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1. A spirit of national masochism prevails, encouraged by an effete corps of impudment snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.

Spiro Agnew (1918-96) U.S. vice president. New York Times (1969)


2. The lessons of the past are ignored and obliterated in a contemporary antagonism known as the generation gap.

Spiro Agnew (1918-96) U.S. vice president. New York Times (1969)


3. In the Middle Ages, the rich tried to buy immortality by building cathedrals. These days they set up business schools instead.

Anonymous. Economist (London) (July 20, 1996)


4. People no more buy management books for their insights into epistemology than they read Playboy for the essays by John Updike.

Anonymous. Economist (London) (May 31, 1997)


5. Individual learning is a necessary but insufficient condition for organizational learning.

Chris Argyris (b.1923) U.S. academic and organizational behavior theorist. Organizational Learning: A Theory of Action Perspective (co-written with Donald A. Schon; 1978)


6. The learning person looks forward to failure or mistakes. The worst problem in leadership is basically early success.

Warren Bennis (b.1925) U.S. educator and writer. Quoted in Guide to the Management Gurus (C. Kennedy; 1998)


7. Learning and performance will become one and the same thing. Everything you say about learning will be about performance. People will get the point that learning is everything.

Peter Block (b.1935) U.S. writer. “The Future of Workplace Learning and Performance,” Training and Development (1994)


8. Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.

Edmund Burke (1729-97) British philosopher and politician. Two Letters on the Proposals for Peace with the Regicide Directory (1796)


9. Learning how to learn is life’s most important skill.

Tony Buzan (b.1942) U.S. author. Lessons from the Art of Juggling: How to Achieve Your Full Potential in Business, Learning, and Life (co-written with Michael J. Gelb; 1997)


10. When you are Mind Mapping, you are not only practicing and exercising your fundamental memory powers and your information processing, networking and organizing capabilities; you are also…helping you manifest your own genius!

Tony Buzan (b.1942) U.S. author. The History of Memory Techniques Leading to Mind Maps (2000)


11. Your brain is, indeed, a supreme example of, and is the ultimate, Internet.

Tony Buzan (b.1942) U.S. author. The Human Brain and the Global Brain (2000)


12. Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.

  1. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) British novelist, poet and critic. Attrib.


13. For the bold new world of the 21st century…every adult American must be able to keep on learning for a lifetime.

Bill Clinton (b.1946) U.S. former president. State of the Union address (February 2, 1997)


14. He who learns but does not think is lost. He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.

Confucius (551-479 B.C.) Chinese philosopher, administrator and writer. Analects (500? B.C.)


15. Once a company has adapted to a new environment, it is no longer the organization it used to be; it has evolved. That is the essence of learning.

Arie De Geus (b.1938) Dutch writer. “The Living Company,” Harvard Business Review (1997)


16. Back in 1989 Dell made a massive mistake relating to inventory, and now we’re regarded as the best in our industry in inventory. The answer is not having a brilliant conception of all the best ideas before you start a business, but rather learning from your mistakes and not repeating them-and making sure that those lessons are passed along as the organization continues to grow.

Michael Dell (b.1965) U.S. chairman and C.E.O. of Dell Computer Corporation. Speech to the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Technology Conference, Dallas. “Maximum Speed: Lessons Learned from Managing Hypergrowth” (September 10, 1998)


17. Our schools must preserve and nurture the yearning for learning that veryone is born with.

  1. Edwards Deming (1900-93) U.S. consultant and author. Quoted in Woodbury Reports Archives (February 1998)


18. Organizational learning style is a function of how organizations learn.

Anthony DiBella, U.S. writer and consultant. How Organizations Learn (co-written with Edwin C. Nevis; 1998)


19. To engage in the learning cycle, some firms move their employees instead of their knowledge.

Anthony DiBella, U.S. writer and consultant. How Organizations Learn (co-written with Edwin C. Nevis; 1998)


20.It took more than 200 years…for the printed book to create the modern school. It won’t take nearly that long for the big change.

Peter F. Drucker (b.1909) U.S. management consultant and academic. Quoted in “Seeing Things as They Really Are,” Forbes (Robert Lenzner and Stephen S. Johnson; 1987)


21. Intellectual integrity…the ability to see the world as it is, not as you want it to be.

Peter F. Drucker (b.1909) U.S. management consultant and academic. Interview, Forbes (1987)


22. We should not provide universal access to the Internet. I’d rather provide universal good education so that people could afford universal access- but could have the individual choice of whether to pay for it and how much to buy.

Esther Dyson (b.1951) U.S. knowledge entrepreneur and government adviser. Atlantic Online (1994)


23. I think I’d rather have an English major than an economics major.

Michael Eisner (b.1942) U.S. chairman and C.E.O. of the Disney Corporation. Speech (June 1994)


24. I’m not an educator…I’m a learner.

Bill Gates (b.1955) U.S. entrepreneur, chairman and C.E.O. of Microsoft. The Road Ahead (co-written with Nathan Myhrvold and Peter N. Rinearson; 1995)


25. Emotional intelligence is a different way of being smart.

Daniel Goleman (b.1946) U.S. behavioral scientist, journalist and author. “On Emotional Intelligence: A Conversation with Daniel Goleman,” Educational Leadership (John O’Neil; 1996)


26. Lifelong learners take risks. Much more than others, these men and women push themselves out of their comfort zones and try new ideas.

