Steve PiersantiBerrett-Koehler is an open source publisher. That’s one way the independent publisher of progressive books on current affairs, personal growth, and business and management manages to survive and thrive, says president and founder Steven Piersanti.

In his keynote address to the 2013 PubWest conference on Friday in Santa Fe, Piersanti detailed how Berrett-Koehler Publishers has succeeded by innovating in every area of its business – from company ownership and editorial practices, to book design and employee compensation practices. He urged the gathering of independent publishers to follow that example.

“We strive to practice what we preach–to operate our publishing company in line with the ideas in our books,” said Piersanti. “At the core of our approach is stewardship, which we define as a deep sense of responsibility to administer the company for the benefit of all of our ‘stakeholder’ groups – authors, customers, employees, investors, service providers, and the communities and environment around us.”

PubWest LogoIn 2003, Steven Piersanti received the “Champion of Workplace Learning and Performance Award” from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). The five previous annual recipients were Jack Welch of General Electric, Thomas Stewart of Fortune Magazine, Robert Galvin of Motorola, John Chambers of Cisco, and Fred Smith of FedEx. Since 1992, Berrett-Koehler has pursued its mission of “Creating a World That Works for All” by publishing groundbreaking books that promote positive change at all levels – individual, organizational, and societal.

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