About

Who We Are

Cooperative Advantage includes seasoned coaches, consultants and executives with deep experience developing and advising leaders, developing business and sustainability strategies, and transforming organizations to deliver excellent performance in service of a better future. 

We share a vision, grounded in client experience and research, that the best businesses in the 21st century will work from a compelling purpose beyond their own self interest, attract and unleash the full contribution of the best employees and stakeholders, and learn to excel in cooperation with others.

Our experience spans work with the largest organizations in the world to innovative entrepreneurs to niche players across a wide range of industries in dozens countries.

David Sherman

helps leaders develop and amplify the co-creative power of people, organizations, and systems in service of a better future.  He is an executive advisor, coach, business and sustainability strategist, and facilitator with extensive experience working with leaders, organizations, and systems on leading edge initiatives in more than 2 dozen countries across a wide range of sectors.   His work has included extended assignments in Australia, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and the UK.  His work has included developing and implementing novel approaches to leadership, strategy, change, and sustainability.   

David Co-Chairs the Advisory Board for Aclima Inc., an innovative technology startup that deploys mobil sensor networks that provides environmental intelligence and informs the link between human health and planetary health.  He also serves on the advisory council of Fair Trade USA.  He served as Distinguished Fellow at the Fowler Center at the Weatherhead School of Management, and the alumni board for the Berkeley-Haas Center for Responsible Business.  

Throughout his career, David has continuously learned through interacting with his clients and from disciplined programs of study and research.  Over the past dozen years he has also had an intense focus on inner growth and integrating insights from his work with leaders, organizations and systems.  He is senior student at the Academy of Inner Science, founded by Thomas Hubl, which connects inner wisdom with outer knowledge.  In this context he co-facilitates large groups and works to heal collective trauma.  David is also a practitioner of Aikido, the way of harmony, through which he practices the transformation of relation from “power over” to “power with” others.

Past roles include co-founder of Sustainable Value Partners, Partner at Blu Skye Sustainability Consulting, and Vice President at A.T. Kearney where he led an Asia-based practice.  In 2004 he begin Wal-Mart on its sustainability journey in partnership with the founder of Blu Skye and Conservation International. This work was heralded as having a huge impact on Wal-Mart and on sustainability practices across the business sector.

David has worked with leaders in many industries including: agriculture, chemicals, consumer products, energy utilities, financial services, government, healthcare, high-tech, oil and gas, retail, and transportation in 25 countries worldwide.   Clients include: Aclima, All Nippon Airways, Anthem, Bunge, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Light and Power, City of Cleveland, Dairy Management Inc., Fair Trade USA, Nestle, OOCL, Philips Electronics, Rockwell Automation, Sony, Staples, Wal-Mart, and Waste Management.

David has led a wide range of engagements focused on strategy formulation, implementation, and system change.  In his system change work David partnered with David Cooperrider, Professor of Social Entrepreneurship and the developer of Appreciative Inquiry to develop an insight informed “whole system” emergent approach to industry level sustainability.  This approach was applied and refined in a number of industries including Magazines, and Dairy.  It was also used to launch the multi-year Sustainable Cleveland initiative. 

A few examples of innovative engagements include: 

    • Cathay Pacific Airways – Company-wide transformation that innovated in areas of strategy, cost, service organization structure.  Strategy was undertaken at a time when the airline was already very successful but needed to realign to foster continued and increased success.  Included aligning the leadership team around a compelling case for change.
    • Airline Maintenance Industry – worked with ANA, SR Technic, Northwest Airlines, and American Airlines to learn together how to better integrate safety, quality, onetime performance, and cost effectiveness.  Included deep exploration of performance and practices and development dof innovative next practices.
    • Walmart Sustainability – partnered with Conservation International and Jib Ellison to formulate, launch, and shepherd sustainability strategy and program. Worked most closely in developing initial strategies and launching efforts in areas of buildings, fleet, greenhouse gas, China, supplier engagement, various sustainable value networks, and a CEO summit. 
    • US Dairy Industry – system-wide “whole system” summit and transformation effort to reduce greenhouse gas throughout the dairy value chain including growers, dairy farmers, transporters, processors, and retailers.  The effort launched by that summit has in a series of ongoing innovations and helped the industry significantly reduce its overall environmental footprint.

David holds a DBA, with a focus on social entrepreneurship, from Case Western Reserve University, an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and a BS degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University.  

David is co-author and research manager for the book, Flourishing Enterprise, published by Stanford University Press.  He lectures at universities in the U.S. and internationally and speaks at conferences and other venues, such as the Academy of Management, Conference Board, and Consumer Electronics Association. 

Our Partners

     

 

We team with senior practitioners from NOW Partners and Enterprise Development Group to orchestrate the right group of senior practitioners to best meet your needs.

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