Key Points

Noticeably absent on the list of reasons foundations cite for engaging consultants is learning – a particularly important attribute for foundations that grapple with complex issues in dynamic environments.

Consultants are particularly well positioned to help foundations in the learning process. They help organizations understand and create models and frameworks, implement strategies and mechanisms within them, overcome roadblocks to learning, and put them on a path toward a dynamic and sustainable learning culture.

This article proposes that being explicit about the value of fostering a learning culture in a foundation within the context of any consulting engagement will enable both parties to more proactively strive for and achieve learning results. Our analysis uses this premise as a jumping-off point to a deeper exploration of the myriad ways – some simple, some complex – that consultants help foundations cultivate a learning mindset.

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