Some of my favorite quotes for training, and experiential learning in particular:

First, the famous one from Confucius, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” (The first sentence may be more accurately translated as “I hear, I know” – but the meaning is better understood in the more common version.) This is the heart of learning. You can see it in children learning, whether physical skills or social roles – it is always the practising and the acting-out of roles and skills that gives the quickest results, especially through games.


Play allows all people (not just children) to assess their interest in various activities without investing their whole lives in them. It lets them broaden their experiences and their understanding, and find what is the most appealing. Confucius also said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Income/Outcome uses business games, business simulations, to engage participants by having them compete against each other in teams. They learn through practicing the analytical and decision-making skills that give them the business acumen they need to run a business successfully.

The teacher, particularly in experiential learning, is really only a person who allows the students to learn. That skill in itself is very valuable. And one of the kindest comments for teachers comes from Lee Iacocca, one of the iconic businessmen of the 20th century:

“In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have.”

People may worry about the cost of providing business acumen training. But, as the anonymous quote goes, “What happens if you train people, and they leave? What happens if you don’t train them, and they stay?”

2 thoughts on “Experiential learning and training quotes

  1. “Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.” is from American statistician George Box (1919 – ).

    I think I first heard this quote from Bill W, and he went on to tell me, ‘Income/Outcome is useful’.

  2. “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” A very punchy and memorable (= poetic) quote from Alvin Toffler.

    The inspiration comes from Herbert Gerjuoy, whom Toffler cites in full as follows: “The new education must teach the individual how to classify and reclassify information, how to evaluate its veracity, how to change categories when necessary, how to move from the concrete to the abstract and back, how to look at problems from a new direction — how to teach himself. Tomorrow’s illiterate will not be the man who can’t read; he will be the man who has not learned how to learn.” Much more laborious and hard to remember (= prosaic).