2014-08-14 08.18.27 am

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Roundtable Agenda

Thursday, September 4

Time Activity

12:30 -2:00 pm

Boxed Lunches and Activity Launch

Boxed lunches will be available for pickup in the lobby of the Northern Hotel before the welcoming activities begin  – stop by to say hello, get lunch and meet up with your group!

1:00 – 6:00 pm

Welcoming Activities – Explorations and Conversations

You will have an opportunity to sign up for these events when you register. Click each event below to learn more!

  • Whitewater2Raft the Yellowstone River Start Time: 1:00 pm (hosted by Elizabeth Ciemins, Director of Health Services Research, Billings Clinic)
  • Ranger Walk Start Time: 2:00 pm (hosted by Curt Lindberg, Director, Partnership for Complex Systems, Virginia Mohl, Medical Director Physician Recruitment and Professional Education, Billings Clinic & Geologist Greg Mohl) 
  • Intro to RC in Red Lodge Start Time: 2:00 pm (hosted by Jody Hoffer Gittell, RCRC/Brandeis University & Bob Merchant, Chief Medical Officer, Billings Clinic)  
  • Beartooth Highway Scenic Drive Start Time: 2:00 pm (hosted by Randy Thompson, Emergency Physician, Medical Director, MedFlight Air Ambulance Service, Billings Clinic) 
  • Explore the Town of Billings Start Time: 3:00 pm (hosted by Carlos Arce, Chief Learning Officer, Billings Clinic)   

6:30 – 8:30pm

Welcoming Reception

Keynote:  Insights from Networks and Complexity Science


PJ Lamberson, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

PJ Lamberson is a Senior Lecturer at the Kellogg School of Management and the Associate Director of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems — one of the leading institutes for complexity research in the world. He is a globally recognized expert on networks and complex systems. PJ has degrees in Mathematics from The University of Chicago and Columbia University. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan Center for the Study of Complex Systems and was a professor in the System Dynamics Group at MIT for three years before joining the Kellogg faculty. He has published research in Mathematics, Ecology, Epidemiology, Transportation, Genetics, Political Science, Network Science, Economics, and Management. PJ is also an award winning teacher and the creator of the course Social Dynamics and Network Analytics (Social-DNA), which he teaches in the Kellogg MBA and executive MBA programs in Evanston, Chicago, Miami, and Tel Aviv.

Improvisation led by Carlos Arce, Chief Learning Officer, Billings Clinic


Building on Lamberson’s insights on the power of networks, Arce will show how to engage a group to learn and improve rapidly by tapping into what they know, what they can discover from others and what new ideas those discoveries might inspire. This powerful combination can be the source of transformative experiences and, at the same time, it is seriously fun. With improv, participants identify and act out solutions to chronic or daunting problems. The process is playful and reveals possibilities otherwise unseen.

Friday, September 5

Time Activity

8:00 – 9:00 am

Jody 8-14

Roundtable Breakfast

Welcoming Remarks

Jody Hoffer Gittell, RCRC founder and leader, will share a few stories from her forthcoming book Transforming Relationships for High Performance.

Gittell is a professor of management at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. She serves as Executive Director of the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative, bringing scholars and practitioners together to build relational coordination for high performance.  She is founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Relational Coordination Analytics Inc., offering measurement, evaluation and visualization of relational coordination networks to organizations seeking to improve their performance.

Gittell’s research explores how coordination by front-line workers contributes to quality and efficiency outcomes in service settings. She has developed a theory of relational coordination, proposing that work is most effectively coordinated through relationships of shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect, and demonstrating how organizations can support relational coordination through the design of their work systems.  She has written dozens of scientific articles and several books, including The Southwest Airlines Way: Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve High Performance and High Performance Healthcare.  Gittell received her BA from Reed College and her PhD from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Video Address: Welcome and Reflections on RC Interventions

Ed Schein, MIT Sloan School of ManagementEdgar Schein photo

Dr. Schein is the Society of Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus and a Professor Emeritus at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Schein investigates organizational culture, process consultation, research process, career dynamics, and organization learning and change. In Career Anchors, fourth edition (Wiley, 2013), he shows how individuals can diagnose their own career needs and how managers can diagnose the future of jobs. His research on culture shows how national, organizational, and occupational cultures influence organizational performance (Organizational Culture and Leadership, fourth edition, 2010). In Process Consultation Revisited (1999) and Helping (2009), he analyzes how consultants work on problems in human systems and the dynamics of the helping process. Schein has written two cultural case studies—Strategic Pragmatism: The Culture of Singapore’s Economic Development Board (MIT Press, 1996) and DEC is Dead; Long Live DEC (Berett-Kohler, 2003). His Corporate Culture Survival Guide, second edition (Jossey-Bass, 2009) tells managers how to deal with culture issues in their organizations.  His most recent book “Humble Inquiry” (2013) deals directly with problems of patient safety in healthcare. Schein holds a BPhil from the University of Chicago, a BA and an MA in social psychology from Stanford University, and a PhD in social psychology from Harvard University.

