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1. To ask the hard question is simple.

W.H. Auden (1907-73) U.S. poet, “Poem” (1933)


2. One of the indispensable functions of informal organizations…is that of communication.

Chester Barnard (1886-1961) U.S. business executive and management theorist. Organization and Management (1948)


3. If we could get them moving in roughly the same direction, we would be unstoppable.

Percy Barnevik (b.1941) Swedish former of C.E.O. of ABB. Referring to the problem of communicating with large numbers of employees. Harvard Business Review (March/April 1991)


4. A quotation is what a speaker wants to say, unlike a soundbite which is all that an interviewer allows you to say.

Tony Benn (b.1925) British politician. Letter (1996)


5. Reflective back talk increases a leader’s ability to make good decisions.

Warren Bennis (b.1925) U.S. educator and writer. On Becoming a Leader (1989)


6. Communication is best achieved through simple planning and control…Most conversations…drift along; in business, this is wasteful; as a manger…seek communication rather than chatter.

Gerald M. Blair (b.1959) U.S. writer. Conversation as Communication (2000)


7. My principal inspiration comes from the employees…I try to go to the field on a weekly basis…I come back with fresh ideas and a clearer understanding of our needs…These people…set the pace of what we can do by clearly understanding the strategy and overall goals of the company.

Michel Bon (b.1943) French former C.E.O. of France Telecom. Interview, Strategy + Business (April-June 1999)


8. Society cannot share a common communication system so long as it is split into warring factions.

Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) German playwright and poet. “A Short Organum for the Theatre” (1949)


9. I say what I mean, you hear what I say. That is the end of it.

Barbara Cassani (b.1960) U.S. former C.E.O. of Go. Management Today (August 1999)


10. Words are so futile, so feeble.

Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) U.S. actor and producer. Academy Awards Speech (1972)


11. When you have nothing to say, say nothing.

Charles Caleb Colton (1780?-1832) British clergyman and writer. Lacon (1820-22), vol. 1


12. Let us write as if we were writing o a skeptical aunt. All the rest of the world can look over our aunt’s shoulder.

Fairfax Cone (1903-77) U.S. advertising executive. Christian Science Monitor (1963)


13. Avoid fight or flight, talk through differences.

Stephen Covey (b.1932) U.S. writer and psychologist. Thirty Methods of Influence (1991)


14. Just as “location, location, location” defines  value in real estate, in business today it’s connectivity that equals competitiveness.

Mary J. Cronin (b.1947) U.S. business author. Doing More Business on the Internet (1995)


15. There is mathematics, there are computers and there are pictures, but the bulk of our communicated thinking is done with language.

Edward De Bono (b.1933) British creative-thinking theorist, educator and writer. “Message for Today,” (September 4, 2000)


16. If it’s important enough, it will be followed up with a more formal approach, but the starting point will always be looking into people’s eyes and telling them the way it is.

Ron Dennis (b.1949) British entrepreneur and Formula 1 motor racing team owner. Quoted in The Adventure Capitalists (Jeff Grout and Lynne Curry; 1998)


17. Electronic communication, as fast and efficient as it has become, does not automatically lead to better communication.

Dan Dimancascu (b.1943) U.S. consultant ad writer. World-class New Product Development (co-written with Kemp Dwenger; 1996)


18. At office-managerial level… you do not read more than the first two sentences of any given report. You believe that anything which cannot be put into two sentences is not worth attending to.

Penelope Fitzgerald (1916-2000) British novelist and biographer. “The Axe,” The Means of Escape (2000)


19. Communication, whether it be in the dance, or whether it be in the spoken word, is now the great need of the world.

Martha Graham (1894-1991) U.S. dancer and choreographer. Notebooks of Martha Graham (1973)


20. Even the frankest and bravest of subordinates do not talk with their boss the same way they talk with colleagues.

Robert Greenleaf (1904-90) U.S. director of Management Research for AT&T and author. Servant Leadership. A Journey into The Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness (1977)


21. Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much.

