What are the implications for NGOs of the increasingly unpredictable environment in which they work? This article highlights lessons from the natural sciences and from private-sector management. If development is about the process of change, then we need a more refined analysis of what change is. Food crises and conflicts are about struggles over power and rights and are, therefore, but moments in continuing processes of change. Strategic intervention demands an understanding of such change if it is to trigger wider transformations. It also demands a different style of management and an increased degree of collaboration with other agencies.