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Change and Change Management Quotes


Top 50 Change and Change Management Quotes


 No 1 (Best quote!)Change and Change Management Quotes

We have it in our power to begin the world over again.

- Thomas (Tom) Paine (1737-1809), English philosopher, pictured right.



 No 2Change and Change Management Quotes

In business, the status quo means inevitable failure.

- Thomas Watson Jnr (pictured right) in A Business and Its Beliefs (1963)

So he also said in the same book:

Complacency is the most natural and insidious disease of large corporations.

 Change and Change Management Quotes

So Spencer Johnson (pictured right) in Who Moved My Cheese? (1998) observes:

A change imposed is a change opposed.

 Change and Change Management Quotes

Dumbledore in J.K. Rowling's (pictured right) Goblet of Fire also says:

Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.



No 3Change and Change Management Quotes

Change is an attitude of mind and the place to start is within ourselves.

- John Harvey-Jones, pictured right, Managing To Survive (1993).


This is reflected in advice from other thinkers:

 Change and Change Management Quotes

We need to be the change we wish to see in the world.

- Mahatma (Mohandas) Gandhi (1869-1948), Indian leader and philosopher, pictured right.

 Change and Change Management Quotes

Things do not change; we change.

- Henry David Thoreau (1817-62), American philosopher, pictured right.



No 4Change and Change Management Quotes

When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.

- Benjamin Franklin (1706-90), pictured right, American politician and inventor


Other great thinkers agree:

 Change and Change Management Quotes

Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future.

- Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), French philosopher, pictured right.

 Change and Change Management Quotes

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep good balance you must keep moving.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German-born American scientist, pictured right.

 Change and Change Management Quotes

Resting on your laurels is as dangerous as resting when you are walking in the snow. You doze off and die in your sleep

- Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), the Austrian-born British philosopher (pictured right)



No 5Change and Change Management Quotes

Change or die.

- Jack Welch (1935-), American boss of General Electric (GE) 1981-2001 (pictured right)


Welch also says:

Change before you have to



No 6Change and Change Management Quotes

Every organization has to prepare for the abandonment of everything it does.

- Peter Drucker (1909-2005), American management writer, pictured right.


 Change and Change Management Quotes

No 7

Loving change, tumult, even chaos is a prerequisite for survival, let alone success.

- Tom Peters (pictured right above ) in Thriving On Chaos (1987)Change and Change Management Quotes


But Henry Mintzberg (pictured right) in his 1987 Harvard Business Review article, Crafting Strategy says:

Obsession with change is dysfunctional.



No 8Change and Change Management Quotes

The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people.

- John Adams (1735-1826) , American president, pictured right.


Two other great people agree:

 Change and Change Management Quotes

The Revolution is made by man, but man must forge his revolutionary spirit from day to day.

- Ernesto (‘Che’) Guevara (1928–67), pictured right, the Argentinian revolutionary.

 Change and Change Management Quotes

All political revolutions, not affected by foreign conquest, originate in moral revolutions.

- John Stuart Mill (1806-73), English philosopher, pictured right.


Change and Change Management Quotes

But the Czech writer, Franz Kafka (1883-1924), pictured right, warns:

Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind the slime of a new bureaucracy.  



No 9Change and Change Management Quotes

Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better.

- Samuel Johnson 1709–84 English writer, pictured right.


So two other writers say:

Change and Change Management Quotes


If there is no struggle, there is no progress.

- Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), African American abolitionist, pictured right.

Change and Change Management Quotes


People hate change.

- Scott Adams (pictured right) in The Dilbert Principle,1996



No 10

When people feel the wind, some build windmills and some build walls.

- Chinese proverb.

 Change and Change Management Quotes

Isaac Newton (1642-1727), the English scientist, pictured right. says something similar:

We build too many walls and not enough bridges


Change and Change Management Quotes


No 11

Our thoughts are clay, they are moulded with the changes of the days,

- Paul Bäumer (pictured right in the 1930 film) in All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque (1929).



No 12Change and Change Management Quotes

There is nothing permanent except change.

- Heraclitus (c540-c480BC), Greek philosopher, pictured right.


He also gives two tips on change:

Where there is no strife there is decay.

You cannot step twice into the same river.



No 13Change and Change Management Quotes

 If you want organizations to change, you have to carry the staff with you.

- Greg Dyke (speaking in 2000 as the BBC’s Director General), pictured right.




No 14Change and Change Management Quotes

Most of the change we think we see in life

Is due to truths being in and out of favour.

(from the poem, The Black Cottage, 1914)

- Robert Frost, American poet , pictured right above.



No 15Change and Change Management Quotes

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

(from the poem The Second Coming)

- W. B. Yeats 1865–1939 Irish poet, pictured right.



No 16Change and Change Management Quotes

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behaviour crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.

- Malcolm Gladwell (pictured right) in The Tipping Point (2000)



No 17Change and Change Management Quotes

The change master is partly a historian who knows which period of the past to honour and preserve while moving toward a different future.

- Rosabeth Moss Kanter (pictured right) in The Change Masters (1984)



No 18Change and Change Management Quotes

By far the biggest mistake people make when trying to change organizations is to plunge ahead without establishing a high enough sense of urgency in fellow managers and employees.

- John Kotter, pictured right, in Leading Change (1996)



Change and Change Management Quotes

No 19

Men are not prisoners of fate but only prisoners of their own minds,

- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), American president, pictured right.

