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What is the Relational Coordination Cafe?

We created the RC Cafe to build a learning community among our partners who are working on organizational change. RC Cafes are available for partners who want to lead a discussion about any topic of mutual interest, or to seek advice regarding a challenge they are facing with a specific change initiative.  The RC Cafe gives partners a chance to check in with each other briefly every month about themselves and their work and delve into a particular topic.

We have the ability to break into smaller groups during the Cafe to facilitate participation.

Prior to the Cafe

Before each RC Cafe, all partners are invited to submit a topic to Tanya, describing:

  • a challenge or opportunity you are facing (including your stage in the process and type of organization) OR
  • a discussion that you would like to lead

Please do not divulge confidential information in the statements that you submit.

The Cafe Itself

  • 5 minutes: Welcome and review Ground Rules (e.g. confidentiality, respectful interaction, being fully present)
  • 10 minutes: Brief check-in from each participant
  • 40 minutes: Lively conversation!
  • 5 minutes: Wrap up

Joining the Cafe

Tanya Allain will send calendar invitations to all partners – the invite will tell you how to join the cafe.  If you are not receiving the invites and should be, please contact us at!

Upcoming Dates

Thursday, September 28 at 10:00 ET 

Building Relational Coordination Across Organizational Boundaries

Discussion Facilitators: Dana Minbaeva, Copenhagen Business School and Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Brandeis University

If you are an RCRC partner, click here to register.

Increasingly, work is carried out through multi-stakeholder supply chains and partnerships rather than within single organizations. Relational coordination is known to add value across functions, and it is also expected to add value across organizations. And yet our understanding of relational coordination across organizations is insufficient.

Join Dana Minbaeva of Copenhagen Business School and Joel Cutcher Gershenfeld of Brandeis University who have just returned from presenting at the Academy of Management in Atlanta, Georgia. Dana will speak about supply chain partners and Joel will discuss communities that are organizing their Fab Lab capabilities. These brief remarks will be followed by a lively conversation with the whole group. We hope that you will join us!

Thursday, October 26 at 10:00 ET

Building RC for Community Health and Wellness – a New Frontier

In many countries, we are moving away from traditional healthcare models that focus on treating illness. Newer models focus on community health, caring for people in the community, and investing in the social determinants of health. But these newer models may require relational coordination among a wider array of stakeholders, and may therefore be challenging to implement.

Join Sally Retecki of CareOregon and Sally Kraft of Dartmouth Hitchcock to discuss challenges and opportunities in community health and wellness.

Tuesday, November 28 at 4:00 ET 


Thursday, December 14 at 10:00 ET

Organizing Workers Using Principles of Relational Coordination

Discussion Facilitators: Erik Nicholson of United Farm Workers and Bjorn Hansen of DeltagerDanmark

Over time, many unions have developed bureaucratic structures that make it hard for them to engage in relational coordination. In addition, in many cases unions are built around professions rather than industries, leading some organizations to have ten or more unions and collective agreements.

Join Erik Nicholson of United Farm Workers, Bjorn Hansen of DeltagerDanmark and Shital Shah of American Federation of Teachers to discuss challenges and opportunities that comes with organizing workers using relational coordination.

Tuesday, January 23 at 4:00 ET

School Improvement Using Principles of Relational Coordination

Discussion Facilitators: Sana Shaikh of Brandeis University and Jeff Grim, University of Michigan 

Education, from early education through higher education, is still carried out in relatively siloed and fragmented ways in many places. This creates huge opportunities for educational improvement through increased relational coordination, relational co production and relational leadership. Join Sana Shaikh of Brandeis University and Jeff Grim of University of Michigan will lead a discussion on this relatively new approach to school improvement. We hope that you will join us!

RC Cafe Archives

We will include some recordings of past RC Cafe’s on our website for RCRC Partners. Partners will need to enter their email address and password to access them here. Please note that we do not post all RC Cafe’s on our website due to confidentiality.

Meet You at the Cafe!