A recent message from a Berrett-Koehler author has caused me to reflect on the unique and far-reaching positive impact of Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Curt Weeden, author of Corporate Social Investing (published by BK in 1998), shared that his book has had a far bigger impact than anything we could have imagined. Curt wrote that this book “has been (and continues to be in some instances) the roadmap used by large companies to craft annual corporate contributions and employee engagement strategies.” Corporate Social Investing showed corporations how to support nonprofit organizations in ways that were strategically important for the corporations while addressing the needs and challenges of society, thereby guiding the corporations to substantially increase the amount of their social investing.
Furthermore, this book directly led Curt Weeden to found the Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals (ACCP) in 2005 and to serve as its first CEO. ACCP (since renamed the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals) quickly became the leading organization encouraging and aiding companies in developing their charitable giving programs, and it now represents over 220 corporations that make the lion’s share of corporate giving in the United States.
In 1998, when BK published Corporate Social Investing, businesses were reporting $9 billion in charitable deductions per year. In 2018, corporate giving reached $22 billion (a 60 percent increase after adjusting for inflation). And corporations made a total of over $300 billion in charitable contributions between 1999 and 2018, according to Giving USA. It is impossible to know how much of the increase in corporate charitable contributions resulted from the influence of Corporate Social Investing and the influence of the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals that it spawned, but it is clear that the book had a huge impact. And when we think of all the social good done by these corporate contributions—from worldwide disaster relief to support for schools, communities, disadvantaged groups, nonprofit organizations, and much more—it is mindboggling. To get a glimpse of this impact, please see the ACCP benchmarking report. And check out news of recent corporate grants.
And the impact of this book keeps on going. For example, Corporate Social Investing has served as the foundation of a university program that has trained executives from hundreds of nonprofit organizations to find ways to increase funding for the programs and services of the nonprofit organizations.
Corporate Social Investing is only one of more than 700 books published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers, and it was not even one of our bigger selling titles. But I would argue that this one product from our company has had a greater positive social impact than the social impact of many entire social mission companies with hundreds of millions in revenues. This example gives a glimpse of the far-reaching social impact that a publishing company can have.
The Unparalleled Impact of a Publishing Company
There are many ways in which book publishing companies can have impact all out of proportion to their size. In fact, they may generate greater positive social impact than non-publishing companies that are many times larger. Here are some dimensions of this impact:
- Generating and planting ideas. Many of the principal changes in society start with or are guided by books. This was true many years ago when Common Sense by Thomas Paine helped inspire American independence and when Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe expanded opposition to slavery. But it is just as true today that books offer more compelling content than other media offer to inspire and guide change.
- Amplifying ideas and messages. Books function as a bullhorn to expand and spread concepts that may have first been mentioned in articles or social media.
- Serving as a catalytic force for building social institutions. The influence of books and publishing goes far beyond the direct effect on readers of the books. As described above in the example of how Corporate Social Investing spawned the creation of ACCP, books serve as the catalytic force for building all kinds of institutions, associations, and organizations that advance social, economic, and environmental purposes.
- Preserving long-term value. Unlike most media, books can have enduring relevance and value for decades and even centuries. For example, BK’s classic title, Leadership and the New Science, continues to influence changemakers 27 years after it was first published.
- Publishing in many formats. The day when books appeared just in print is long past. BK publishes every new book in multiple digital and audio formats as well as in print.
- Selling in many territories. As is the case with most publishing companies, BK sells its publications all over the world, which ensures that they have worldwide impact.
- Publishing in many languages. BK books have been translated into more than 50 languages, and more than 3,000 foreign-language editions have been published in all. These foreign-language editions further expand the worldwide impact of our books.
- Spreading the word. The messages in many books reach millions of people beyond those who read the books—through media interviews with authors, publicity for the books, authors’ speaking appearances, social media, and other marketing outreach.
- Offering related products. Publishers also distribute other products that are derived from books or extend the reach of books. For example, BK produces online summits and training programs that reach thousands of people beyond those who read our books.