9:00 – 10:00 am


ICU Connections at WorkStories from Billings Clinic – What We Are Learning

Hosted by Bob Merchant, Chief Medical Officer, Billings Clinic

Want to listen as members of ICU Connections talk about what they’ve done, wrestled with and accomplished in their drive to use relational coordination to improve collaboration and the care of patients?  How the decision was made to employ RC. What was learned from the RC Survey. The Emergent Design strategy. RC Bingo.  Tapping electronic health record capability to foster Relational Coordination. Examples of front-line staff leadership. Struggles and accomplishments along the way. These topics and more will be explored in Fishbowl fashion by nurses, rehab staff, intensivists, a pharmacist, case manager, and a respiratory therapist. Roundtable attendees will then have the opportunity to join in small group conversations with ICU Connections members.

10:00- 10:20 am



10:20- 11:50am


Shift and Share

Brief Presentations by Roundtable Participants

Hosted by Elizabeth Ciemins, Director of Health Services Research, Billings Clinic & Jody Hoffer Gittell, RCRC and Brandeis University

Interested in getting a taste for the wide range of pioneering relational coordination initiatives being pursued by Roundtable participants? Want to do some learning in a fun, lively way? In short, stimulating rounds, think 7 to 8 minutes, one or two representatives from participating organizations will present the essence of their RC efforts in “show and tell” fashion. Interesting, relevant artifacts (pictures, graphs, policies, survey results, supplies, etc) will be displayed to help the story come alive. After each lively presentation, done in small groups, five minutes will be allotted for questions and conversation. Five or more Shift & Share sessions will be held simultaneously. When you hear the bell ring, it’s time to Shift to the next session.

All Roundtable participants will be invited to share their relational coordination stories, even if they are in formative stages. Shift & Share is a Liberating Structure used at Billings Clinic to make learning fun and diffuse innovations. Beats powerpoint every time.

12:00 – 1:00pm


Scaling Up Relational Coordination Through Coaching and Leadership Development 

Margie Godfrey, leader of the Dartmouth Institute Microsystem Academy and co-author of Value by Design, will share highlights of her methodology for building relational coordination and improvement capacity through coaching.

Marjorie M. Godfrey, PhD, RN is Co-Director of The Dartmouth Institute Microsystem Academy and Instructor for The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, New Hampshire. Godfrey is a national and international leader of designing and implementing improvement strategies targeting the place where patients, families and care teams meet-the clinical microsystem. She leads as Institute for Healthcare Improvement faculty, Improvement Advisor with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and has collaborated extensively with the Veteran’s Administration Health System to improve front line care through adaptation of clinical microsystem applied theory.

Godfrey is currently serving on three national expert panel appointments including the McColl University/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, American Association of Colleges of Nursing and The National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. Her primary interest is engaging interprofessional health care professionals in learning about and improving local health care delivery systems with a focus on patients, professionals, processes and outcomes. Ms. Godfrey’s doctoral studies have focused on the pheneomena of coaching interprofessional teams in health care improvement.

1:30 – 2:45 pm

randythompsonvirginiamohlGo and See – Go and Help               

RC Rounding at Billings Clinic 

Hosted by Randy Thompson, Emergency Physician, Virginia Mohl, Medical Director Physician Recruitment and Professional Education & Jen Potts, Respiratory Therapist.

Get a first hand look at a variety of RC initiatives across Billings Clinic. You’ll have the chance to see some of the Clinic and talk with staff guiding efforts in:

  • Joint replacement surgery
  • Family medicine practice
  • Predictive monitoring
  • ICU care
  • Creating plans to spread RC across the Clinic

After talking with Clinic professionals you’ll be invited to participate in a Wise Crowds process to help them advance their RC projects. You’ll learn and use the Wise Crowds process to provide your consultation guidance. Undoubtedly, everyone will take away insights into the practice of relational coordination.

