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Berrett-Koehler Constitution

Download Berrett-Koehler Constitution

November 2, 2016

BK Community Members,

I am thrilled to announce another way in which Berrett-Koehler is advancing and pioneering. The four Berrett-Koehler organizations—Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.; The Berrett-Koehler Group, Inc.; Berrett-Koehler Authors, Inc.; and the Berrett-Koehler Foundation—have each ratified a new Berrett-Koehler Constitution to guide them individually and collectively. Creating a constitution is a groundbreaking action for any organization—and may be unprecedented for a publishing company.

The purposes of the Berrett-Koehler Constitution are explained in its Introduction:

The purposes of this Constitution are to clarify and codify what “Berrett-Koehler” stands for, to detail the commitments that all BK Organizations agree to embrace, and to define the relationships among the various BK Organizations. It is also intended to increase the probability that BK’s unique mission, values, and commitments will be put into daily practice in current and future BK organizations and will continue to be followed by succeeding generations of BK community members.

Another purpose is to establish baseline requirements that new organizations (such as a potential Berrett-Koehler consulting company that is under discussion) would need to meet in order to become BK organizations and thus have the right to use the Berrett-Koehler name.

Download our new constitution here

Please feel free to share it widely. We hope that many other organizations will be inspired by our constitution to create their own foundational agreements.

The first page of the constitution is a “Declaration,” which is reproduced below.

All the best,

Steve Piersanti Signature

Steven Piersanti
The Berrett-Koehler Group, Inc.

Download Berrett-Koehler Constitution


We are embarked together on a journey to do the seemingly impossible—to create a world that works for all. No road map exists for this journey, so we are drawing one as we go, marker-by-marker.

We begin with the core values of stewardship, quality, partnership, inclusion, and sustainability—our signposts for what we mean by “a world that works for all” and our guides for how to get there. We seek to create organizations and communities that embody these values in their daily functioning while also promoting these values in many ways around the world.

This congruence—between ends and means, between what we say and what we do, between our aspirations and our actions, between our values and our structures—is at the heart of who we are.

When we use the name “Berrett-Koehler,” we refer simultaneously to an idea of what is possible in the world, to our values and commitments, to communities striving together to make a positive difference, and to organizations amplifying many people’s creative efforts. In using this name, we accept a deep responsibility to act in accordance with our mission and values for the benefit of the whole—our communities, organizations, the earth, and all living things—rather than primarily in our own self-interest. We elevate the quality and dignity of human relationships above individual gain.

We believe that to truly create a better world, action is needed at all levels: societal, organizational, and individual. We seek to change 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.

To help us understand and live by these ideals, we are establishing foundational agreements, including a Berrett-Koehler Constitution—each a living document, subject to ongoing refinement as we grow in experience and capacity. Our journey is a bold experiment, one that will emerge over generations of contributions by multitudes of BK community members and friends.