- Inspiring memes. Messages of books often become popular memes that influence the behavior of people who may never see the books. For example, BK’s book Eat That Frog! is a bestseller that has sold over 2.2 million copies. But because this book’s message has become a meme, millions more people who have not read the book talk about their need to “eat that frog” to stop procrastinating and get important things done.
- Building ultimate impact capacity. When you combine all of the above dimensions, publishing is one of the most effective, broad-based, far-reaching, and large-impact-per-dollar investments on earth. This is because benefits flow in many ways to book readers and then in numerous other ways through media and channels that the books catalyze.
The Unique Impact of Berrett-Koehler Publishers
For a number of reasons, Berrett-Koehler as a company and BK publications have a unique capacity to drive local, national, and global change and transformation—even more so than is the case for publishers and books generally:
- Focus on systemic change. We describe this focus as follows: “Our books challenge conventional thinking, introduce new ideas, and foster positive change. Their common quest is changing the underlying beliefs, mindsets, institutions, and structures that keep generating the same cycles of problems, no matter who our leaders are or what improvement programs we adopt.” Below I list some of the many areas in which BK publications have spurred systemic changes that have impacted the world. The point is that the changes spurred by our publications are not limited to the readers of those books. Because far-reaching institutions, policies, and systems are changed, the impact of a particular book may reach millions of people beyond those who read the book.
- All levels of change. We believe that to create a world that works for all—which is the heart of BK’s mission—change is needed at all levels: individual, organizational, and societal. Therefore, many BK publications focus on individual change (such as personal growth and living our values for a more inclusive and sustainable world); many BK publications focus on organizational change (such as socially responsible business, humane leadership, and participative management); many BK publications focus on societal change (such as community development, environmental sustainability, and economic justice); and many BK publications link together different levels of change.
- Change agents and leaders as authors. A uniquely large portion of BK authors are full-time change agents and/or leaders. They draw on deep change experience and extensive communities to aid them, and they use their BK books as catalysts for change.
- Curation and amplification. BK’s editorial process is uniquely skilled at curating the messages of change agents and leaders so that their messages are clearer, stronger, and more engaging, thereby helping those messages have greater impact. And BK amplifies the voices of these change agents and leaders through dozens of marketing channels so that they reach far larger audiences than they could reach on their own.
- Incubator of change. From our inception, Berrett-Koehler has striven to “eat our own cooking”—to put into practice in our company the ideas that are advocated in our books. This has made BK a leading learning laboratory for developing and refining new organizational, workplace, and business models and practices. For example, Berrett-Koehler was the first publishing company in the world to become both a certified B Corp and a benefit corporation. These distinctive BK practices and commitments have also had the circular effect of attracting more high-quality content creators to BK.
The net effect of these factors is that BK has created a unique powerhouse for catalyzing social change through our authors, publications, messages, connections, and systems. BK’s impact has already been far-reaching—and BK’s structures can be scaled to further expand our impact.
The Bottom Line
Because of these many dimensions of influence—both those that characterize book publishing generally and those that are unique to BK—it is hard to imagine another company where each dollar of capital investment has such great impact. To further illustrate this impact, here are some additional examples.
New Change Methodologies. BK books and authors have led the world in developing and popularizing new change methodologies that transform the traditional, dominant ways of changing groups, organizations, communities, and nations. These new methods are inclusive, participatory, whole-system, real-time, dynamic, and effective. Their impact around the world has been huge.
For example, consider the book Future Search, which is a guide to just one of more than 60 new change methods that are codified in BK books. The authors of Future Search and their colleagues have trained 6,000 people around the world to use this methodology, with the training always based on this BK book. These trained facilitators, in turn, have led many thousands of future searches around the world, in more than 100 countries. Each future search has the potential to dramatically transform an organization, a community, or even a nation, and many have done just that. For example:
- A future search on the economic development of the city of Derry, Ireland, spawned a dozen working groups, which grew to involve more than 1,000 people in economic and cultural improvement initiatives that have benefitted more than 150,000 people in Derry.
- A series of future searches at IKEA, the world’s largest home furnishings company, have helped the company and its many suppliers envision how a fully sustainable IKEA would do business and then take intensive action to reduce the carbon footprint of more than 300 stores, 10,000 products from suppliers in 55 countries, and 130,000 staff serving 600 million customers per year.
