Case Study: How the R=MC2 Framework Facilitates Change

Readiness Framework concept

Client Profile:

Based in San Francisco, California, WestEd is a global educational services organization that has impacted lives, families, and communities through its unique approach to system thinking. With a workforce of approximately 2,000 employees, the organization initially focused on K-12 curriculum development, research, evaluation, and technical assistance. However, it has since diversified into other sectors, including Economic Mobility and Justice and Prevention Research.

Jennifer Loeffler-Cobia is the Director of Justice and Public Health Policy and Practice at WestEd’s Justice Research and Prevention Center. She has over 20 years of experience in criminal and juvenile justice, substance misuse, violence prevention, and public health. Jennifer has developed and published organizational assessments and evidence-based practice resources for use in community-based and justice organizations. Most staff members at WestEd focus on research and evaluation or technical assistance; Jennifer does both, translating research findings into actionable policies.

Jennifer first met Jon Scaccia of The Dawn Chorus Group while working on a project at the American Institute for Research. John was one of the advisors on the project, focusing on readiness implementation to reduce violence (Resolve) within schools while considering the community context. Over the years, they developed a great professional relationship and friendship. They collaborated on the Resolve Study for approximately six years until its conclusion this year with the final report.

Jennifer and Jon collaborated again after she enrolled in her doctoral program, where her research and residency work focused on strategies to combat Opioid overdose. Jon’s expertise made him an ideal candidate for her doctoral committee, and he provided invaluable guidance throughout the challenging residency process.

The Need

Jennifer analyzed the Utah Opioid Task Force to determine ways to improve their readiness to implement practices, policies, and approaches as a system. She focused on outcomes rather than individual silos (departments or sectors within the system). Addressing isolated problems did not lead to the desired results in terms of reducing overdoses. To address this, she used Jon’s framework, R=MC2, to identify readiness factors that either facilitated ecosystem thinking or inhibited it.

How R=MC2 Works:

Readiness (R) can be defined as a combination of motivation (M), innovation-specific capacity (C), and general capacity (C). Hence, R=MC2.

For an organization to be successful, it must have both the motivation and the ability to achieve the goal. This ability is referred to as capacity, which includes the resources, skills, and knowledge that an organization has at its disposal to accomplish its goals. Therefore, to be fully prepared and capable of executing a plan, it’s essential to have both the motivation and the capacity required to achieve the desired outcome. The analysis revealed the need for a tool that system coalitions, such as the Opioid Task Force, can use to assess their strengths and areas for improvement in functioning as a system, prioritizing efforts and readiness for change.

How Dawn Chorus Group Helped:

Jennifer, in collaboration with Jon from Dawn Chorus Group, has developed a practical survey tool that brings together individuals from various levels within an organization. The tool facilitates a comprehensive discussion to help organizations determine their readiness level to implement a systems thinking approach focusing on:

  • Categorization: Motivation, general capacity, and innovation-specific capacity are categorized as factors that affect readiness.
  • Level of Readiness: Each category includes a set of questions for the coalition to answer, which will help them assess their readiness as an organization.
  • Preparation for Change: In addition to goal-setting templates and scoring systems, the tool offers strategic planning aids to help organizations prioritize efforts and prepare for change.


The Utah task force was very enthusiastic about the tool from the start and showed a high level of buy-in. By using the tool, they were able to shift their perspective from individual silos to a systemic approach, which helped them evaluate whether their actions were helping or inhibiting outcomes. This process was an eye-opener for them, revealing areas where they had assumed success but were lacking. In this way, they were able to prioritize their efforts, preventing digressions and ensuring alignment on common goals. The identification of numerous areas requiring attention prompted prioritization, emphasizing the necessity of incrementally addressing challenges.


WestEd’s Justice Research and Prevention Center aims to translate research insights into policies and practices. Although research provides valuable knowledge, navigating through extensive studies can be challenging. Therefore, they offer accessible tools and expert support to empower organizations to take meaningful steps toward implementation. They approach readiness in a user-friendly manner, simplifying the process for those who may find it daunting.

By promoting a systematic approach to addressing issues, WestEd, along with The Dawn Chorus Group, has not only revolutionized its organizational success but also provided a blueprint for other organizations to follow. This tool is a testament to WestEd’s commitment to leveraging research for practical policy implementation, thereby making a significant impact in their field of work.

Contact The Dawn Chorus Group today if you need assistance with the R=MC2 framework in your organization’s readiness for change.