meet the core team

Meet Mark


Mark Voorsanger

Mark Voorsanger

My journey to becoming a COS consultant and trainer was not a straightforward one. After receiving my engineering degree from UC Berkeley, I began working as a video game designer, a job that allowed me to escape into my own highly structured – and mostly solitary – world. I loved it. As I saw it, people were messy but computers were logical. If something didn't work properly, it could be fixed. Code could be designed elegantly, even artfully, and I was proud of what I created, mostly on my own.

Over time, however, games grew in complexity, requiring larger and larger teams of developers with specialized knowledge and training. What was once a small community of lone game programmers evolved into a highly sophisticated industry – one where developers needed to collaborate in order to produce increasingly complex products.

As our industry grew, my career did, too. From programmer I advanced to team leader, then business manager and, eventually, corporate executive. With these changes in responsibility, I was now placed squarely in the messy world of human beings. Between creative disputes, limited resources and tight timelines, conflict flared on a regular basis. Too often, I was dissatisfied with the results.

Like most people, I considered myself collaborative. Yet despite my collaborative tendencies (or perhaps because of them), forces seemingly beyond my control made collaboration difficult, if not impossible. I grew frustrated and disheartened by the damaged relationships and diminished results that seemed an unavoidable byproduct of business as usual.

Although by any outward measure I'd achieved enviable success, my frustration compelled me to search for a better way, finally leading me to the Collaborative Operating System. I was admittedly skeptical at first, but with training – and a lot of patience and support from the COS team – I slowly became convinced that this approach to leading, managing and working was the solution I'd been looking for.

I joined the COS core team in 2009. I have since come to appreciate the inherent messiness of human beings. The beauty of COS is that it allows us to do good, satisfying work together, messiness and all. I now look forward to our team meetings with anticipation, knowing that I'll leave with greater clarity, deeper relationships, and gratitude for the difference we are making together. For anyone who has operated within a traditional corporate environment this might seem utopian, if not miraculous. But from where I stand today, it's simply the outcome of working according to the COS principles and values.

I look forward to sharing with you the great joy, productivity and fulfillment that comes from learning to collaborate effectively.

Contact Mark at 415-524-8650 or

WHAT Rachel SAYS about Mark:

Mark is masterful in the sea of social complexity. He's whip-smart and utterly constructive. He has the uncanny ability to hold a group until they gel and become self-sufficient. He models "the high road" and practices kindness more than anyone I've ever known.

WHAT Liz SAYS about Mark:

Mark is a passionate teacher who continually strives to live what he teaches in the purest form he can imagine. He pushes us as a team to further develop our curriculum, bring more research-based findings to our message, and find ways for our message to reach the most skeptical leaders.

WHAT Michael SAYS about Mark:

Mark is an extraordinary teacher. He delivers complex, paradigm-shifting content in a way that's simple and clear, with impeccable integrity and passion that's contagious. He has an ability to see into to heart of things and articulate what the rest of us have only vaguely sensed or missed entirely. Mark is my gold standard for what a trainer and consultant can be.