- UNICEF has used future searches across Uganda to help stop violence against children in schools and society. And our Future Search book has been used to train local facilitators, who have run implementation conferences in over 90 districts in Uganda.
- The Forest Stewardship Council, an international organization of members who set standards for forestry around the world, used future search to create a common ground agenda for “Controlled Wood” that will influence everyone in the world who has a stake in wood and wood-related products.
- You will find 45 more far-reaching case studies of impact—all deriving from the influence of Future Search—on the Future Search Network website.
- And to get some idea of the worldwide impact of this book, see the partial list of hundreds of businesses, communities, churches, environmental organizations, education organizations, governments, healthcare organizations, higher education organizations, and human services organizations that have conducted future searches.
The Work of Adam Kahane and Reos Partners. Adam Kahane’s four Berrett-Koehler books—Solving Tough Problems, Transformative Scenario Planning, Power and Love, and Collaborating with the Enemy have had enormous impact around the world. Perhaps the most dramatic example is Kahane’s work with Juan Manuel Santos, former president of Colombia. This article tells the story of how 35 foreign ministers from all of the member countries of the Organization of American States used the transformative scenario planning methodology described in Transformative Scenario Planning to develop new ways to deal with the devastating impact of drugs in the Americas.
Santos went on to win the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in bringing the 50-year-long Colombian civil war to an end. Santos credits the work of Adam Kahane—which applied the methods in his BK publications—with playing a pivotal role in this process. Below is an excerpt (translated from Spanish) from Santos’ official presidential web site describing how he came to work for peace:
His will for peace continued to grow and was materialized in an event most relevant to the country’s search for peace: a peace summit at the Abbey of Monserrat in Bogota, with a key guest—Adam Kahane, a man who had played a key role in achieving peace in South Africa and whom Nelson Mandela himself had recommended Santos speak to. With Kahane and together with a number of participants representing everyone, absolutely everyone, in the sectors of society—even Victor Carranza arrived, and Raul Reyes appeared by telephone—they sat down to think about a dialogue in the country, and that would materialize in the document Destiny Columbia.
Kahane’s BK publications have been central to the work of Reos Partners, a group of global leaders in the art and science of systemic change that Kahane helped found. And the impact of this work based on these BK publications is far-reaching. Please scroll through this 72-page 2017-2018 Impact Report that describes 43 important projects in 25 countries.
Training World Leaders in Collaborative Change. Toke Paludan Moeller, Monica Nissen, and their colleagues in Europe and North America have used methods from several Berrett-Koehler books—including The Circle Way, The World Café, Open Space Technology, and Appreciative Inquiry—to train many thousands of leaders around the world in government, business, nongovernmental organizations, education, health care, and communities. They aggregate these methods from BK books in an approach that they call the “Art of Hosting” (or sometimes “The Art of Participatory Leadership”).
For example, they used these methods to train over 700 leaders and staff of the European Commission—the executive branch of the European Union—to help leaders in this bureaucratic organization become more participatory, self-organizing, collaborative, and effective. And they used these methods to convene a 1000-table, one-day, World Café that involved 10,000 people in 40 locations in Israel to collaborate in creating a more democratic, peaceful, and just future for Israel.
The Ripple Effect
Many BK publications create expanding ripples of impact for years after they are published. For example, Marjorie Kelly’s The Divine Right of Capital has had a profound influence on thousands of change agents, leaders, and others—and their work influenced by this book has expanded its impact exponentially. To cite an especially momentous case, “Marjorie Kelly inspired the B Corp movement with The Divine Right of Capital,” writes Jay Coen Gilbert, cofounder of B Lab, the nonprofit behind the B Corporation movement. Considering that there are now more than 2,500 B Corporations in 50 countries around the world, the ripple effects of this book are gigantic.