Why is this?Change and Change Management Quotes

Minds...are hard to change,

- Howard Gardner, pictured right, in Changing Minds (2006)



No 20Change and Change Management Quotes

Because familiarity is such an important test of acceptability, the acceptable ideas have great stability...I shall refer to these ideas henceforth as the conventional wisdom.

- John Kenneth (J. K.) Galbraith, pictured right,The Affluent Society (1958)

 Change and Change Management Quotes

So Gary Hamel, pictured right. says in Leading the Revolution (2000):

Familiarity is the enemy.



No 21Change and Change Management Quotes

Change is indubitable, whereas progress is a matter of controversy.

- Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), English philosopher (pictured right).


On progress Russell comments:

The desire to understand the world and the desire to reform it are the two great engines of progress.



No 22Change and Change Management Quotes

If things are to move upward, someone must take the first step and assume the risk of it.

- William James (1842-1910), American psychologist and philosopher, pictured right.



No 23Change and Change Management Quotes

Change begets change.

(from Martin Chuzzlewit)

- Charles Dickens (1812-70), pictured right. English novelist.

 Change and Change Management Quotes

Alfred Sloan (1875-1966), American boss of General Motors (1923-46), pictured right, agrees:

No company ever stops changing. Change will come for better or worse,



No 24Change and Change Management Quotes

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past,

 (last words of The Great Gatsby)

- Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), American writer, pictured right.



No 25Change and Change Management Quotes

He not busy being born is busy dying.

- Bob Dylan, pictured right. - from his song, It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), a favourite of Steve Jobs, Apple's legendary boss.



No 26Change and Change Management Quotes

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest achievement.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American writer and philosopher, pictured right.



No 27Change and Change Management Quotes

We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.

- J.K. Rowling (1965- ), English writer, pictured right.



No 28Change and Change Management Quotes

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), American president 1933-45, pictured right..



No 29Change and Change Management Quotes

 We cannot change anything unless we accept it.

- Carl Jung (1875-1961), Swiss psychiatrist, pictured right.



No 30Change and Change Management Quotes

The most dangerous strategy is to jump a chasm in two leaps.

- Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81), pictured right, English prime minister.



No 31Change and Change Management Quotes

Have no fear of moving into the unknown,

- John Paul II (1920-2005), pictured right, Polish pope.



No 32Change and Change Management Quotes

Change is the law of life.

- John F Kennedy (1917-63), pictured right, American president.


Kennedy also comments:

The time to mend the roof is when the sun is shining.

In a crisis, be aware of the danger – but recognize the opportunity.



No 33Change and Change Management Quotes

Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’.

- Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) , American president, pictured right.



No 34Change and Change Management Quotes

When I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.

- Carl Rogers (1902-87), the American psychologist (pictured right).



No 35Change and Change Management Quotes

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate for the stormy present and future.

- Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), pictured right, American president.



No 36Change and Change Management Quotes

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

- Barack Obama (1961- ), pictured right, American president.



No 37Change and Change Management Quotes

Progress is attitude.

- Henry Ford (1863-1947), American car maker, pictured right.



No 38Change and Change Management Quotes

Once an organization loses its spirit of pioneering and rests on its early work, its progress stops.

- Tom Watson Sr. (1874-1956), American founder of IBM, pictured right.

 Change and Change Management Quotes

His son,Tom Jr., pictured right. agrees:

Every time we’ve moved ahead in IBM, it was because someone was willing to take a chance, put his head on the block and try something new.



No 39Change and Change Management Quotes

The only thing certain is nothing is certain.

- Michel de Montaigne (1533-92), French writer and philosopher, pictured right.



No 40Change and Change Management Quotes

Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.

- Soren Kierkegaard (1813-55), Danish philosopher, pictured right.



No 41Change and Change Management Quotes

The one who adapts his policy to the times prospers.

- Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), Italian philosopher, pictured right.



No 42Change and Change Management Quotes

What we're saying today is that you're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem.

- Eldridge Cleaver (1935–98) American political activist, pictured right.



No 43Change and Change Management Quotes

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world.

- Anne Frank (1929-1945), Jewish victim of the Holocaust, pictured right.



No 44Change and Change Management Quotes

If the barometer is high and the clouds are black, don’t waste time on a debate on whether to take an umbrella.

- John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), English economist, pictured right.



No 45Change and Change Management Quotes

I guess some people never change. Or, they quickly change and then quickly change back.

- Homer Simpson, American cartoon character, pictured right.



No 46Change and Change Management Quotes

Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility.

-Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Spanish artist, pictured right.



Change and Change Management Quotes

No 47

The wheel is come full circle.

 (Edmund in King Lear)

- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright, pictured right above.

 Change and Change Management Quotes



No 48Change and Change Management Quotes

Contrary to popular wisdom, the proper first response to a changing world is not to ask, “How should we change?” but rather to ask, “What do we stand for and why do we exist?

- Jim Collins, pictured right above. and Jerry Porras, pictured right., Built to Last (1994)



No 49Change and Change Management Quotes

Nothing drives progress like the imagination.

- Theodore (Ted) Levitt, pictured right, in.The Marketing Imagination (1983)



No 50Change and Change Management Quotes

Change is the process by which the future invades our lives,

- Alvin Toffler, pictured right, in Future Shock (1970)


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