A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 03, 2014
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results”

"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results” is frequently credited to Winston Churchill (1874-1965), but he never said it. The saying first appears from about 1981—many years after Churchill’s lifetime.

The saying is used to stress that one needs to look at results and shouldn’t fall in love with one’s developed strategy if it doesn’t work.

The 2007 Financial Times obituary for UK Conservative politician Ian Gilmour (1926-2007) stated that he had used the line in a cabinet meeting in 1981.


Wikipedia: Ian Gilmour, Baron Gilmour of Craigmillar
Ian Hedworth John Little Gilmour, Baron Gilmour of Craigmillar, PC (8 July 1926 – 21 September 2007) was a Conservative politician in the United Kingdom. He was styled Sir Ian Gilmour, 3rd Baronet from 1977, having succeeded to his father’s baronetcy, until he became a life peer in 1992. He served as Secretary of State for Defence in 1974, in the government of Edward Heath. He also served in the government of Margaret Thatcher, as Lord Privy Seal from 1979 to 1981.

Google Books
Dancing with Dogma:
Britain under Thatcherism

By Ian Gilmour
New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
1992
Pg. 38:
Apparently I quoted Churchill, ‘however beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results’, and pointed out that the cuts would only increase unemployment.

Google Books
The CIM Handbook of Strategic Marketing
Edited by Colin Egan and Michael J. Thomas
Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann
1998
Pg. 119:
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
Winston Churchill

Google Books
Remedial Genius:
Think and Learn Like a Genius with the Five Principles of Knowledge

By Derek Cabrera
Loveland, CO: Project N Press
2001
Pg. 74:
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. —Winston Churchill

19 August 2002, St. Albans (VT) Messenger, “We get what we accept” by Rep. Frank Mazur, pg. 4, col. 2:
Churchill once said that however beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

Google Groups: microsoft.public.dotnet.framework.aspnet.security
Forms Authentication - Key Pair Generation
Me2
9/28/03
(...)
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
-- Winston Churchill

Financial Times
September 24, 2007 3:00 am
Tory conviction politician who broke ranks early as a leading ‘wet’ under Thatcher
By David Kynaston
The Tory politician Ian Gilmour, who has died at the age of 81, was the most candid of the so-called “wets” who in the early 1980s were so spectacularly unsuccessful at preventing Margaret Thatcher’s systematic assault on the postwar, bipartisan Keynesian consensus.
(...)
In September 1981, two months after insouciantly quoting Churchill at a cabinet meeting - “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results” - he was duly sacked.

Richard M. Langworth, Churchill historian
More “Quotations” Churchill Never Said
by RICHARD M. LANGWORTH on 19 JUNE 2009
(...)
3. How­ever beau­ti­ful the strat­egy, you should occa­sion­ally look at the results.

Atomic Direct’s Blog
If a Fact Can’t be Found On the Internet, Does It Exist?
BY DOUG GARNETT, ON JULY 21ST, 2010
(...)
I’ve been trying to track down an accurate source for a quote regularly attributed to Winston Churchill. (“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”) It’s a great quote, speaks volumes, and features Churchill’s wry sense of the world.

I’ve been trying to track down it’s source – which you’d think would be easy with an online search. Google and Bing give me page after page of sites listing the quote. But nowhere do I find a source for the quote – neither from quote sites nor businesses using the quote.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Friday, October 03, 2014 • Permalink