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 Keynote Speakers

In place of traditional keynote speakers, the Research will feature TED-Style talks. What does this mean? The large group sessions will consist of a passionately delivered message where the process of discovery is just as important as the outcome.  The sessions will be concise, so every word counts, and will evoke an "ah-ha!" moment.


Jody Hoffer Gittell, PhD
Executive Director, Professor
Relational Coordination Research Collaborative, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University 


Transforming Relationships for High Performance

It is well known that relational coordination – communicating and relating for the purpose of task integration – helps multiple stakeholders to achieve their desired outcomes.  Shared goals work by motivating participants to move beyond sub-goal optimization to act with regard for the overall process. Shared knowledge creates systems thinking by informing participants of how their own tasks and the tasks of others contribute to the overall process.  Respect for the work of others encourages participants to value the contributions of others and to consider the impact of their actions on others, reinforcing their ability to act with regard for the overall process.  This web of relationships reinforces, and is reinforced by, frequent, timely, accurate, problem-solving communication, enabling participants to effectively coordinate their work.  Low quality relationships have the opposite effect, undermining communication and hindering participants’ ability to effectively coordinate their work.  But less is known about how leaders can diagnose and strengthen relationships in the specific areas where it is most in need of repair.  In this keynote, Dr. Gittell will show us how the process of relational coordination works then share the latest knowledge about how leaders can diagnose and strengthen it in their organizations using a multi-level model of systems change.

About Jody: Jody Hoffer Gittell is a Professor of Management at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management.   Her research explores how stakeholders contribute to quality and efficiency outcomes through their coordination with each other. She developed a theory of relational coordination, proposing that highly interdependent work is most effectively coordinated through frequent, timely, accurate, problem-solving communication, supported by relationships of shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect. Research demonstrates that relational coordination is associated with a wide range of positive outcomes, and that organizations can support it through the design of their work systems.  To measure relational coordination, Gittell developed the RC Survey as a validated instrument that is widely used for research, and more recently as a tool for practice, to assess dynamics among stakeholders and inform organizational change. Gittell received her PhD from the MIT Sloan School of Management and taught for six years at the Harvard Business School before joining the faculty of Brandeis University in 2001.