Sometimes the ripples occur when books shine light on inequality, injustice, and other harmful conditions, which then leads to changes over time in policies and institutions. This happened, for example, with Hugh Sinclair’s Confessions of a Microfinance Heretic, which exposed the prevalence of child labor—and the lack of standards to prevent bad practices—in microfinance industry lending practices. Although some in the microfinance industry pushed back on the book’s accounts, the international attention the book received and the author’s speaking tour led to a heated focus on child labor practices by microfinance rating agencies, and the topic headlined microfinance reform discussions for years after the book came out—until leading organizations called for adherence to UN child welfare standards. Even LAPO (Lift Above Poverty Organization), a principal focus of the book’s criticism, formally signed onto the International Labour Organization’s Microfinance for Decent Work Initiative in 2015.
A classic example of ripple effects is The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations, and the Public, by Lynn Stout, Distinguished Professor of Corporate and Business Law at Cornel University. Published in 2012, this book quickly attracted widespread attention and was covered in over 80 media outlets (some multiple times)—national media, business media, progressive media, and many radio and television shows—including such major media as The New York Times, Time, Money Magazine, The Atlantic, Forbes, NPR All Things Considered, and the PBS News Hour. And Lynn Stout became a sought-after speaker on this topic by public policy groups, investor groups, corporate management groups, and universities; for example, she spoke alongside President Obama and Bill Clinton at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative.
All of this publicity for this book and speaking by Lynn Stout served to further spread the message of the book far beyond the respectable but modest 20,000 copies that were sold. And then, to cap it off, The Shareholder Value Myth was named the “Governance Book of the Year” for 2012 by Directors & Boards magazine.
How much impact has this book had? I attended a conference in New York City earlier this year that brought together legal and business scholars and leaders to honor the work of Lynn Stout after her untimely death from cancer. It was clear from the presentations at this conference that Lynn’s work in general and The Shareholder Value Myth in particular had enormously influenced the work of a great many of these scholars and leaders. And as they have incorporated and further developed ideas from Lynn’s work in their own writings and presentations, this has caused further ripples across wide areas of business and legal thinking.
But perhaps the greatest evidence of the ripple effect of this book is the recent “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation” by the Business Roundtable, which has been viewed as one of the most important business and economic stories of 2019. Here is how an article in Bloomberg Opinion introduces the importance of this statement:
For 47 years, the Business Roundtable has lobbied on behalf of corporate America. Much of that time, it maintained a fiction—that the sole purpose of a corporation was to maximize profits on behalf of shareholders. This philosophy has been under assault for several years now, and this week the Business Roundtable announced it wants to put it to rest.In a widely circulated memo, the 200-member organization reversed itself, writing that "shareholder primacy” is no longer the sole purpose of a corporation. Instead, corporations must include a commitment to “all stakeholders,” which includes customers, employees, suppliers and local communities.
How much influence did The Shareholder Value Myth have on this statement, which was signed by 181 of the top corporate leaders in the country? We don’t know. But there are many indications of this book’s influence. For example, the Bloomberg article begins with a footnote crediting Stout’s book:
In “The Shareholder Value Myth,” Lynn Stout explained how the entire theory is based on a misreading of a 1919 court case – Dodge vs. Ford – at the time, both privately held, non-public companies.
In fact, as one reads the scores of articles about this major business and national news, it is striking how many of them cite the influence of The Shareholder Value Myth. I’ve seen more than 50 articles that do so. Here, for example, is the explanation in the Los Angeles Times story:
In recent years, reality has started to chip away at Friedman’s ideological absolutism. As the late Lynn Stout showed in her important 2012 study, “The Shareholder Value Myth,” Friedman proposed a very narrow definition of “shareholder interest,” interpreting it as strictly financial and assuming wrongly that all shareholders had identical interests.
Stout debunked the reliance by shareholder-value advocates on the 1919 court case Dodge vs. Ford, in which the Dodge brothers, minority shareholders in Henry Ford’s enterprise, sued for dividends and won, with the court remarking that a business enterprise was organized “primarily for the benefit of the stockholders.” As she reminded readers, this was a ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court, not a federal court, much less the Supreme Court.
