Larry Wood, the Executive Director of Benhaven, Inc., picked up his last annual financial report for the organization. During his recent meeting with the Board of Directors, the members had asked difficult questions about the disappointing year-end financial results of Benhaven’s for-profit venture, Benhaven’s Learning Network (BLN). While BLN had met its targets in its first year of operations, the current year had been more disappointing. Larry understood the Board’s concern, but also believed that BLN needed to grow at its own pace.
Linda Grimm currently ran BLN and served as both the Director and Managing Consultant of the venture. As Larry contemplated contacting Linda, he knew that she was usually very busy and probably would not share the Board’s concern about growth. As both a director and BLN consultant, Linda worried more about fulfilling BLN’s social mission, getting the right people for the job, and preserving the strong sense of community amongst her consultants. Larry glanced again at the report and began to wonder if the current structure and processes of BLN would become a problem. With Linda consulting while she managed the organization, did she have the time or energy to ensure growth and profitability while still driving the social objectives?
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Sharon M. Oster, Stanley Garstka, Jennifer Dong, and Heather Robinson, “Benhaven Learning Network,” Yale SOM Case 00-011, June 1, 2004
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