Nimble execution: learn cheaply and adapt quickly

moonManagement is (maybe) a science, but innovation is an art. Traditional corporate decision-making and project management approaches are therefore ill-suited to the ambiguity, high failure rate, pace and multifunctional aspects of innovation.

trialsInnovators must play poker rather than chess. Traditional corporate decision-making approaches (“chess”) rely mainly on analyzing facts and minimizing failures – “thinking first”. But managing innovative organizations and capturing sizeable innovation opportunities (“poker”) must also rely on experimentation and proactive learning, combined with ruthless prioritization – “doing first”.

rollercoasterWhile traditional project management approaches rely mainly on set targets and task allocations, managing innovative organizations and capturing innovation opportunities also implies planning for changes in the plan and focusing on embedded flexibility and cross-functional mobilization.


Management is (maybe) a science, but innovation is an art

Keywords: emerging decision making, innovation project management, nimble, product innovation process

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Play poker, not chess: learning and folding

Keywords: beliefs, beta-testing, cheap experiments, cognitive biases, dead horses, experimentation, known unknown, learning by doing, Minimum Viable Products, stopping projects

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Plan for changes in the plan: flexibility and mobilization

Keywords: ANT, coalitions, design thinking, feedback loops, legitimacy, mobilization, pivot, social network, stakeholders

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(c) Prof. Benoit Gailly, Louvain School of Management

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