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Unlike public corporations with access to investment capital, most privately held businesses fund their own growth through profitability of current products and services. Strategic planning will bring the management team into consensus on customer opportunities most ripe for investment and growth. Your River Trip℠ planning can also identify potential sources of internal funding, with a realistic sequence for implementing growth programs.

Learning to Lead Strategic Planning Workshop

At Privately Held Businesses

A 3 hour online workshop

$750, Payable in advance by credit card

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As a senior manager, board member or consultant, you will learn a simple, collaborative approach for evolving services to better meet the needs of your customers, distribution partners and team members.

And you’ll explore a proven visual methodology that guides a planning team from issues to strategic objectives, action plans and budgeting. Consensus on the short and longer term future of your organization develops quickly.

“We have spent most of our respective careers guiding management teams to update plans for the future of their organizations, across almost every business and not-for-profit sector of our economy. Now it’s time to share what we’ve learned with others.

“This workshop is built on the best practices for strategic planning and plan implementation that we’ve distilled from our experience as consultants. And we’ve added a little fun with a whitewater rafting metaphor.”

                                                                        -- Rob Eskridge and Ryan Stock


Join us for a powerful professional development experience. The $750 fee is payable in advance by credit card. Follow up coaching can be arranged.

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This workshop introduces Growth Management River Trip℠, customer-focused strategic planning, simplified. It’s a proven visual planning system developed specifically for management teams of growing privately held businesses.

Orientation Process Map

This “customer journey” diagram shows how a participant will experience strategic planning using the River Trip℠ approach to five core processes, spread across three distinct planning phases. A river rafting metaphor helps to differentiate the core processes.

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This Course is for You if:

  • You are a senior management team leader, interested in developing or updating a strategic plan for your business, whether you’ll be leading the planning yourself or delegating that role to someone else.

  • You are a director or a member of the board’s strategic planning committee fulfilling your governance responsibilities.

  • You are a team member who has been asked to lead a strategic planning process for your organization.

  • You are a consultant or an experienced facilitator, using your groupwork and facilitation skills and your knowledge of the industry to guide planning for your clients.

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State-of-the-Art Management Tools

This set of visual process maps can be used for in-person, videoconference and hybrid planning meetings. They document the process, outline meeting agendas and present key questions to trigger strategy discussions.

The process maps present The Growth Management River Trip℠, a leading-edge visual strategic planning system. Originally developed in the 1980’s, this methodology was based on proprietary research into strategic planning approaches that were practical, effective and customer-centered.

This process has been updated regularly, to accommodate changes in the economy, advances in technology and developments in the field of strategic planning. It has been used by not-for-profit, business and government management teams in more than 40 industries, around the globe.

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You’ll learn:

  • How to structure a strategic planning process using the Growth Management River Trip℠ with stickies and visual tools for consensus-building such as the one above.

  • Techniques for soliciting planning input from customers, team members and others throughout your value chain.

  • How to structure agendas and facilitate a comprehensive planning process in-person, by videoconference or in a hybrid setting.

  • To lead the planning team as they craft short and longer-term objectives using an iterative process (which actually does resemble paddling through rapids in a river).

  • Three critical elements of strategy implementation, and how action plans can link directly to the organization’s budgeting process.

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What This Course Is Like:

Before the workshop begins, you’ll Identify one issue faced by a business that you are familiar with. Then you can follow that issue as the workshop proceeds through all five phases of planning. It’s learning to lead visual planning, using a real organization as your case study.

A review copy of the River Trip℠ process maps will be sent by Priority Mail beforehand. Registrations are not accepted less than one week prior to the workshop.

Workshop schedule – Participants join a 3 hour Zoom call (beginning at 8:30am or 1:30pm Pacific Time). Short breaks are scheduled as needed.

After the workshop, your workshop leaders will remain on the call to address specific questions. Additionally, a follow up call is scheduled with each participant, for you to ask questions about starting the process; to purchase materials for leading a planning team; or to discuss options for experienced facilitators to guide the River Trip℠ process at your organization.

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Your Course Leaders

Rob Eskridge and Ryan Stock, your course leaders, have guided strategic planning for hundreds of management teams, across more than 40 industries, in all sectors of America's economy and in 15 countries.

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  • The workshop fee is $750, payable in advance by credit card. The fee is non-refundable, but with 48 hours notice, the fee can be transferred to another person or used for an upcoming workshop.

See available dates and register below



"Rob Eskridge, my long-time friend and colleague, will be offering a workshop to introduce a new visual-planning system, The Growth Management River Trip℠.  I learned strategy from Rob and am thrilled he is offering his new workshop in collaboration with The Grove. He has a passion for values-oriented companies that are privately owned, whose leaders are closely involved with their teams and managers. If you want an accessible, clear, and very effective experience in clarifying your business priorities, then this is the workshop for you.”

David Sibbet, Founder

The Grove Consultants International

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