Another example of the ripple effect of The Shareholder Value Myth in influencing discussions that led to the Business Roundtable statement is the Fast Company coverage:
Meanwhile, the basic tenets of shareholder capitalism have been questioned by scholars such as the late Lynn Stout, a Cornell law professor and author of The Shareholder Value Myth, who cogently argued that executives and directors have wide latitude in deciding what is best for a company and don’t have any obligation—legal or otherwise—to elevate shareholders above everyone else. Journalists and think-tank types have weighed in along these lines, too.
Building a Global Changemaker: The Central Role of Books
When Leadership and Self-Deception was published in 2000, The Arbinger Institute was a small organization with just a few staff members. This life-changing book played a central role in enabling Arbinger to scale up and to become what it is today: a leading global provider of training, coaching, and consulting that has partners in 26 countries. Arbinger programs bring about profound individual and organizational change in many domains, including business, government, education, healthcare, public safety, and nonprofit sectors.
Leadership and Self-Deception has sold more than 2.2 million copies in 33 languages. If you scan some of the 2,143 reviews of this book on Goodreads, what jumps out is how many people say that their lives were changed by this book, or their marriages were saved, or other family and work relationships were transformed, or they became better leaders. The same is true when one reads the reviews of the two subsequent Arbinger books—The Anatomy of Peace and The Outward Mindset—which are also bestsellers, with nearly 900,000 copies of combined sales.
And the impact of these three books goes much further than their effect on individual readers. This is made clear by the many case studies of transformative organizational change as reported by the Arbinger Institute. All told—both their effects on individual readers and their effects in changing organizations and communities—the three Arbinger Institute books have greatly benefitted many millions of people around the world.
The central role of books could also be said of hundreds of other companies and organizations built and led by BK authors. A large portion of them owe much of their growth and success to the influence of books undergirding their work and offerings. This has been a virtuous circle. The books have provided ideas and content to benefit clients and customers and drive growth. And, in turn, authors have amplified the books’ impact far beyond individual book readers through the authors’ public speaking, training, consulting, and coaching based on the books.
Beyond the Tip of the Iceberg
The examples above represent just a tiny sliver—or the tip of the iceberg—of the influence that Berrett-Koehler publications are having around the world. Below is a partial list of other areas of impact—and I emphasize partial list. These areas of impact cover all of BK’s levels of change—including individual change, organizational change, and societal change—and many of them encompass multiple levels of change. Numerous specific examples of both deep and far-reaching impact could be provided in each of these areas.
We welcome the submission—by BK readers, BK authors, and other BK community members—of other examples of impact of BK publications. We are sure that many more examples could be cited in numerous different areas. If you would like to suggest an example of impact, please share it here.
What all of these examples add up to is that Berrett-Koehler as a company and BK publications in particular have a unique and tremendous capacity to drive change and transformation around the world. That is not accidental. It is because of the distinctive dimensions of the BK publishing program described above: focus on systemic change, all levels of change, change agents and leaders as authors, curation and amplification, and incubator of change. These add up to Berrett-Koehler having a unique and scalable model for leveraging capital, time, and relationship investments into individual, local, and global impact.
The Many Areas of Impact of Berrett-Koehler Publications
1. Changing Our Understanding of How Organizations, Systems, and the World Work. BK books, beginning with Leadership and the New Science and New Traditions in Business, have profoundly altered how leaders and change agents all over the world approach order, control, organization, relationship, participation, change, and many other dimensions of their work.
2. New Change Methodologies. BK books have led a worldwide movement to more dynamic, inclusive, systemic, and effective ways of improving organizations, communities, and nations. These include the 60-plus methods described in The Change Handbook and in dozens of other seminal books on Open Space, Future Search, Appreciative Inquiry, World Café, and more.
3. Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Starting with such seminal books as Cultural Diversity in Organizations, A Peacock in the Land of Penguins, The Inclusion Breakthrough, and Salsa, Soul, and Spirit—and continuing with more than 40 other leading titles in this space—BK books have broadened and deepened diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts and established them as core means of achieving quality, innovation, and high performance in organizations.
4. The Many Ways of Knowing. BK books have pioneered many diverse ways to gain deeper understanding of work, leadership, organizations, and life—including the new sciences, life sciences, art, poetry, intuition, nature, collective wisdom, and various spiritual traditions.
