meet the core team

Meet Rachel


Rachel Conerly


Rachel Conerly

Looking back, I’ve spent my entire adult life working to move the needle in human development; first as a student of progressive programs and processes (while excelling in my day job selling mid-range computers and mainframe accessories) and later, after some re-tooling and re-schooling, as a coach, consultant, and designer and facilitator of leadership and management development programs. I’ve had a therapist, coach or teacher for 90% of my working life, which is perhaps indicative of my love for learning and desire to be a very fine teacher.

For the past 15+ years, I’ve worked as an organization and leadership development consultant to both executives and change agents. I’ve worked with leaders at all levels and with organizations of all sizes. I am a passionate teacher and derive great satisfaction from helping my clients develop more meaningful and sustainable lives. Because much of my own growth has been sparked in quiet, slow retreat settings, I’m an advocate for this approach of plopping yourself into a thoughtful, spiritual container with other seekers. Decades of quality retreat programs has left me an experienced retreat designer and leader – in both the personal and professional realm.

A turning point occurred years ago when I read an article quoting an Organization Development (“OD”) professional who asserted that the field of training and OD was failing miserably while refusing to acknowledge it. The words stung, but also felt like truth to me. This truth led me to design The Collaborative Operating System (COS). On one level, the COS is simply a way of working that enables people to perform their work with greater results and satisfaction; a way of working that works. At another level, it’s a blueprint for addressing super-complex and seemingly intractable problems. And as some are now discovering, it’s also the underpinnings for a new democratic system.

People tell me I’m a rational idealist. I want things to make sense and I want them to work. I’m not very good with theories - I’m more interested in quickly getting to what’s going to make a difference.  Raised to be both leader and follower, learner and teacher, I’ve come to believe that you get from “I” to “WE” by being part of a team committed to one another and devoted to something that will serve the greater good. In this regard, my colleagues Mark, Liz and Michael are a daily dose of salvation: Somedays, the sand in my oyster shell; other days, pulling me out of the ditch.

Believing that a true system enables people to develop continuously, as opposed to episodically (as with a tool or technique), we are developing and teaching three distinct and interrelated systems: The COS, The Inner Journey, and True Purpose, a developmental trilogy for the successful life. Clients who complete all three have what it takes to succeed as a true change agent. Developing and supporting these folks is my highest calling.

I’m a graduate of Presbyterian College with a B.S. in Political Science. Most importantly, my parents (both Presbyterian ministers and family therapists) raised me with an integrated psychology and spirituality as well as a social conscience that calls me to create healthy systems for change. I live in Chapel Hill, NC, with my husband and daughter - who are both remarkable spiritual teachers.

Contact Rachel at 919-932-9916 and

WHAT Mark SAYS about Rachel:

Rachel is one of the most courageous and passionate leaders I know.  She combines these critical leadership qualities with a deep understanding of and empathy for the human condition, creating a unique atmosphere of safety, challenge and inspiration.  Her insights and wealth of experience consistently bring out the best in individual leaders and their teams.

WHAT Liz SAYS about Rachel:

Rachel is the purest model of what she’s on a mission to create in the world - that every ounce of our lives and work should be meaningful and filled with intention. I’ve seen Rachel first-hand go to great lengths to teach her clients how to make real change. Rachel is a powerful visionary and change agent. She will remain at the front lines as we work to build a world that works.

WHAT Michael SAYS about Rachel:

I hold Rachel as one of the wisest teachers I know. Like Mother Earth, she is generous, unflinching and utterly reliable. Her dedication to her clients and our team borders on the fanatical, and her tireless championing of a better way of working inspires us all to keep thinking and performing way outside the box of our conditioned expectations.