back
    • What do you think of an organisation when your telephone call is answered at the 24’th ring, only to be passed on to another department?
    • A designer has achieved perfection, not when there’s nothing left to add, but when there’s nothing left to be taken away
    • No customers, no business
    • Thanks to productivity improvement, one can now buy an accurate watch for the cost of a kid mowing your lawn
    • Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, cash is king
    • EVA presents the true value of a management’s performance
    • The longer a debt is outstanding, the harder it is to collect
    • One purchases tangible assets, and develops intangibles
    • Markets usually do what they’re supposed to do – just never when you expect it
    • Try ringing your own company if you don’t believe their responses are so bad
    • We sell goods that don’t come back, to customers that do
    • Structures – never draw them in ink
    • Dotted lines lead to troublemakers
    • Winning organisations have a culture of trust, loyalty and pride
    • Know you may well have a great team already in-house, sufficiently well trained, underused and just waiting to be given a chance
    • Innovation is for growth, productivity for strength                                                         
    • 3% of all statistics are made up on the spot
    • 4729% of performance statistics are meaningless
    • 86% of Americans feel ‘more of what matters in life’ fits their dream, not ‘more is better’
    • A carelessly planned project takes three times longer to complete than expected – a carefully planned project only takes twice as long
    • A G20 meeting is like all the big yacht owners at Monte Carlo comparing each other’s boat
    • Any simple idea will be worded in the most complex way
    • A recession is when your neighbour loses his job, a depression is when you lose yours
    • Audie Murphy was the most decorated soldier in WW2. He won every medal we had to offer, plus 5 presented by Belgium and France. There was one common medal he never won … the Good Conduct medal
    • Behind mountains, more mountains – Haitian saying
    • Customers will try low-cost providers when high-cost providers give them few reasons not to
    • Don’t believe in miracles – and don’t rely on them
    • Have you ever seen the work rate of a crew bailing out a sinking boat?
    • Idiots always differ from you
    • If Sales don’t do their job, there’s little point in Production doing theirs
    • If you chase two rabbits, both will escape
    • If you don’t know where you are, or where you’re going, any road will do
    • If you have to fire staff after many years of success, maybe start with yourself
    • If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail
    • If you hire a bunch of clowns, before long you’ll have a circus
    • If you’re a top performer, you love measurement
    • If you’re happy with the status quo, you’ll probably not enjoy matters for long
    • In Germany, employees do what they’re told – in the UK, they argue
    • Losers remember who they once beat, winners remember who once beat them
    • Major cost reductions are not quick affairs
    • Moral hazard – when insulated from risk, you behave differently than if fully exposed to it – re public sector attitudes
    • Nice guys that don’t get things done are no good to anyone
    • Offer your crew the bare minimum, and that’s what you’ll get
    • Only dead fish swim with the stream
    • Our role is to defend democracy, not practise it – RN Officer
    • People perform according to the expectations of those around them
    • Poor leaders have even been known to say ‘the trouble with workers today is that 5% of them work, 10% of them think they work, and 85% of them would rather die than work’ -it’s only when asked to add ‘in my team’ that they see where the problem lies
    • Smooth seas do not make skilful skippers – old African proverb
    • The first 90% of learning a new task takes 90% of the time – the last 10% takes the other 90%
    • The plaudits of your peers count more than pound notes – but only if you have enough of the latter
    • The quickest way to improve profits is to cut losses
    • There is a deep pleasure from having a new idea,an insight, to solve a problem which is better than anything felt when paid a fat cheque or bonus
    • There’s little merit in being highly efficient in what you do if the customers don’t want what you offer them
    • The sound barrier:
      1. Q: When did you decide to think at work?
      2. A: When I knew someone would listen
    • The ultimate marketing dream is ‘to bring class to the masses’
    • They cannot direct the wind, but they can adjust the sails
    • To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism – to steal from many is research
    • US admirals were once asked what makes good captains
      • ‘Courage and conviction’
      • ‘Wrong
      • ‘Attention to detail and concern for the crew’
    • We’re all condemned to look forward with hope and only realise how good it was when we look back
    • What’s the point in reducing a task time from six to two hours if the total order cycle time is eight months?
    • When the storm arrives, it’s too late to change the crew
    • Who on their deathbed would ever say “I wish I’d spent more time at the office”?
    • You are where you are – how you proceed matters more than how you got there