Relational Coordination Collaborative

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Thanks for joining the Roundtable 2022 - Building Relationships Across Differences for Multi-Level Systems Change

The Relational Coordination Roundtable in Boston last weekend was spectacular, focused on the timely challenge of Building Relationships Across Differences for Multi-Level Systems Change. Organized in just four months, we had 62 submissions and nearly 120 registrants from around the US and around the world. Many thanks from the Host Committee, the RCC Team and the RCC Board to everyone who made it possible.

Based on the feedback we received, the gathering was inspiring, informative and fun. Check out the traditional fiddle music that greeted participants as they arrived for the Welcoming Reception at the Bell in Hand Tavern. We had two solid days of research and practice presentations, well integrated through thoughtful discussion - plus two inspiring keynote speakers, a leadership panel and a walk across the Charles River to a celebration at the MIT Sloan School.  We ended with a Closing Reception, with toasts offered by RCC Board leaders John Paul Stephens and Kathy McDonald as participants were asked to reflect on what they want to accomplish by the time we meet again next year.

Sam Hyun - Building Community in a Time of Heightened Division - Why Cancel Culture Doesn't Work - facilitated by Jody Hoffer Gittell

And there is much to be done. Following the Roundtable, we saw a major test of the democratic process in the U.S. - a test that the U.S. appears to have passed. It is now time to get back to work, building on what we’ve learned, to solve the grand challenges we are facing. A mental health crisis, a housing crisis, a warming climate, racism, sexism, antisemitism, and growing economic inequality.

Dr. Wiljeana Glover - Innovating for High Performance - A Multi-Level Systems Approach - facilitated by John Paul Stephens

Solutions will necessarily involve multiple stakeholders. Relational coordination will be useful and perhaps essential for bringing diverse stakeholders together to engage in coordinated collective action at multiple levels of action. See Integrative Solutions in a Divided World - Toward a Relational Model of Change for ideas about how to do this.

Roundtable Resources

Roundtable ProgramRoundtable DirectorySam hyun KeynoteWiljeana glover keynoteResearch/Practice sessions Roundtable Photo Gallery, 2022

Roundtable 2022 LogoRoundtable Theme

To solve the challenges we face today, multi-level systems change is needed more than ever.  At every level of our systems, however, relationships are broken and in need of rebuilding.  How can we “flip the narrative” to see our differences as valuable resources for problem solving?  How can we leverage the rich information offered by our differences to find systemic solutions and achieve desired outcomes for all participants?  What role does leadership play in bridging across these differences? 

The Relational Coordination Collaborative is a global community of researchers and leaders working together to transform relationships for high performance and positive change.  The Roundtable is an annual event that brings together community members and friends to share their work and learn from others, offering interactive presentations, keynote speakers, professional development workshops, and informal engagement to help participants build their networks.   

The 12th Annual Roundtable built upon emerging work in the Relational Coordination Collaborative - including Relating Across Differences - a project led by Wale Olaleye at Brandeis University and Tony Suchman at Relationship Centered Health Care to build relationships across professional and social identity differences at the Cleveland Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, and University of Washington Medical Center to improve outcomes for multiple stakeholders; and Building Relational Ecosystems for Innovation - a project led by Ina Sebastian at the MIT Center for Information Systems Research to understand and strengthen multi-sectoral initiatives to solve grand challenges. 

This Roundtable attracted practitioners and researchers from all sectors - corporations, non-profits, health systems, universities, schools, professional associations, unions, communities, public sector organizations - to share their knowledge about building relationships across differences for multi-level systems change in the following areas and beyond:

  • Diverse Professional and Social Identities.  Building relational coordination between diverse professional and social identities to achieve desired outcomes for multiple stakeholders (led by Wale Olaleye, Brandeis University)
  • Worker Voice and Worker Well-Being.  Connecting across racial, ethnic, gender, occupational and power differences to achieve worker voice, fair pay and worker well-being (led by Yaminette Diaz-Linhart, MIT Sloan)
  • Strengthening Healthcare Networks.  Strengthening networks across healthcare systems, community organizations, and public health to address social determinants of health and deliver high value care (led by Jody Hoffer Gittell, Brandeis University)
  • Relational Ecosystems.  Building relationships across diverse stakeholders in ecosystems to solve grand social challenges like climate change, pandemics, affordable healthcare, poverty and hunger (led by Ina Sebastian, MIT Center for Information Systems Research)
  • Resilient Communities.  Building relationships across differences to build inclusive, safe and resilient communities (led by Brenda Bond and Lauren Hajjar, Suffolk University)