Constructive Collaboration

Driving performance in teams, organizations and partnerships

Collaboration well done — whether at the individual, team or enterprise level —sparks creative problem solving and powers value creation. In this intense, interactive program, you’ll learn the why, what and how of collaboration in the workplace — the strategic rationale, design requirements and critical insights necessary for success in both internal initiatives and across companies and cultures in joint ventures, mergers and alliances.

You’ll explore personal collaboration styles, behaviors and approaches for working with business partners, colleagues, competitors and customers. From a team perspective, you’ll examine the multiple interests and perspectives that challenge effective collaboration in departmental and interdepartmental initiatives. You’ll also learn the conditions for successful collaboration across companies and cultures in joint ventures, mergers and alliances.

Learn to hone and assess your collaboration skills

Who Should Attend

  • Mid-level to senior executives, Federal Government managers who coordinate activities among multiple constituencies, or who serve in key cross-functional roles
  • Individuals seeking to enhance collaboration with business partners, clients and peers
  • Team leaders and others who drive business development, manage joint ventures, oversee postmerger or acquisition integration, or manage channel partner performance

Key Benefits

  • Hone your collaboration skills
  • Assess and value collaboration and then articulate and sell that value to clients, partners and stakeholders
  • Construct a personal development plan for continuous improvement
  • Identify and create value through analysis of stakeholders’ perspectives and interests
  • Design collaborative structures to maximize constructive conflict and minimize destructive conflict

Program Content

Designing Collaboration

  • Learn how collaboration drives value in complex organizations
  • Understand the challenges of instilling of collaboration as a key management competency
  • Design distributed teamwork: distance teamwork, trust and communication
  • Encourage creative conflict that fuels productivity, while minimizing conflict that interferes with it

Collaborative Decision-Making

  • Understand the strategy, structure and behavior of collaboration
  • Manage multifunctional, multi-incentive teams for high performance
  • Understand challenges in collaboration: communication, clarity and stress
  • Learn tools to resolve conflict and improve decision-making

Collaborating across Diverse Teams, Companies and Cultures

  • Build coalitions for healthy organizations
  • Create smart collaborative alliances
  • Learn about networks as bridges and barriers to collaboration
  • Develop a personal collaboration action plan


Leigh Thompson - Academic Director; J. Jay Gerber Professor of Dispute Resolution & Organizations Professor of Management & Organizations

Brayden King - Academic Director; Max McGraw Chair in Management and the Environment; Professor of Management & Organizations; Chair of Management & Organizations Department

Jeanne Brett - DeWitt W. Buchanan, Jr., Professor of Dispute Resolution and Organizations; Professor of Management & Organizations

Edward Zajac - James F. Bere Professor of Management & Organizations

CPE Credits

Continuing Education Credit
This program is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and is recommended for 27.0 CPE credits.

Continuing Professional Education Information
The Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

All Kellogg programs that qualify for CPE credits do not have pre-requisites. Advanced readings and case preparation is required. A packet of course materials is emailed to all participants before the program begins.

All Kellogg programs are group-live or internet-based. Program level: Advanced. For more information regarding administrative policies such as complaints and refunds, please contact our office at 847-467-7000.

What Participants Say

“In addition to having outstanding faculty, the reading material, applied learning, and the diversity of the participants all contributed to a rich experience.”
Director, Office of Change Management, Northwestern University

“Excellent faculty and choice of exercises to gain experience collaborating between individuals, teams, departments and organizations. [I] was able to implement the learning immediately into my work.”
Assistant Director, Human resources, Chicago Cubs, Greater Chicago Area

“The tools I [took with me from Constructive Collaboration] have been among the most useful of all of my executive education [programs]. Unhealthy alliances that were draining profitability from my company have fallen apart. The workplace culture has improved; new collaborations have been established that are culminating with the addition of a [multi] million dollar managed services agreement [that] represents an amount of growth that was simply not possible while I was struggling to deal with the coalition of professional adversaries I had encountered. Thank you for the tools the [program] provided, which allowed me to more effectively understand what I was dealing with and how to form good collaborations of my own to counter it.”
CEO, Cornerstone Project

Personal Consultation

Please contact us to schedule an advising session

2019 Sessions

October 21-24, 2019

Start: October 21 at 1:00 PM

End: October 24 at 12:00 PM

Evanston campus


Fee includes lodging and most meals

2020 Sessions

March 9-12, 2020

Start: March 9 at 1:00 PM

End: March 12 at 11:45 AM

Evanston campus


Fee includes lodging and most meals

October 19-22, 2020

Start: October 19 at 1:00 PM

End: October 22 at 11:45 AM

Evanston campus


Fee includes lodging and most meals

Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208