Traditional strategic philanthropy doesn't always work for what the authors call "simple" or "complicated" problems.
Foundation history is littered with examples of refashioning grant strategies when unexpected events occur.
Strategic philanthropy too often minimizes or ignores complexity because it is difficult to understand and predict.
Philanthropy that doesn't provide for the uncertainties of human conduct is usually doomed to fail.
A strategy for a complex problem should be seen as a framework for action, learning, and continual improvement.
Strategic philanthropy is smart but not wise, which is why so many leaders have voiced doubts about it.
Whether the problem is simple, complicated, or complex, the challenge is where to set the boundaries.
It's best to think of simple and complex problems as lying on a continuum, not on two sides of a divide.
I am concerned that the odds against getting philanthropy to change course are almost too great to overcome in any reasonable time frame.
The new tools that the authors say philanthropists should use do not stand up under close scrutiny.
Last Word: John Kania, Mark Kramer, and Patty Russell respond to the eight people who responded to their article.