5. A Higher Standard of Leadership. This is both the title of a pioneering BK book and the theme of other influential BK books—such as The Secret, The Serving Leader, Trust, Dare to Serve, Humble Leadership, Shakti Leadership, Leadership from the Inside Out, The Heart of Leadership, and Servant Leadership in Action—that have popularized a serving approach to leadership, greater integrity by leaders, and more positive, visionary, empowering, and effective leader behavior in all kinds of organizations and communities.
6. Stewardship and Democracy in Organizations. Beginning with Stewardship, BK books have profoundly reconceived the distribution of power, purpose, wealth, and accountability in organizations and shown how to overturn organizational class systems.
7. Challenging Corporate Power. BK books—including When Corporations Rule the World, The Divine Right of Capital, Corporations Are Not People, Gangs of America, Unequal Protection, The Post-Corporate World, and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man—have provided much of the impetus and foundation for the anti-corporate globalization movement, the living economy movement, Occupy Wall Street, the 99% movement, and similar movements.
8. Economic Justice. BK books—such as Screwed, Affluenza, 99 to 1, Erasing Institutional Bias, and How the Poor Can Save Capitalism—are at the forefront of exposing how biased economic rules and structures create poverty, institutionalize inequality, harm the middle class, and damage society—and how fairer, better structures can be established for the good of all.
9. New Ownership, Economic, and Organizational Models. Promising and pathbreaking models for real societal and institutional change are described in BK books, such as Owning Our Future, Solving Tough Problems, The Real Wealth of Nations, Building a Win-Win World, Going Horizontal, Theory U, The Great Turning, and The Making of a Democratic Economy.
10. Social Responsibility of Business. Eight volumes in the Social Venture Network Series, beginning with Values-Driven Business, and many other BK books have provided both the theory and the practice to make businesses more sustainable and socially responsible.
11. Spirituality in Business. BK books, such as Bringing Your Soul to Work, have opened up new space for individuals, teams, and organizations to integrate their humanity and spiritual values into their work. They show leaders how to be more effective by leading from the inside out.
12. Employee Engagement and Management. Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em, Managing, Full-Steam Ahead!, Managers As Mentors, Managers Not MBAs, Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace, Positive Leadership, Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work . . . and What Does, A Great Place to Work for All, and numerous other BK books have popularized more positive and effective approaches to motivating, engaging, managing, and retaining employees in all types of organizations.
13. Innovation and Creativity. Many of the breakthrough ideas and methods for increasing innovation and creativity in groups and organizations come from BK books, such as Ideas Are Free, The Idea-Driven Organization, Leaders Make the Future, Get There Early, How to Get Ideas, The Innovation Code, The Innovation Paradox, Synchronicity, and Leapfrogging.
14. Human Resource Development. BK books, such as Performance Consulting, Results, Evaluating Training Programs, and Abolishing Performance Appraisals, have fundamentally changed how organizations around the world do training and development—from assessing needs, to planning programs, to selecting development methods, to evaluating outcomes.
15. Resolving Conflicts. The Anatomy of Peace, Getting to Resolution, Breaking Through Gridlock, and other BK books provide new, transformative ways of resolving disputes, restoring relationships, gaining agreement, finding common ground, and building consensus.
16. Purpose and Meaning in Life and Work. BK books, such as The Power of Purpose, The Laws of Lifetime Growth, Prisoners of Our Thoughts, Claiming Your Place at the Fire, I Moved Your Cheese, Work Reimagined, and The Five Things You Must Discover Before You Die, have been at the forefront of bringing greater purpose and meaning into all stages of life—and aligning our work and life with our values and aspirations for a better world.
17. Acting on What Matters. Many BK books—from Eat That Frog! and Stepping Up to The Answer to How Is Yes, The Hamster Revolution, and What to Do When There’s Too Much to Do—provide powerful techniques and perspectives to help people stop procrastinating, take action, use time better, get important things done, and accomplish more in life and work.
