Three Clients Independently Receive Cisco Learning Partner Of The Year Awards


What predictable sequence of steps does a team take to evolve to higher levels of sustained performance?

Executive Summary

Over three years, Growth River worked independently with three different Cisco Learning Partners. Each is a global provider of advanced technology consulting and education. Selected from among 150 Learning Partners worldwide, each was awarded the title of Cisco Learning Partner of the Year.

Featured Framework:

Evolutionary Stages℠


A Cisco Learning Partner focuses primarily on core technology training and preparing IT professionals for career certification by delivering best-in-class Cisco Authorized curriculum. It is a competitive and potentially lucrative industry.

To navigate growth and change, the agility of the senior team is critical. Issues vary across the teams, with some overlap, but these issues are impeding each team’s performance.

Journey To Higher Performance

1. Gap Analysis

Customized two-day workshop agendas are designed based on a Gap Analysis for each team. Each team conducts two such workshops about four months apart.

The recommended approach follows the cascading logic of The Seven Principles For Team Effectiveness℠. This logic suggests that a team culture must first be reinforced prior to driving effective conversations about strategy and business investments.

2. Team Workshops

The first is a Business Culture Workshop. Developing high-performance teams with the capabilities to lead complex change is often the first step in any major change process.

The second is a Strategic Alignment & Business Model Workshop. This is a structured and quantifiable approach to aligning roles, strategies and key capabilities towards competitive advantage.

The specific issues vary. A CEO needs to step down. The CEO role has to be endorsed by the team. Unclear business segmentation. No formal Business Leader role leads to conflicts that distract the team from focusing. Unclear target customer, a conflict averse culture, incomplete system of roles, unclear decision-making, bottlenecks in decision-making. Etcetera.

The Gap Analysis surfaces the priority issues for each company and the workshop agendas drive critical conversations to resolution.

The Common Journey

The common ground for all three leadership teams is the need to embark on a developmental journey. The team, not just the individuals, has to develop. To do so, they rely on a model of team and organizational development. It is called Evolutionary Stages.

All organizations evolve through predictable and distinct stages. Stages can not be skipped. These stages can be arrayed around a clock. Each time on the clock has distinct characteristics. Each stage has characteristic strengths and weaknesses. Higher stages can manage greater complexity. Here’s the epiphany: organizational and team development is predictable. If you know where you are — if you know what time it is on the clock — then you know your next step to higher performance.



Cisco 2012 Global Learning Partner of the Year (later acquired)

NIL Data Communications

Cisco 2014 Global Learning Partner of the Year

Global Knowledge

Cisco 2012 and 2015 Global Learning Partner of the Year


Show Me

“By the second alignment meeting, we saw significant increase in leadership, accountability and interdependence among senior team members, allowing us to scale our efforts.”

Pat Bodin, CEO, Firefly