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What Is Co-Active?

A philosophy, technology, and experience.

Co-Active is not a destination. 

At its most basic, Co-Active means simply “being in action…together.” Or perhaps it might be more appropriate to say “being together…in action.”

Co-Active helps you stretch your sightline, get out of your comfort zone, and grow along the way. It’s a way to better understand your own journey—to help you design your own life’s quest by rediscovering your courage to be the one you want to be, in order to create what you want to create.

What is Co-Active?

Leadership has no “finish line.” We are all on a lifelong leadership journey, and every person’s journey is unique to them. Co-Active is a contextual lens to experience this journey from different orientations.

As the pace of our lives has quickened, we have become increasingly action-oriented and results-driven. It seems expedient to dispense with all the “soft” stuff (being) and instead just push to “get the job done” (doing). Unfortunately, this leaves us feeling disconnected and desperate for meaning and belonging. We wind up with what we might call “the hamster wheel” experience of life, as we run around alone in circles, desperately trying to get things done, only to find ourselves right back where we started.

This is why it is so important to begin with the “Co.” Action arising from this place of being and receptivity is whole and integrated, rather than disconnected and driven. In order for us to experience life as whole, action must be grounded in being, in our sense of connection to a larger wholeness.

When the Co and the Active go together, the action of our life is nourishing and fulfilling.

–  From Co-Active Leadership: Five Ways to Lead by Karen Kimsey-House and Henry Kimsey-House

Leadership, the Co-Active Way

We believe that everyone is a leader, and that we are all naturally creative, resourceful, and whole.

Being a Co-Active leader means you’re always striving to be in a state of awareness about how you’re being and what you’re doing in any situation. It’s knowing that we are all in full permission with the power to create our world every day, are in relationship with our world—ourselves, others, everything—at all times, and are having an impact.

Co-Active experiential learning evokes transformation

Scientifically proven to make the learning stick, our Co-Active training offers immersive experiences that unlock human capabilities, creating space for the emergence of creative solutions that are transformational and sustainable.

How we do this:

  • Getting people outside their comfort zones so new lessons can be learned
  • Applying teachings through simple frameworks that can be universally understood
  • Focusing on powerful experiences that integrate learning through the whole body
  • Cultivating safe, open, supportive, and meaningful communities
  • Providing transformative learning through both in-person and digital experiences
  • Demonstrating what is possible when these conditions harness the natural power of humanity

Co-Active delivers life experience

  • Understand your impact on others and the world around you
  • Learn how to navigate conflict, how to design your responses and recover from being triggered
  • Learn how to have conversations that deepen intimacy with others
  • Know how to respond instead of react, putting relationships first
  • Stretch yourself, your capabilities, and your actions beyond your imagination and comfort zone
  • Learn how to frame powerful questions that evoke the conversations needed to grow your own leadership and the leadership of others


I've been to a lot of trainings, a lot of retreats, a lot of programs. I have certificates and qualifications, and even a PhD in Depth Psychology. And I still say there's nothing quite like Co-Active Leadership.

~ Vicky Jo Varner

The Co-Active Model

Explore the 4 cornerstones and 5 contexts of the Co-Active Model.  

Explore the 4 cornerstones and 5 contexts of the Co-Active Model.  

The Science Supporting the Co-Active Model

The success of the Co-Active Model is based on solid scientific principles. Learn more about the science behind the Co-Active Model.