When we were working on the Encyclopedia of Leadership, I heard a lot about transformation. James MacGregor Burns, our senior editor, is renowned for the idea of transformational leadership. That is, transformational rather than plain old transactional leadership. Transactional leadership is run-of-the-mill stuff, that at its best gets business done and keeps the show on the road. But transformational leadership is something entirely different: it changes people and situations, it sets new directions and provides a sense of meaning and purpose.
At Berkshire, we want to be transformational publishers. We are striving to create better, deeper, richer, and more useful publications for our beloved library reference world. We are also looking for new ways to share the work of scholars with wider audiences. To do this, we need a new business model. I was talking yesterday to Jennifer McClure, who has recently founded the Society for New Communications Research. Our friend and advisor Alex Pang, Chief Blogger at the Institute for the Future, is also on her board and thought we should meet, and after talking to Jen I could see why. The technologies she’s interested in, and the social changes they represent, are exactly the things we’re trying to figure out how to use in a global knowledge company. It’s a pleasure–and a relief!–to find that there are amazing and brilliant people tackling the same questions, and although none of us know just how things are going to look even a year from now, it’s certainly much easier to face the challenges of transformation with comrades like these.