30 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008
This case is about a small "outdoor-adventure" business at a crossroads. The business was originally founded by a man and a woman to serve the counseling and team-building needs of local schools and hospitals. Its discovery by corporate clients presents a "big-business" opportunity. The protagonists, however, are not sure they want to leave the realm of part-time "fun" and enter the realm of potentially lucrative full-time business.
Betsy Dalgliesh watched her new Macintosh as the screen saver sent a spray of rainbow-hued fireworks across the screen. As she looked at her computer, she wondered if this would be just what she and Rick Haupt, co-founder of Falls River, needed to get organized. Until now a jumbled mess of paperwork thrown into old shoe boxes represented the filing system for Falls River.
Somehow Dalgliesh wasn't convinced that this new computer, the Quicken software package, and a few sessions with their accountant would be enough to carry their growing experiential learning company to the next stage. Just being “people people and not business people” had been enough to turn Haupt and Dalgliesh's belief in experiential learning into a profitable business; but the strains and pains of growth were all too evident. Falls River was at a turning point. If they wanted to expand in an expanding market Dalgliesh knew it would take more than just a computer. But then again, it wasn't clear that fast growth was what they wanted.
The first outdoor education program was developed during World War II by Kurt Hahn, an expatriate German educator, to train young British sailors in marine and survival skills. He called this program “outward bound” because this was the expression sailors used when they were going out to sea.
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Keywords: business planning, entrepreneurial management, entrepreneurship, executive education, female protagonist, personal values, nontraditional business, small business, diversity case
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