2018 Education Programs
Our services include professional development programs for directors, managers and employees. Please click on the service below to find out more. Send us an e-mail if we can be of service to you.
For program content, associate memberships services and customized programs contact:
Pamela Clark-Stein, Director of Education & Member Services
Giving and Receiving Effective Feedback, NRECA Board Leadership #944
January 6 — Mandan
Is feedback necessary? Studies show that giving and receiving feedback is a requirement of any functional relationship. However, many lack the confidence and skill to both deliver and receive feedback successfully. Electric cooperative boards must give feedback to the chief executive officer (CEO) if the relationship with its only employee is to be effective and productive. Directors receiving feedback from members is the bedrock principle of co-op democracy and member engagement. This course will provide valuable skills and instructor-guided practice opportunities to sharpen the skills needed to successfully give and receive both types of feedback.
- The importance of giving and receiving feedback effectively
- Effective feedback practices
- Techniques for delivering feedback to CEOs of different generations and gender
- Practice opportunities for giving and receiving feedback to fellow board members
Instructor: Jody Severson
Director Duties and Liabilities, NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director #2600
February 3 — Mandan
Boards are responsible for directing the affairs of the corporation. This course addresses the duties of loyalty, obedience and due care, and the need for directors to acquire the minimum knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill their responsibilities within the cooperative context.
- An overview of today’s multi-billion-dollar electric utility business
- Concepts and values that govern cooperatively owned businesses and related types of organizations
- Legal and regulatory concepts affecting public utilities
- Key legal documents such as articles of incorporation and bylaws
- The role of management and guidelines for maintaining an effective relationship with the CEO
Instructor: Adam Schwartz
Cooperative Foundations: Co-op Legacy, Principles and Impact on Communities, NRECA Board Leadership #913
March 3 — Mandan
Understanding the unique aspects of the cooperative business model better prepares directors to lead organizations with purpose, not profit, at their core.
Course participants will explore the cooperative principles and define how they provide a competitive advantage for today’s co-op organizations.
- The role of cooperatives in today’s global economy
- Co-op business model and types of cooperatives
- Cooperative principles
- The history of electric cooperatives
Instructor: Mary McLaury
Financial Decision Making, NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director #2640
October 12 and 13 (1.5 days) — Mandan
This course helps directors understand the role of the board in financial planning, including identifying the basic documents used in financial planning and reporting. It also covers assessing the issues that drive financial decisions, balancing competing goals, and taking responsibility to monitor and evaluate results.
- Key financial decisions boards must make
- Three key financial documents and three key financial ratios
- The basics of allocating and retiring capital credits policy
- Key elements of an equity management policy
- Rate-making basics
Instructor: Mike Bunney
Equity Management and Boardroom Decision Making, NRECA Board Leadership #977
November 17 — Mandan
In this course, board members NEW! consider common boardroom decisions and how these decisions impact the cooperative’s financial strength and equity position. Concepts will be reinforced through practical and strategic exercises designed to provide a theoretical understanding for board members to apply back at their own cooperative.
- The purpose and function of key financial statements (balance sheet, statement of cash flows, statement of operations)
- Process for determining a board’s philosophy regarding key financial metrics (TIER, equity, MDSC)
- Impact of boardroom decisions (plant growth, construction, etc.) and trade-offs between key financial areas such as rates, equity and capital credits
- Communication of clear guidance to the CEO regarding financial decisions
Special note for prerequisite: It is suggested but not required that participants first take Financial Decision Making, Credentialed Cooperative Director #2640.
Instructor: John Penry
Board Operations and Process, NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director #2620
December 1 — Mandan
The board of directors is responsible for managing the affairs of the corporation. In fulfilling its duties, the board typically can only take official action via majority vote in a duly convened meeting. This course focuses on the legal requirements for holding board meetings and also on the human factors and group processes that make such meetings productive and effective.
- Effective board relationships with individuals and groups
- The impact of public officials and opinion leaders on cooperatives and the board’s role in building and maintaining effective relationships
- Members’ needs: the board’s obligation to understand, work with, and respond
- Lessons and guidelines regarding key internal relationships with the board chair, with the attorney, and within the cooperative
Instructor: Pat Mangan
EMPLOYEE AND SUPERVISORY LEADERSHIP
Don’t Be a Stranger in Your Own Land: Diversity and Inclusion at Work
February 15, Bismarck
Looking for simple solutions to manage regional, cultural and ethnic differences at work? Confused with your changing community culture? Not sure how to communicate and collaborate with different generations? This session will explore strategies for making diversity work.
- North Dakota’s new demographic landscape and how it affects communications
- Cultural and other differences that affect communication, relationships, productivity and how that translates to the bottom line of an organization
- Effective communications with people from different cultures, generations and ethnicities
- The aging workforce
Instructor: Kostas Voutsas
Leadership Challenge: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
February 15, Bismarck
Maximize effectiveness and efficiency in your workplace through effective leadership, communications and working relationships.
