Margaret Wheatley

Margaret Wheatley is president of The Berkana Institute, and an internationally acclaimed speaker and writer. She has been an organizational consultant and researcher since 1973 and a dedicated global citizen since her youth. Her first work was as a public school teacher and urban education administrator in New York, and a Peace Corps volunteer in Korea. She also has been Associate Professor of Management at the Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University, and Cambridge College, Massachusetts.


Topics

Leadership, Organizational Development, Organizational Skills, Transformational Leadership


Full Bio


Margaret Wheatley is president of The Berkana Institute, and an internationally acclaimed speaker and writer. She has been an organizational consultant and researcher since 1973 and a dedicated global citizen since her youth. Her first work was as a public school teacher and urban education administrator in New York, and a Peace Corps volunteer in Korea. She also has been Associate Professor of Management at the Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University, and Cambridge College, Massachusetts.

For the past decade, she has been working with an unusually broad variety of organizations on all continents. Her clients and audiences range from the head of the U.S. Army to twelve year old Girl Scouts, from CEOs to small town ministers. This diversity includes large corporations, government agencies, healthcare institutions, foundations, public schools, colleges, major church denominations, the armed forces, professional associations, and monasteries. All of these organizations are wrestling with a common dilemma—how to maintain their integrity and effectiveness as they cope with the relentless upheavals and rapid shifts of these chaotic times. But there is also another similarity: A common human desire to live together more harmoniously, more humanely.

The Berkana Institute is a global leadership foundation begun in 1991, dedicated to serving life-affirming leaders around the world. Berkana has always experimented with the new ideas, processes, and structures that represent the future of organizing. Through dialogues, seminars, publications, and consulting, it has actively explored how organizations can develop and sustain their capacity, clarity and resiliency in these turbulent times. In 2000, Berkana initiated From the Four Directions: People Everywhere Leading the Way. This global leadership initiative organizes on-going circles of leaders in local communities across the world, and then connects these local circles into a global community of life-affirming leaders. Presently, leader circles are active in about 30 countries.

Whealtey’s path-breaking book, Leadership and the New Science was first published in 1992. This book is credited with establishing a fundamentally new approach to how we think about organizations. It has been translated into sixteen languages and won many awards, including “Best Management book of 1992” in Industry Week, Top Ten Business Books of the 1990s in CIO Magazine, and Top Ten Business Books of all time by Xerox Corporation. A new edition was published and was significantly revised, updated and expanded. The video of Leadership and the New Science, produced by CRM films, has also won several film awards.

A Simpler Way, co-authored with Myron Kellner-Rogers explores the question: Could we organize human endeavor differently if we understood how life organizes? Through photos, poetry, and prose, the book explains self-organization, and the conditions that nurture it in life and organizations.

Her book, Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future, proposes that there is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about, and that real social change comes from the ageless process of people thinking together in courageous conversation. Wheatley's fourth book is Finding Our Way: Leadership in An Uncertain Time.

Wheatley received her doctorate from Harvard University’s program in Administration, Planning and Social Policy. She holds an M.A. in Communications and Systems Thinking from New York University, and has also been a research associate at Yale University. She has been a Fellow of the World Business Academy, and The Kings Fund, England, and an advisor to The Fetzer Institute’s Fellows Program. She has received numerous awards and honorary doctorates. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) has named her one of five living legends. In May 2003, ASTD awarded her their highest honor: “Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance.”

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