18. Success. BK books—such as Goals!, The Memo, The Empress Has No Clothes, Flight Plan, The Highest Goal, and Balance Point—offer the most useful tools and ideas to help people define their personal meaning of success, set and achieve goals, and realize their dreams.
19. Changing Lives. BK books—such as Leadership and Self-Deception, The Outward Mindset, Synchronicity, The Body Is Not an Apology, The Seven Paths, Right Risk, Why Wait to Be Great?, Be the Hero, Embrace the Chaos, Your Life Isn’t for You, and Change Your Questions, Change Your Life—provide powerful guides to help people change their lives by overcoming mindsets and behaviors that deepen their blind spots, block their progress, and harm others.
20. How to Transform Your Community and the World. BK books, such as The Nonviolence Handbook, Share This!, The Revolution Where You Live, and Walk Out Walk On, help people see how to start right where they are—with themselves and their communities—to make a far-reaching difference. They offer ideas, tools, and approaches found nowhere else.
21. The B Corp Movement and the Benefit Corporation Movement. Berrett-Koehler has been at the forefront of these new movements through the publication of numerous books that laid the groundwork for the movements as well as publication of the definitive resources The B Corp Handbook and Benefit Corporation Law and Governance.
22. Empowering Women as Leaders. BK has published numerous titles—such as Women Lead the Way, The Female Vision, The Influence Effect, and Dig Your Heels in—that have shown the strengths women bring to leadership, ways to help women develop and use those strengths, and how to change organizations and society to be more supportive of women as leaders.
23. Advancing Project Management. Through our acquisition of Management Concepts Press and our subsequent development of many new resources in emerging and foundational areas of project management, Berrett-Koehler has become a leading publisher in this field, which helps all types of initiatives and organizations be more effective.
24. New Directions for Philanthropy and Social Investing. The bestseller Decolonizing Wealth is BK’s latest impactful book among many to provide guidance for transforming philanthropy, impact investing, and social investing to better meet the needs of society and benefit all.
25. Ending Poverty around the World. Numerous BK books—including Out of Poverty, The Business Solution to Poverty, In Their Own Hands, Shortchanged, and Our Day to End Poverty—have provided roadmaps to new approaches to reducing poverty around the world.
26. Upgrading Education and Learning. BK titles provide new approaches to individual learning (such as How Your Learn Is How You Live), teaching (such as Teaching That Changes Lives), and educational institutions (such as Leadership in Higher Education).
27. Improving Health Care Quality, Access, and Cost. This is a newer area of focus for Berrett-Koehler, but we have already published important and influential resources—such as Infinite Vision, Managing the Myths of Health Care, Best Care Anywhere, and Pharmacy on a Bicycle—and will publish many more in coming years that will help transform health care.
28. Environmental Action and Protection. This is a key topic in many BK titles about economic and corporate transformation. And we also publish many titles specifically focused on advancing environmental action and protection in new ways, such as EcoManagement, Lean and Green, Our Common Wealth, The Ecology of Law, and Green Dean.
29. Community Building. BK has long been a leader in publishing books that build and transform communities to make them more welcoming, engaging, inclusive, and productive. Among our classic, influential publications are Deepening Community, The Art of Community, Walk Out Walk On, The Abundant Community, and Community.
30. Adult Development and Aging. BK titles are at the forefront of reimaging how the second half of life can be filled with greater fulfillment, discovery, meaning, and social contribution. Among our classic, bestselling titles are On the Brink of Everything, Repacking Your Bags, Life Reimagined, and Refire! Don’t Retire.
This list of areas of impact of the BK publishing program could go on and on. For example, similar entries could be made for Tools for Social Change; Personal Effectiveness and Productivity; Values-Driven Business; Trauma Stewardship and Caring for Self and Others; Effective Activism; Ethics in Business, Government, and Personal Life; Career Development; Sustainability in Business and Economics; Negotiation; Service; and many other areas.
What all these areas have in common is that BK titles are bringing about systemic transformation—with change agents and leaders as authors, and with Berrett-Koehler’s distinctive publishing program catalyzing, curating, and amplifying the change—in a way that can be scaled to still more areas of influence with expanding impact around the world.