- How leadership affects communication, relationships and productivity in the workplace
- How effective leaders influence attitudes and behaviors
- Leading teams effectively
- Creating an environment of trust
- Defining strategies for optimal leadership and communication
- Working with different personalities
Instructor: Kostas Voutsas
These two learning programs, set for Feb. 15, are co-sponsored by the N.D. Member Services Association (NDMSA), and will be held in conjunction with the NDMSA meeting scheduled for February 15 and 16.
Engineering and Operations Conference
March 20 to 22 — Fargo
The N.D. REC Engineering and Operations Association provides technical training for engineers, operations and construction personnel at its annual conference. This year’s conference will feature a special session on the “Cooperative Advantage,” in addition to other topics selected by the conference-planning committee.
- The business purpose and structure of member-owned utilities
- The cooperative network and alliances
- The players in today’s electric system: generation, transmission and distribution
- Technology and trends
- Legislation and regulations that impact electric cooperatives and their members
- Contemporary issues and big-picture developments
Instructor: Bryan Singletary
The Supervisor and Human Resources, NRECA #386.05
May 17 — Mandan
When it comes to human resources (HR) issues, doing what is the most convenient or nice thing to do might not be the legal or right thing to do. Whether your cooperative has a full-time HR staff to help you or not, to successfully supervise co-op employees, you need to understand the HR function and your liability with regard to employment laws. This half-day course focuses on the co-op supervisor’s role in compensation and benefits, training and development, employee and labor relations, and interviewing.
- The functions of an HR department
- Compliance with all applicable laws and cooperative policies
- Liability with regard to employment laws
- The relationship between your supervisory responsibilities and those of HR
Instructor: Jean Freeman
Tools for Effective Performance Management, NRECA #387.05
May 17 — Mandan
Conducting annual performance reviews is often one of the most difficult things for a supervisor to do. In reality, they can be done with greater ease and with better results if performance is addressed daily, rather than once a year. This half-day course introduces participants to effective activities, including disciplinary action, that can help supervisors and employees create and meet development goals that benefit the individual employee and the cooperative.
- Aspects and value of performance management at your cooperative
- Day-to-day planning, monitoring and evaluation skills needed for effective performance management
- Improved working relationships with effective coaching techniques and the use of feedback
- The types of performance appraisals and techniques for conducting an effective appraisal
- When to use formal discipline
Instructor: Jean Freeman
5 Choices™ to Extraordinary Productivity by Franklin Covey
August 1 — Fargo
August 16 — Bismarck
This professional development program will be held in conjunction with the North Dakota Office Managers and Accountants Association meeting.
In today’s world, we are drowning in email, overwhelmed with demands, and trying to do more with less. As a 5 Choices participant, you will learn to fi lter the vitally important priorities from distractions so you can focus on making a real contribution. Everyone wants to make a difference, but competing priorities often prevent us from achieving extraordinary results. As a 5 Choices participant, you will redefi ne your roles in terms of extraordinary results to achieve high-priority goals. The crushing increase in workday pressures can make us feel helpless and out of control. As a 5 Choices participant, learn how to regain control of your work and life through a cadence of planning and execution that produces extraordinary outcomes. An electronic avalanche of email, texts, and social media alerts threaten productivity as never before. As a 5 Choices participant, you will learn to leverage your technology and fend off distractions by optimizing platforms like Microsoft and Outlook to boost productivity. Today’s high-pressure work environment burns people out at an alarming rate. This coursework advances the latest in brain science to consistently recharge mental and physical energy.
- Act on the important: Don’t react to the urgent.
- Go for the extraordinary: Don’t settle for ordinary.
- Schedule the big rocks: Don’t sort gravel.
- Rule your technology: Don’t let it rule you.
- Fuel your fire: Don’t burn out.
Instructor: Jason Matthews and John Sandbakken
Conflict Resolution: Principles, Practices and Process
Date and location to be announced
As long as people are different, with diverse backgrounds, experiences and education, they will have varying opinions, approaches and perspectives. This is natural, and adds great variety, interest and expertise to any workplace. However, it can also make for contention and disagreements. This can cause great stress for employees and the organization, unless and until the organization sets clear standards for behavior in those situations, and employees become skilled in the art of handling their feelings and disagreements. This course will teach the art of conflict resolution: the ten basic principles, the five most important practices, and a clear five-step process to resolve any conflict. Conflict can be the most destructive force in any organization, but it also can serve a very positive, useful purpose. This course will address what conflict is — and what it isn’t.
- The thinking that makes conflict resolution possible, and that which makes it impossible
- Options to resolving conflict
- The role of anger and defensiveness, and how to manage them
- The most common mistakes made when attempting any conflict resolution, and alternative ways of handling them
- Resolving workplace conflicts, using the five-step process as a model
Instructor: Dr. Rebecca Monley