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RLND Class VII Orientation Seminar

Members of RLND Class VII (2015-2017) gathered for their Orientation Seminar November 19-21, 2015 in Bismarck. The 29 participants started their RLND experience by meeting each other and meeting spouses/significant others of Class VII participants. The 29 participants in Class VII is the largest RLND Class in the 12 year history of the RLND Program!

Thursday morning participants learned about the history of the RLND Program as they were welcomed into their RLND experience. After lunch Mel Nelson, Executive Management CEO, presented information about the DiSC Behavioral Profile in The Work of Leaders presentation. After dinner, Class VII participants and guests participated in a team building exercise where small groups worked to build a bridge. The six teams worked hard to plan and build (sometimes without talking) their bridges.

Friday morning the participants learned about the Abilene Paradox, a phenomenon called mismanaged agreement where groups of individuals actually agree but don’t realize they agree because no one speaks up and shares their views. Participants also learned about an internal data management system called Moodle where RLND Class VII documents will be stored.

Before breaking for lunch participants learned about the Leadership Challenge book by Kouzes and Posner. The five practices discussed in the book are the foundation for the RLND leadership philosophy. Participants also discussed the seminar management team (SMT) responsibilities during various RLND seminars.

Friday’s lunch brought together Class VII participants and RLND Alumni as they met each other and learned more about their backgrounds.

Friday afternoon’s activity was an appreciative inquiry (AI) interview with another RLND Class VII participant. The AI interview process provided an opportunity for participants to learn about each other in a different way by asking questions about what makes them happy, what they wish for in their future and sharing information about a time when they felt really good about something they were part of.

Friday night was a time to help RLND Class VI participants (now alumni) celebrate their accomplishments by attending their graduation gala at the Heritage Center. The gala event featured a class perspective about what they experienced during their ten seminars. The gala was also a time to recognize individuals and organizations who have contributed greatly to the RLND Program.

Saturday morning Class VII participants heard from RLND alumni about their experiences in RLND, what to expect from their RLND experience and how to make the best of their 18-month experience. The morning concluded with Class VII participants sharing a personal goal they would like to accomplish during their 18-month RLND journey.

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