Bob Guccione (b.1930) U.S. magazine publisher. Leading Change (1996)


27. 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 (1902-83) U.S. philosopher. Reflections on the Human Condition (1973)


28. It is the true nature of mankind to learn from mistakes, not from example.

Fred Hoyle (1915-2001) British astronomer. Into Deepest Space (1974)


29. The purpose of a university is to make students safe for ideas-not ideas safe for students.

Clark Kerr (b.1911) U.S. educator. Quoted in Arizona Republic (1999)


30. True learning begins with unlearning.

Fred Kofman, U.S. writer. On Becoming a Leader (1998)


31. Government can legislate but unless the leaders in the children’s world step up and support quality educational shows, there will be absolutely no change.

Geraldine Laybourne (b.1947) U.S. chairman of Oxygen Media. “It Takes Three to Tango,” (2000)


32. The process of maturing is an art to be learned, an effort to be sustained. By the age of fifty you have made yourself what you are, and if it is good, it is better than your youth.

Marya Mannes (1904-90) U.S. essayist and journalist. More in Anger (1958)


33. When students are separated from the influence of destructive peer relations and dysfunctional environments…they have the opportunity to assess their current system of operation without the reinforcement of that system.

Phil Muir, U.S. field director of the Aspen Achievement Academy. Aspen Trails (Fall 1994)


34. The most important thing I would learn in school was that almost everything I would learn in school would be utterly useless.

Joseph O’Connor (b.1963) Irish journalist and novelist. The Secret World of the Irish Male (1994)


35. To understand is to perceive patterns.

Yoko Ono (b.1933) U.S. artist and musician. Historical Inevitability (1954)


36. Even though they had won Nobel prizes, they were willing to acknowledge that things could be going on elsewhere. They asked questions.

Reg Revans (1907-2003) Briitsh academic. Action Learning (1979)


37. The essence of action learning is to become better acquainted with the self by trying to observe what one may actually do, to trace the reasons for attempting it and the consequences of what one seemed to be doing.

Reg Revans (1907-2003) Briitsh academic. Interview, Financial Times (London) (Stuart Crainer; 1996)


38. All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.

Walter Scott (1771-1832) Scottish novelist and poet. Letter to J. G. Lockhart (August 1825)


39. Over the long run, superior performance depends on superior learning.

Peter Senge (b.1947) U.S. academic and author. “The Leader’s New Work: Building Learning Organizations,” Sloan Management Review (1990)


40. Often the most effective facilitators in learning processes are not professional trainers but line managers themselves.

Peter Senge (b.1947) U.S. academic and author. “Leading Learning Organizations,” Training and Development (1996)


41. Modern mind has become more and more calculating. The calculative exactness of practical life which the money economy has brought about corresponds to the ideal of natural science.

Georg Simmel (1858-1918) German sociologist and philosopher. Quoted in The Sociology of Geirg Simmel (Kurt H. Wolff; 1950)


42. Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.

  1. F. Skinner (1904-90) U.S. psychologist. New Scientist (May 21, 1964)


43. Tedium is never a useful teaching tool.

Earl Stevens, U.S. expert on home schooling. Electronic Forum on Unschooling (May 1994)


44. The illiterate of the year 2000 will not be the individual who cannot read and write, but the one who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.

Alvin Toffler (b.1928) U.S. social commentator. Quoted in Peak Learning-A Master Course in Learning how to Learn (Ronald Gross; 1991)


45. Never let formal education get in the way of your learning.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) U.S. writer. Quoted in Jump Start Your Brain (Doug Hall; 1996)


46. Learning is a willingness to let one’s ability and attitude change in response to new ideas, information and experiences.

Peter B. Vaill (b.1935) U.S. writer. Learning as a Way of Being (1996)


47. Learn from the best while they’re good and move on.

Robert H. Waterman, JR. (b.1936) U.S. consultant and author. The Frontiers of Excellence (1994)


48. We would not knowingly hire anyone in our company that wasn’t “boundaryless,” that wasn’t open to an idea from anywhere, that wasn’t excited about a learning environment.

Jack Welch (b.1935) U.S> former chairman and C.E.O. of General Electric. Washington Post (1997)


49. Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish writer and wit. Intentions (1891)


50. Many organizations are now trying to walk under the banner of “The Learning Organization,” realizing that knowledge is our most important product…But the only place that I’ve seen it is in the Army. As one colonel said, “We realized a while ago that it’s better to learn than be dead.”

Walter Wriston (b.1919) U.S. banker. Interview with Scott London, U.S. National Public Radio (November 1996)


51. What I observe in our business organizations-even in our public institutions-is that after a crisis or breakdown, or after something worked really well, we don’t get together and say, “Okay, what do we each think happened, and what can we learn from it?” We either take credit for it, if it’s an error, we try to bury it as fast as we can and move on.

Walter Wriston (b.1919) U.S. banker. Interview with Scott London, U.S. National Public Radio (November 1996)


52. Learning is not compulsory, neither is survival.

Peter Zwack (b.1928) Hungarian business executive. Out of the Crisis (1982)