2:45- 3:05pm



3:05 – 4:25 pm

billings_curtlindbergcarlosarceOpen Space

Explore Topics Selected by Roundtable Participants

Hosted by Curt Lindberg, Director, Partnership for Complex Systems & Carlos Arce, Chief Learning Officer, Billings Clinic

Ever come to the end of a conference and thought, “if only we had talked about …….”? At the Fall Roundtable, this won’t happen because as the Roundtable approaches adjournment everyone will be invited to nominate their “if only we had talked about” topics. Small groups, comprised of conference attendees who share your topical interest, will be organized on the spot. Make a mental list of topic ideas as the Roundtable unfolds and bring them to the Open Space session.  No topic is off limits. Want to: propose a multi-organizational RC project; get the details on an RC project you learned about in Shift & Share; kick around ideas for spreading understanding of RC in your organization or the whole healthcare field; explore how to set up an RC survey; explore what the next generation of RC could look like???? The sky’s the limit for Open Space topics.  Open Space is a Liberating Structure used at Billings Clinic to engage staff in shaping improvement efforts, spurring creative conversations and building relationships between colleagues who share interests.

4:30 – 5:00 pm

tonysuchmanClosing Reflections

Advancing the Practice of Relational Coordination – Next Steps

Led by Tony Suchman, Founder, Relationship Centered Health Care

Tony will wrap up our time together by reflecting on what we’ve learned throughout the Roundtable – sharing his perspective as an organizational change practitioner who is steeped in relational coordination and complex adaptive systems thinking.  He will invite and summarize our reflections on what comes next as this international learning community enters its fourth year.

Anthony Suchman, MD is a practicing physician, organizational consultant and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Tony’s current work focuses on organizational change and how people can work together more effectively across all levels of healthcare. As Senior Consultant and founder of Relationship Centered Health Care, he works with clinicians, administrators, patient advocates and board members in health care organizations worldwide to advance the practice of Relationship-Centered Administration, the organizational behavior and culture needed backstage to support staff members in providing Relationship-Centered Care to patients and their families. He has pioneered applications of the Relational Coordination Survey – a research tool that measures how teams coordinate complex interdependent tasks – in improving team performance and work environments.

6:00 pm

Rob Quist and the Mission Mountain Wood Band

Benefit Concert for the Rimrock Humane Society at ZooMontana in Billings

According to RCRC partner Skip Grieser, Rob Quist is an amazing Montana singer-songwriter who plays bluegrass and country rock with the Mission Mountain Wood Band, whose concert style has been compared to the Grateful Dead.   Email Megan Cunniff at meganc@brandeis.edu if you want to come along!  For tickets or more info about the concert, call 406-323-3687.

Register Below

RCRC FALL ROUNDTABLES are held annually, bringing practitioners and researchers together
to share advances in the practice of relational coordination.

Register Below

The 2014 Fall Roundtable is Hosted By

Jody 8-14
Jody Hoffer Gittell, Executive Director, Professor
RCRC/Brandeis Univ.
Curt Lindberg, Director, Partnership for Complex Systems
Billings Clinic
Bob Merchant, Chief Medical Officer
Billings Clinic
Elizabeth Ciemins, Director of Health Services Research
Billings Clinic
Randy Thompson, Emergency Physician, Medical Director MedFlight Air Ambulance
Billings Clinic
Virginia Mohl, Family Physician & Division Chief Regional Clinics
Billings Clinic
Nick Wolter, Chief Executive Officer
Billings Clinic
Carlos Arce, Chief Learning Officer
Billings Clinic
Debbie DeWolfe, Program Administrator
RCRC/Brandeis Univ.

Location & Accommodations

The 2014 Fall Roundtable will be held at the Billings Clinic, Billings, MT.


A block of rooms has been reserved at The Northern Hotel.  19 N. Broadway St., Billings, MT.

Classic room is $99 per night + tax, available at this special rate until August 4, 2014.

To make your reservations, contact the hotel at:
Ph: 406-867-6767 or guestservices@northernhotel.com

When reserving your room, provide the Code #: 35477 or reference the RCRC Roundtable Conference (Billings Clinic).

Getting to Billings

Fly into Billings International Airport, only 3 miles from downtown Billings.

Billings sign

Taxi from the airport to The Northern Hotel or Billings Clinic is less than $10. No rental cars should be necessary for in-town travel.

Note to AttendeesWe know that travel to Billings may be more costly than previous Roundtable locations have been. But we want to emphasize that in-town lodging and transportation are much less expensive, so we hope that travel costs do not deter you from joining us in this wonderful part of the country!


Contact Debbie DeWolfe at 781-736-3123 or by email.

Have you joined RCRC as a paid 2014 partner? Now is a great opportunity to join or renew and enjoy the 25% event registration discount offered to all RCRC Partners.  If you don’t know the status of your RCRC Partnership, please contact Debbie DeWolfe at 781-736-3123 or by email.

Join or Renew Your Partnership Here

Register Here!

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