Relational Coordination Collaborative

Upcoming Cafes

February 2023: Innovations in RC Coaching and Consulting

February 2023 Cafe

Thursday, February 9, 2023, 3-4:00 pm ET
  • Tony Suchman, MD, MA, Relationship Centered Health Care
  • Wale Olaleye, MBA, PhD, Deloitte Human Capital
  • Jody Hoffer Gittell, PhD, Brandeis University

In this RC Café, we’ll be exploring ways to help people work together more effectively to improve performance. What’s at the learning edge of RC-informed approaches? The state of practice has advanced so far over the last 15 years. It will be both useful and fun to celebrate this progress and push it farther. And we’ll be trying out a new community dialogue format. At the beginning we’ll offer the floor to anyone who has a thought to contribute and then head into open dialogue.

RC practitioners will have a chance to compare notes and add to their toolkits. Researchers will have a chance to learn about or enhance the impact of previous projects and to identify new emerging topics for future studies of RC change. Students can have it all!  We hope you’ll join us. 

March 2023: Strengthening Relationships for Value Creating Healthcare Systems

March 2023 Cafe

Thursday, March 9, 2023, 3-4:00 pm ET
  • John Chapman, Institute on Healthcare Systems, The Heller School, Brandeis University
  • Jennifer Perloff, Institute on Healthcare Systems, The Heller School, Brandeis University
  • Palmira Santos, Institute on Healthcare Systems, The Heller School, Brandeis University
  • Masami Tabata-Kelly, Institute on Healthcare Systems, The Heller School, Brandeis University

The push for more value from healthcare has shined a light on the importance of well-functioning and broadly conceived teams of caregivers (not all currently considered 'healthcare'), and on social factors not previously considered part of the healthcare system such as safe housing, adequate food and adequate financial resources, for impacting patients’ health and well-being. 

As the definition of care and the locus of control begin to shift towards the joint production of health, community actors such as public health departments and social and economic non-profits have increasingly key roles to play.  And population health initiatives such as accountable care organizations have tremendous potential to reallocate resources from acute medical care to prevention and social services (Mechanic & Fitch, 2023).  But there are very few models for how these disparate sectors can work together.  

In this RC Cafe, we will engage with the research and practitioner community to take stock of what we know about using relational coordination, co-production and social networks to build multi-disciplinary teams of care-givers and multi-sector partnerships for equitable value creation (Burns, Nembhard & Shortell, 2022; Gittell & Ali, 2023).  We will identify gaps needing research exploration, and explore how to more effectively strengthen these relational dynamics (Bolton, Logan & Gittell, 2021).

We’ll be using our new community dialogue format for this Cafe. At the beginning we’ll offer the floor to anyone who has a thought to contribute, then head into open dialogue.  If you're already a member, register below and feel free to bring one or more guests.  If you're not a member, reach out to one of our members or the RCC team (relationalcoord@brandeis.edu) for a guest invite - or take a minute and become a member now. 

April 2023: Relational Coordination for Higher Education in a Rapidly Changing World

April 2023 Cafe

Thursday, April 13, 2023, 3-4:00 ET
  • MaryAnne Peabody, University of Southern Maine
  • Helen Gorgas Goulding, University of Southern Maine

This is a challenging time for higher education.  Higher education institutions face pressures to adapt to ever-changing student populations and a constantly evolving landscape of knowledge requirements and policy mandates. For example, state and federal governments along with the philanthropic community have increasingly invested resources to encourage and hold institutions accountable for the success of the students they admit.

The inability of students to access services and resources can be a significant inhibitor to their success. This is especially true for populations of students who have been historically and systemically under-resourced, marginalized, and discriminated against, for example students of color, low-income students, first-generation students, disabled students, LGBTQ students, and immigrant students, especially those who lack familial networks to help navigate policies and structures that can be confusing and daunting.

In addition to student success, there are other challenges in higher education such as curricular innovation, campus social climate, faculty and staff retention, research and development, financial sustainability, alumni relations, and external stakeholder relations more broadly.

Relational coordination is known to help diverse stakeholders more easily achieve their desired outcomes through the development of shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect, supported by communication that is frequent, timely, accurate and focused on problem-solving rather than blaming.  Just as relational coordination has been shown to help healthcare, social service and business organizations more easily achieve desired outcomes for multiple stakeholders, there is early evidence that higher education can also benefit.  

Join this Cafe as we identify RC-inspired innovations to address these challenges.  We’ll be using our new community dialogue format for this Cafe. At the beginning we’ll offer the floor to anyone who has a thought to contribute, then head into open dialogue.

May 2023: Building Relational Capacity for Resilient Communities

May 2023 Cafe

Thursday, May 11, 2023, 3-4:00 ET
  • Lauren Hajjar, Suffolk University
  • Ninna Meier, Aalborg University
  • Emily Thoman, Brandeis University
  • Zachary Hylton, Brandeis University
  • Carsten Hornstrup, Joint Action Analytics

As calls for “whole-of-society” approaches to complex challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic (Clarke, Hellowell, O’Hanlon, & Eldridge, 2020), social justice (Zheng, 2020), and authoritarianism grow louder, organizations of all types must be prepared to meet these demands (Bartunek, 2022).  Communities often serve as ground zero for stakeholders to collectively respond. 

There are no simple solutions for community stakeholders who are seeking to respond. Communities have multiple stakeholders at multiple levels, many of whom have competing interests. Approaches to large-scale change often do not account for the relational aspects of change and therefore fail to address underlying issues of siloed accountability, goals and knowledge, and the lack of trust and respect (Bartunek, Halogen & Do, 2011).  However, prior research suggests that developing strong relationships and organizational structures to support collaboration and coordination across professional, organizational and geographical boundaries is essential, especially developing common understandings, shared goals, shared values, mutual respect and trust (Gittell, 2016; Okhuysen & Bechky, 2009). 

Join this Cafe as we identify RC-inspired innovations to create relational capacity for resilient communities.  We’ll be using our new community dialogue format. At the beginning we’ll offer the floor to anyone who has a thought to contribute, then head into open dialogue.  

We're a community of researchers and practitioners, constantly striving to learn from each other.  If you're already a member, register below and feel free to bring one or more guests.  If you're not a member, reach out to one of our members or the RCC team (relationalcoord@brandeis.edu) for a guest invite - or take a minute and become a member now.  We will be forming an Innovation Lab focused on this topic to continue working together beyond this Cafe.

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