I have about 3K slides in my "Master Presentation." These are either "the most important," or, surely, in the Top 1%:
Arie De Geus, The Living Company (father of "scenario planning" at Royal Dutch Shell): "Rose gardeners face a choice every spring. The long-term fate of a rose garden depends on this decision. If you want to have the largest and most glorious roses of the neighborhood, you will prune hard. This represents a policy of low tolerance and tight control. You force the plant to make the maximum use of its available resources, by putting them into the rose's 'core business.' Pruning hard is a dangerous policy in an unpredictable environment. Thus, if you are in a spot where you know nature may play tricks on you, you may opt for a policy of high tolerance. You will never have the biggest roses, but you have a much-enhanced chance of having roses every year. You will achieve a gradual renewal of the plant. In short, tolerant pruning achieves two ends: (1) It makes it easier to cope with unexpected environmental changes. (2) It leads to a continuous restructuring of the plant. The policy of tolerance admittedly wastes resources—the extra buds drain away nutrients from the main stem. But in an unpredictable environment, this policy of tolerance makes the rose healthier in the long run."
David Lascelles, Co-director of The Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation [UK]: "Since merger mania is now the rage, what lessons can the bees teach us? A simple one: Merging is not in nature. [Nature's] process is the exact opposite: one of growth, fragmentation and dispersal. There is no megalomania, no merging for merging's sake. The point is that unlike corporations, which just get bigger, bee colonies know when the time has come to split up into smaller colonies which can grow value faster. What the bees are telling us is that the corporate world has got it all wrong."