RCT 101 (huh?)

I’ve written before about RCTs, but a couple of people have asked about them recently, so time for a recap!

RCT – What does it stand for?

“RCT” stands for “Random Coffee Trial”. It’s a play on words and relates back to Random Controlled Trials undertaken by Nesta, where the concept was first created/popularised by Michael Soto and Jon Kingsbury.

What actually is an RCT?

An RCT is a randomly generated coffee meeting for the purpose of improving networks and sharing knowledge of all kinds.

People join the project voluntarily. They are matched at random. They have coffee and a chat (in person or virtually/by Skype). That’s it. No obligation to talk about work or share specific knowledge, but most people tend to share experiences/knowledge about work because that is what they have in common.

How do you organise them?

If you want to organise one, there’s a full “how-to” in my book “Practical Projects in Legal KM”, or you can read more here.

What are the benefits of running them?

The most complex knowledge is most effectively shared through person-to-person contact. You’ll understand this yourself: whenever you reach a block and need to take advice on something really tricky, you probably prefer to speak to someone you trust.

A strong, wide, trusting network inside an organisation supports this kind of knowledge sharing. Networks tend to emerge along particular organisational lines, but introducing some serendipity into the way people connect enables an organisation to widen and strengthen the network.

Where can I read more about them?

I’ve written about them before here:

Can I try it out/join one?

I run occasional RCTs for those working in knowledge and learning in the legal sector. If you fancy joining in, comment below or email/message me.

More info about this project here.


Got a question? Put it in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer it.

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