The notion of readiness in evaluation is often tacit: it can be hidden in the Request for Proposals by a granting agency calling for an evaluation; or, at best, it is hinted at in the winning consultant’s bid. However readiness is a critical element in Utilization-Focused Evaluation and in other evaluation approaches that support decision making and organizational learning. This paper discusses the importance of addressing “readiness” early on, as it is a lynchpin that shapes every subsequent step of collaborative evaluation processes. We bring attention to examples from our practice to highlight three dimensions of readiness: the power to design, the commitment to learn, and building an evaluation culture. This article appears in the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, Vol. 33 (Fall/2018).