RCRC Partner Cafes

At the Cafes, our partners join virtually as a learning community of researchers and practitioners working on and studying organizational change. Featured partners present their work, lead a discussion about a topic of mutual interest or seek advice regarding a challenge they are facing with a specific initiative.

If you are interested in sharing your work in an upcoming Cafe, please email us at RCRCinfo@brandeis.edu.

TO REGISTER:  Partners receive invitations to register for Cafes.

If you you are considering becoming a partner and you would like to join a Cafe as a trial, please contact us and we would be delighted to share an invitation with you. If are a partner and you have not received an invitation to the Cafe, please contact us at RCRCinfo@brandeis.edu

Partners can also view archived recordings of our popular Cafes.

Cafe Agenda

Welcome (5 min) 
Introductions (10 min)
Presentations (30 min)
Discussion (15 min)
Optional Continued Conversation & Networking (30 min)


2019 - 2020 Schedule

October 24, Thursday at 4 PM ET

Organizing Care through Hub and Spoke Models - The Role of Relational Coordination

Hub and spoke networks are often used by organizations to efficiently increase access to services, perhaps most famously in the airline industry. In this Cafe, we will explore the use of hub and spoke networks for health and human service delivery. What are the benefits and challenges of these networks?  What do we know about the role of relational coordination in their success?

Join us Thursday afternoon to hear from Brenda Fenton and Steve Martino about organizing pain care through a hub and spoke model in the Veteran's Administration, and from Ninna Meier about organizing cancer care through a similar model in Northern Denmark.  Learn how this model applies to your work!

Steve Martino and Brenda Fenton, Veterans Health Administration
Ninna Meier, Aalborg University
Jody Hoffer Gittell, RCRC, Brandeis University

November 21, Thursday at 10 AM ET

Engaging Communities in RC Interventions

Relational coordination is increasingly in demand as a framework for interventions. RC interventions have most often been carried out at the unit level in large multi-organizational systems, as documented in Transforming Relationships for High Performance (Gittell, 2016), in Purposeful Interprofessional Team Intervention Improves Relational Coordination Among Advanced Heart Failure Team (Blakeney, et al, 2019) and in Communication and Relationship Dynamics in the Operating Room (Toring, et al, 2019).  But other settings are possible too. In this Cafe, we will hear from colleagues who are engaging whole communities in RC interventions.  We will ask, what kinds of challenges can you address using the RC framework at the community level, and what does the process look like?

Brenda Bond and Erika Gebo, Suffolk University
Keri Randolph, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Lauren Hajjar, Suffolk University

December 12, Thursday at 4 PM ET

High-Reliability Organizing - Exploring Synergies with Relational Coordination

High reliability organizing is a way of organizing work that seeks to achieve consistent results under high stakes conditions.  In the December RC Cafe, our presenters will explore the synergies between high reliability organizing and relational coordination. Together we will explore the importance of frequent, timely, accurate and problem-solving communication, supported by shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect across key roles, for enabling high reliability organizing to occur.  All partners are welcome to register. Bring your questions, ideas and experiences to share!

Karlene Roberts, University of California, Berkeley
Peter Martelli, Suffolk University
Jody Hoffer Gittell, RCRC, Brandeis University
David Christenson, Christenson & Associates

January 16, Thursday at 10 AM ET
Building Relational Leadership in Organizations & Networks

Relational leaders create connections based on shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect with others and among others. By doing so, they become role models and create the foundation for strengthening relational coordination throughout their organizations and beyond. Experts from the RCRC community will present in the January RC Cafe about their experiences with relational leadership, from their perspective as researchers, consultants and leaders.  We anticipate a dynamic session with short presentations followed by an open discussion. 

Ole Dalvang, Joint Action Analytics
Khwezi Mbolekwa, Collaborative Leadership Works
Anne Douglass, University of Massachusetts
Jody Hoffer Gittell, RCRC, Brandeis University
John Paul Stephens, Case Western Reserve University

February 20, Thursday at 4 PM ET

Addressing Social Determinants of Health:  A Multi-Stakeholder Coordination Challenge

Addressing the social determinants of health is a cost-effective way to achieve health outcomes. But our knowledge of how to do so is still in early stages of development, particularly in the U.S. compared to traditional approaches, addressing the social determinants requires coordination across a wider array of stakeholders - for example primary care, behavioral health, hospitals, schools, family services, youth services, public safety, and employers.   

In this RC Cafe, we will learn about efforts by our partners to address social determinants of health in New Hampshire, New York, Oregon and beyond.They will share insights about the multi-stakeholder coordination that has been central to their success, and about the challenges that still remain. All partners are welcome to register - bring your questions, ideas and experiences to share!

Bill Gunn, NH Region 1 Integrated Delivery Network
Erin Fair Taylor and Sally Retecki, Care Oregon
Jody Hoffer Gittell, RCRC, Brandeis University

March 19, Thursday at 10 AM ET

RC and Teaming - Substitutes or Complements for Coordinating Work in High Volatility Environments?
Presenters to be announced

April 23, Thursday at 4 PM ET

Building Trust for Organizational Change
Presenters to be announced

May 14, Thursday at 10 AM ET

Scoping Out the Work Process When Measuring Relational Coordination
Presenters to be announced

June 18, Thursday at 4 PM ET

Intervening to Improve Patient Experience
Presenters to be announced


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