Margaret Wheatley is an internationally acclaimed speaker and writer and President emerita of The Berkana Institute. She has been an organizational consultant and researcher since 1973 and a dedicated global citizen since her youth. Her first work was as a Peace Corps volunteer in Korea and a public school teacher and urban education administrator in New York. She has been Associate Professor of Management at the Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University, and Cambridge College, Massachusetts.
Since 1973, Meg has worked 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.
She co-founded The Berkana Institute in 1992, a charitable global foundation that works in partnership with a rich diversity of people around the world who strengthen their communities by working with the wisdom and wealth already present in their people, traditions and environment. (www.berkana.org). The Institute has worked in dozens of countries, most of them in the Third World, and has discovered that the world is blessed with tens of thousands of courageous, life-affirming leaders. They are young and old, in all countries, working in all types of organizations and communities. www.berkana.org.
She has served in a formal advisory capacity for leadership programs in England, Croatia, Denmark. Australia and the United States, and through her work in Berkana, with leadership initiatives in India, Senegal, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mexico, and Brazil as well as Europe..
Meg's path-breaking book, Leadership and the New Science was first published in 1992, and has been translated into more than 20 languages. This book is credited with establishing a fundamentally new approach to how we think about organizations. It is a standard text in many leadership programs, and has won notable 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. Two subsequent editions have been published in 1999, and 2006. 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 Rogers,(1996 ) uses photos, poetry and prose to explore the question: How would we organize human endeavor differently if we understood how Life organizes?
Turning To One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future (2002), proposes that it is the simple, familiar act of conversation that offers the most hope for changing the world. This book is being widely used by communities, schools, religious organizations, and social change efforts. An expanded second edition will be published January 2009.
Her newest book is Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time (2005,Berrett-Koehler Publishers) Finding Our Way is a collection of her practice-focused articles, where Meg applies the themes addressed throughout her career to detail the organizational and personal practices and behaviors that bring them to life.
Meg draws her ideas from many places, beginning with the discoveries in new science that profoundly shift our worldview. To her science background, she now adds the perspectives and wisdom from many different disciplines, cultures and spiritual traditions that she has learned from. She writes frequently for professional journals and magazines. These articles can be downloaded free at www.margaretwheatley.com. A list of training DVDs, CDs, and other resources is also available.
Meg 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 a B.A. in History from the University of Rochester. She has received several awards and honorary doctorates. In 2003, The American Society for Training and Development honored her for "distinguished contribution to workplace learning and development" and dubbed her "a living legend". In April 2005, she was elected to the Leonardo Da Vinci Society for her contribution to the development of the field of systems thinking. This society was created by the University of Applied Technology, Phoenix, AZ.
In awarding her their highest honor, ASTD, noted: "Meg Wheatley gave the world a new way of thinking about organizations with her revolutionary application of the natural sciences to business management. Her concepts have traveled across national boundaries and through all sectors. Her ideas have found welcome homes in the military, not-for-profit organizations, public schools, and churches as well as in corporations. Through the Berkana Institute, a charitable foundation which she started in Provo, Utah, Wheatley is supporting the development of local leaders in over 40 countries to foster societies that tap and evoke the best of human capability. Through her interdisciplinary curiosity, Meg Wheatley provides new insights into the nature of how people interact and inspires us to build better organizations and better societies across the globe."