Eyes Wide Open: Learning as Strategy Under Conditions of Complexity and Uncertainty

Author: Patrizi P, Thompson EH, Coffman J, Beer T, Roundtable E

Key Points

  • Foundation strategy is hampered by a failure to recognize and engage with the complexity and uncertainty surrounding foundation work. This article identifies three common “traps” that hinder foundation capacity to learn and adapt: 1) linearity and certainty bias; 2) the autopilot effect; and 3) indicator blindness.
  • This article urges foundations to alter their mindset, questions, and processes to foster a more committed approach to strategy and adaptation. In essence, it argues for learning as strategy.
  • This article draws on literature from systems theory, business strategy, and philanthropic practice as well as data from foundation benchmarking surveys.

View the article.

Patrizi P, Thompson EH, Coffman J, Beer T, Roundtable E. Eyes Wide Open: Learning as Strategy Under Conditions of Complexity and Uncertainty. The Foundation Review. 2013;5(3):51-65.  Available from http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/tfr/vol5/iss3/7/