Venture Capital firms don’t invest in industries to disrupt — they invest in industry disruptors, and many now support them operationally. Foundations should consider following suit.
I was recently interviewed by a collaborating team from three high profile foundations/LLCs. Their primary question: “How do we find and cultivate more breakthrough ideas in education?”
This question feels all too familiar from foundations today: a primary focus on ideas and issues, often at the expense of talent support and operational excellence. Grand challenges, RFP’s, and funder-borne calls to serve homegrown theories of change have established an unproductive power dynamic that stunts creative problem solving with grantees, inadvertently (and almost passive-aggressively) steering their efforts. Reporting requirements and restrictions with how dollars are to be used can be distracting, and even crippling.