Gift Forum to Your
Key Associates

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other."

- John F. Kennedy

What has worked for you works for the leaders you need in your company. Once or twice a year, YPO members pool their leader-learners together, and curate transformative experiences for the people we rely on most. They accelerate their development. They get a safe space to make better decisions. They hear diverse ideas. They get community. They get a Forum.

Or get in touch with the team to ask questions and get more information here.

Learnings & Insights From Previous Cohorts:

Success Metrics From
YPO key associate forums:

The first two cohorts of YPO Key Associate Forums launched earlier in 2023.

A design team that includes YPO’s Forum leadership reviews session results and applies learnings.

Here’s a 30-second testimonial from one of the participants.

Nuts & Bolts

Sponsor up to three leaders from your executive team. When the call for candidates closes, your Network Forum committee will match Forums across our businesses, carefully considering how to best create powerhouse Forums of diverse peers. Those that we can not match into great Forums will remain on the waitlist for the next wave.

We’ll take care of everything. There will be some differences between this and a YPO Forum:

Fees for this program will be $3,600/year, due when the invitation is accepted, fully refundable after the first session, and including an in-person retreat. Travel expenses are self-organized and are not included in the program costs.

This is fast becoming a model for all of YPO, and a valued member-benefit.

YPO Networks & Timelines

What Happens Next?

We’ll take it from here. We’ll let your people know they’ve been nominated, and ask them some questions, including schedule preference. We’ll explain the program and be available live if they have questions.

About YPO

YPO is a global leadership community of chief executives driven by the shared belief that the world needs better leaders. We come together in YPO to become better leaders and better people. Through YPO, we are inspired and supported to make a difference in the lives, businesses and the world we impact.


Circles Learning Labs has partnered with YPO and other peer learning leaders like Harvard Business School and The Aspen Institute to build technology that makes it easy to scale a consistently great Forum experience virtually.


The Key Associate Forums will use all the processes and best practices of a YPO Forum. However, based on years of running circles for non-CEOs, we have found that there are some differences that need to be considered. In general, Key Associates have less scheduling freedom than their bosses. They also are less likely to be as infused with YPO culture to start, which leads them to be slightly less likely to prioritize Forum. 

Therefore, we will have a professional moderator lead the group. The time commitment will only be 2-hour virtual sessions. Some Forums and individuals ask for more – so we strongly recommend an in-person retreat to the forums.

We’ve absolutely seen breakthrough results with this format. Certainly, more is always possible, and we’ll keep the door open to that. But it is important to lower the barrier to entry to get more of our Key Associates on the Forum path.

For many of us, the relationship with our Forum mates transcends the words “friend,” “colleague” and “advisor.” Key Associates will gain a circle of others who are deeply invested in their success. They will also experience the powerful leadership lessons we all have lived through, around vulnerability, inclusion, presence, listening, blind spots, storytelling, diverse perspectives, learning itself. You will gain leaders around you who understand and become allies, reinforcing those things in your own workplace. those things in your own workplace.

Fees for this program will be $3,600/year, due when the invitation is accepted, fully refundable after the first session, and including an in-person retreat. Travel expenses are self-organized and are not included in the program costs.

It is important that as their sponsor, you encourage your Key Associates to prioritize this just as you have. Most Key Associates don’t fully appreciate this going in. We recommend framing this as a Board Meeting. Because it is virtual, certain special norms, like being in a quiet stationary place with good internet, need to be practiced. At the end of the day, each Forum will determine its own norms, starting with YPO’s recommended best practices for Forum.

We’ll start with the YPO standard of “No one, Nothing, Never.” During the initial training meetings, Forums will spend time grappling with what this really means. We’re designing the first year as a gradual learning experience, where norms like this will be consistently revisited, with members’ understanding and skill deepening over time.

The number one rule is: ‘they gotta wanna’. Look for ambitious, open-hearted, rising leaders. If you have a star on your team, or someone with great potential, send her.

An important advantage of this process is that we can curate the Forums, instead of creating them one at a time, at the chapter level. A downside is that sometimes we won’t be able to accommodate a nominee, and they will have to wait until another cohort of several Forums is created.

The matching process will rely on the Launchpad technology built by, which will survey nominees and pull in some other key data about them. Then, representatives from YPO and will curate the groups and send invitations. Some participants may be matched into existing Forums that are about to recommit for another year for Forum together. Nominees will have a few days to accept their Forum, after which we will add others to the group until we have 8 members committed.

We will first be selecting members who will feel like peers. We’ll likely consider company size, sector, and years of experience. However, as you all know, diversity fuels learning. Once we achieve a certain level of ‘peeriness,’ we will diversify as much as possible. If there are enough of a key role, like CFO’s, we may try to form role-specific Forums.  Forum is fundamentally about leadership, not about tactical job advice, although if we do get a great functional group they may have the benefit of both.

Maybe. We are planning for a certain level of churn, and do have a process to add members to a Forum when this happens.

Unfortunately, we are hesitant to introduce a new person into a Forum that is underway. We will likely ask you to nominate the replacement for the next cohort. Occasionally, we can make exceptions if it is ok with the facilitator and the Forum. On the other hand, we do invite the Forum member to finish out the year that you’ve already paid for, which provides continuity for the Forum and extra support as your KA moves into their next chapter.

Probably, yes. YPO’s 35,000 member companies are spread across the world. In this program just over a quarter are outside North America. Exposing Key Associates to these diverse perspectives is a strength of the program for many. We do make sure to minimize time zone issues and never make a Forum that is too spread out to find a consistent time. In some cases, only one or two members of the Forum are outside North America and those members will usually travel to retreat. Forums spread across multiple countries usually chose a destination that all members can obtain visas and access easily. It is important to let us know any preferences or constraints in the intake forms, and consider this when accepting your Forum placement. We discourage hybrid (one member remote on the phone, others in the room) and virtual retreats.

Our target is 6-8. We’ll likely begin with 8 members and anticipate possible drop-off.

Circles Learning Labs has partnered with YPO and other peer learning leaders like Harvard Business School and The Aspen Institute to build technology that makes it easy to scale a consistently great Forum experience virtually. The video space itself has features that make running a great Forum easy. Years of hardening has made the space reliable. But the entire digital environment makes the launching and managing of Forums at scale efficient. Participants will have almost no learning curve; they’ll simply join their session and instantly learn the few features that matter for Forum. There will be live and instant 24×7 support, just in case.

There’s nothing quite as impactful as a Forum retreat, and we’re excited to offer this option to interested Forums. During the sign-up process, we’ll inquire with Key Associates about their interest in participating, and make an effort to match Forums where all members are inclined to attend a retreat. Last year, we’ve organized several 1 to 1.5-day experiences towards the end of ’23. Some were private retreats, while others were synchronized with a YPO Network event. The pricing is approximately $850, plus travel and accommodation expenses. Forums that commit to this experience will achieve a new level of connection, depth, and mutual support. Retreat is not required; we expect some Forums will not do this.

Let us know whether you prefer phone or email here, and we’ll be in touch shortly.

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