Quotes in the book – great minds, mined

Each chapter of Complete Training starts with a quotation – an idea to set the tone for what follows.  There’s also a whole load of insights from other commentators and writers – many of them with much bigger brains than mine. Here’s a selection of them:

Chapter 1:

…one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages…
William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Learning is not compulsory – neither is survival.
W. Edwards Demming

In an increasingly knowledge-based economy, human capital is fast becoming the most valuable business asset. Labour turnover is one measure of human capital reporting, among others, that can provide a powerful business case in influencing senior management decisions and agend.
CIPD, 2009

Chapter 2:

“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail”.    
Abraham Maslow, The Psychology of Science: A Reconnaissance, 1966

‘If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable’
Seneca (The Younger) 65BCE – 4AD

“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”
W. Edwards Demming

Chapter 3:

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, 1749 -1832 (also attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci)

“In order to start doing something new you have to stop doing something old.”
Peter Drucker

Chapter 4:

“The best learning happens in real life with real problems and real people and not in classrooms.”
Professor Charles Handy CBE, formerly of London Business School

Chapter 5:

“We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.”
Peter Drucker, Writer, Academic and Management Consultant

“Although one may fail to find happiness in theatrical life, one never wishes to give it up after having once tasted its fruits.”
Anna Pavlova, Prima Ballerina

“The learner (…) must continually choose which set of learning abilities to bring to bear upon various learning tasks.”
David Kolb, Psychologist and inventor of the Kolb learning cycle

Chapter 6:

“For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, for they will not practice their memory. You have invented an elixir, not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom.”
Plato, c. 428 BC – c. 347BC.

“Whatever 26-year-old tech geek males are interested in we do a very good job on. [But] things that are in other fields we could do with some more users participating.”
Jimmy Wales, talking about his invention – Wikipedia

Chapter 7:

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.”
Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of the martial art of aikido

“Most people would learn from their mistakes, if they weren’t busy denying them”.
Oscar winning screen writer, Harold Jacob Smith

Chapter 8:

“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts – for support rather than illumination.”
Andrew Lang, Scottish Poet, Critic, Anthropologist and Historian

Chapter 9:

“We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities but its own talents.”
Eric Hoffer, itinerant labourer, longshoreman and social philosopher

“In your career, knowledge is like milk. It has a shelf life stamped right on the carton. The shelf life of a degree in engineering is about 3 years. If you’re not replacing everything you know by then, your career is going to turn sour fast.”
Louis Ross, former vice chair of Ford Motor Company

“In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.”
Eric Hoffer

Chapter 10:

“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”
Professor Michael Porter, Harvard Business School

“We tend to think we can separate strategy from culture, but we fail to notice that in most organisations strategic thinking is deeply coloured by tacit assumptions about who they are and what their mission is.”
Edgar Schein, former Professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology