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South Dakota Transformers

No, no, the subject doesn’t have any connection to two children’s movies titled “Transformers” or “Toy Story”.  It does, however, pertain to an engaging session that was held among South Dakota staff to broaden their understanding of cultural transformation.

The sessions were led by two dynamic facilitators, Joanna Donahue and Vickie Oldman-John who assisted staff with gaining a better understanding of cultural transformation. 

:  South Dakota State Director Elsie M. Meeks and Civil Rights Manager Jim Hafner are fully engaged in the work shop.

South Dakota State Director Elsie M. Meeks and Civil Rights Manager Jim Hafner are fully engaged in the work shop.

Break-out sessions were held providing an opportunity for all employees to have a voice to share opinions and ideas on the top priorities that should be captured in South Dakota’s Cultural Transformation action plan with measurable goals and strategies.

“The only way to get the entire staff to understand and commit to South Dakota’s cultural transformation work plan was to engage every person,” said South Dakota Rural Development State Director Elsie M. Meeks.  “ These workshops definitely engaged each of us.”

Prior to attendance at the session, a cultural transformation training pre-survey was held to identify how South Dakota ranked compared to national percentages.  In addition, completion of two Ag Learn courses  were taken to prepare folks for the beginning stages of transforming South Dakota Rural Development into a 21st Century agency that reflects the needs and goals of not only our rural customers, but also those of our employees.

The ultimate goal is to create an environment as outlined in the following excerpt taken from the “Cultural Transformation –A Roadmap for Rural Development” sent to employees on April 25, 2011. ‘To create an environment that is responsive to the demographic and cultural changes occurring in our Nation and in our workforce, we must look at how we perform our tasks, serve our customers, and transform beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions about differences between employees, customers and our stakeholders.’

South Dakota Rural Development stands ready to meet the challenges set forth by Secretary Vilsack and Under Secretary for Rural Development Tonsager.  We have jumped out of the chutes and look forward to working as a team to transform our environment.

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