Robert Greenleaf (1904-90) U.S. director of Management Research for AT&T and author. Servant Leadership. A Journey into The Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness (1977)


22. We have needed to define ourselves by reclaiming the words that define us. They have used language as weapons. When we open ourselves to what they say and how they say it, our narrow prejudices evaporate and we are nourished and armed.

Selma James (b.1951) U.S. activist and writer. The Ladies and the Mammies: Jane Austen and Jean Rhys (1983)


23. Through the picture I see reality; through the word I understand it.

Peter Kindersley (b.1941) British publisher, cofounder of Dorling-Kindersley. 1975. Referring to the importance of both words and images in communication and publishing. Quoted in Goldfinger (Robert Heller; 1998)


24. The more you talk and listen to a bad character the more you lose your dislike for him.

Henry Lawson (1867-1922) Australian poet and short-story writer. Joe Wilson and His Mates (1902)


25. If figures of speech based on sports and fornication were suddenly banned, American corporate communication would be reduced to pure mathematics.

Jay McInerney (b.1955) U.S. author. Brightness Falls (1992)


26. It is ironic but true that in this era of electronic communications personal interaction is becoming more important than ever.

Regis McKenna (b.1939) U.S. marketing entrepreneur and chairman of the McKenna Group. Quoted in Thriving on Chaos (Tom Peters; 1987)


27. The feedback loop, connecting company and customer, is central to the operating definition of a truly market-driven company.

Regis McKenna (b.1939) U.S. marketing entrepreneur and chairman of the McKenna Group. Relationship Marketing (1991)


28. Propaganda ends where dialogue begins.

Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) Canadian sociologist and author. Understanding Media (1964)


29. Chief executives repeatedly fail to recognize that for communication to be effective, it must be two-way.

Robert N. McMurry, U.S. management and personnel specialist. “Clear Communication for Chief Executives,” Harvard Business Review (1965)


30. Just as a pit crew monitors a driver by computer, laptops keep us in constant touch with our representatives.

Doug Nelson (b.1944) U.S. regional vice president of Altria Group Inc. (formerly Philip Morris). “The Mavericks,” Fortune (June 1995)


31. It used to be by you needed lots of meetings between middle managers to exchange information that is now instantly available to all employees via an intranet.

Masahiro Noilia (b.1939) Japanese business executive Wired Asia (June 2000)


32. If an organization is to work effectively, the communication should be through the most effective channel regardless of the organization chart.

Tom Peters (b.1942) U.S. management consultant and author. In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies (co-written with Robert H. Waterman JR; 1988)


33. Today, communication itself is the problem. We have become the world’s first over-communicated society. Each year we send more and receive less.

Al Ries (b.1926) U.S. advertising executive and chairman of Trout & Ries Advertising, Inc. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind (co-written with Jack Trout; 1980)


34. By creating conversation, we let our customers spread our message by word of mouth.

Anita Roddick (b.1942) British entrepreneur and founder of The Body Shop. Body and Soul (co-written with Russell Miller; 1991)


35. In companies whose wealth is intellectual capital, networks rather than hierarchies, are the right organizational design.

Thomas A. Stewart (b.1958) U.S. journalist and author. Intellectual Capital (1997)


36. Listen to everyone in your company and figure out ways to get them talking.

Sam M. Walton (1918-92) U.S. entrepreneur and founder of Wal-Mart, Inc. Made in America (co-written with John Huey; 1992)


37. Real communication takes countless hours of eyeball to eyeball, back and forth…It is human beings coming to see and accept things through a constant interactive process aimed at consensus.

Jack Welch (b.1935) U.S. former chairman and C.E.O. of General Electric. Harvard Business Review (September-October 1989)


38. There is a commodity in human experience. If it has happened to the thousands of others.

Oprah Winfrey (b.1954) U.S. talk show host, actor, and business executive. Time (August 1988)


39. One man saying that everything is wrong can command coast-to-coast attention in living color, a power not given

to an absolute monarch a century ago.

Walter Wriston (b.1919) U.S. banker. Risk and Other Four Letter Words (1986)