Originally published by Leigh Kendall – 7th March 2019
Building networks of diverse people is vital for anyone seeking to influence change; networks are a powerful tool to drive forward change and transformation. RCTs are a fantastic way to build effective networks, enabling you to meet new people with different knowledge, experiences, and connections. The evidence also highlights that RCTs can also enable meaningful conversations, break down silos, encourage collaboration and even support improved wellbeing.
So what is a Randomised Coffee Trial? It is a simple but powerful idea that was invented by Nesta, an independent charity. People are paired up at random and given the opportunity to have a cup of coffee and a chat together either physically or virtually.
The conversations can take place face to face or virtually by phone, Skype, FaceTime, Zoom or Webex, for example.
We don’t prescribe the topic of the conversation for a RCT – You can talk about absolutely anything – your work, career, family life, aspirations and ambitions for building positive perceptions of your profession. We also don’t prescribe the length of time, but we suggest you set aside 30 minutes and see where the conversation takes you.
There are three ways nurses and midwives can get involved:
1) Organise a local RCT
2) Organise an RCT at a meeting or conference
To make the process as simple as possible, I have recorded a podcast – you can listen to it via the link at the bottom of this post. We have written a guide with lots of tools and templates. If you’re not a nurse or midwife, please feel free to use the information for your own situation.
I must end with the question that I’m always asked… “Do we have to drink coffee?” The answer is no! You can drink anything you like and it doesn’t turn into an RTT if you have tea!
We do not become transformed alone, we become transformed when we’re in relationship with others. Hahrie Han