learn to collaborate

Training Program


Diana Burk
“The COS Training Program is one of the best courses I have taken in my lifetime. The course itself is expertly taught by the 'core team' and students are actively engaged throughout.  This has transformed the way I work. I am now much better equipped to facilitate group problem-solving in order to find those win-win scenarios to create lasting change in my school. I can not recommend this course highly enough.”

- Diana Burk, Director of Sustainability, St. Andrew's School

Anne Marie Clear

"The COS Training Program is the greatest leadership training that exists. This is the ultimate tool of hope for a world that works."
- Anne Marie Clear, Leadership Coach

Course Overview

An Introduction to the Collaborative Operating System™ is a training program that combines a teleseminar format with one-to-one mentoring. The course is open to the public and taught live in 90-minute segments over a period of 12 weeks after which you’ll receive four 1-hour mentoring calls individually tailored to meet your organizational or leadership development needs. Our real-work-in-real-time approach provides participants the opportunity to use their own work projects as case material throughout the program so that their learning also generates relevant work results.

In this program, we teach participants to lead, manage, and structure their work according to the Five Elements of Collaboration:

  1. Identify the Problem
  2. Involve Relevant Stakeholders
  3. Design and Facilitate Collaborative Meetings
  4. Form the Collaborative Team
  5. Create a Collaborative Plan

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Jump to the program schedule below.

In teaching Elements 1 thru 5 of the COS™, we include methods that enable groups and teams to make high-quality decisions, function together effectively, execute plans quickly, and create higher individual and collective commitment to shared goals.

Element One is the first step in every problem-solving effort. It ensures that 1) there is, in fact, a problem, 2) the problem is worth solving, and  3) the group believes the problem can be solved. It also forges alignment around the problem, which lays a solid foundation for every phase of problem solving that follows.

In Element Two of Collaboration, Involve Relevant Stakeholders, participants learn another essential step in successful collaboration - having the right people involved from the very beginning. Knowing whom to involve provides participants with a systematic framework for thinking about what constitutes a “relevant stakeholder.”

In Element Three, Design Collaborative Meetings, we teach participants how to design and execute truly collaborative meetings - a fundamental component of collaborative work. Many leaders complain that they spend too much time in painful, unproductive meetings. These meetings lack focus, churn repeatedly around the same issues, and fail to generate productive action. Those leaders also report that work relationships tend to break down in their meetings, so they actually emerge from a meeting with less trust and respect than when they started. Our collaborative approach to meetings is a strategic and systematic one that creates a high accountability workplace where trust, and engagement drive results. This is true for every meeting – whether two participants or 200, formal or informal, live or via teleconference. Our highly structured (yet, paradoxically, more flexible) approach enables even large groups to work effectively by focusing everyone on the same topic, in the same way, at the same time. Our approach to meetings engages participants by leveraging their experience, knowledge and creativity so that work relationships thrive.

In Element Four, Form the Collaborative Team, we teach the art and science of defining and scoping the work as well as making the necessary binding agreements that enable people to come to a high level of ownership and alignment around how they'll conduct and govern themselves.

Element Five, Create a Collaborative Plan, is a capstone lesson. Participants work at the 50,000 ft level to design a master plan which can accommodate all the preceding lessons/Elements.

Read our whitepaper now to learn more about the Collaborative Operating System.

Program Schedule

  • Prior to the training, participants are provided with one to two hours of reading material.
  • There is a weekly rhythm to the training. On Tuesday, we hold a 90-minute interactive training call followed by:
    • Approximately 60-90 minutes of homework
    • A weekly partner call to review and complete homework
    • A 60-minute study group call for homework support
    • Approximately 15 minutes of reading preparation for the next 90-minute call

Tuesdays 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. PST for 8 weeks. Four, one-to-one mentoring calls will be scheduled according to participant needs.

Program Investment:

$2,350 per participant. We offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you attend the entire training and are not pleased.

See what graduates of the program have said about how it’s impacted their lives.

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