Nimble Execution: Fail Fast and Win Big

  • Benoit Gailly


An innovation opportunity is worthless if it remains only an idea, a concept or a business plan. Successfully managing innovation therefore means developing the capabilities to effectively capture the innovation opportunities that the organization identifies as attractive. But innovation opportunities cannot be managed like “normal” corporate projects, where uncertainties are minimized and failure is the exception. Nor can they be managed “on top of” existing activities and budgets, without the right processes and resources.

The fifth and last innovation management challenge is therefore to effectively capture innovation opportunities through dedicated project management and decision-making approaches, balancing effective execution with timely learning and flexibility, and mobilizing the right funding sources.


  1. Belleflamme, P., Lambert, T., & Schwienbacher, A. (2014). Crowdfunding: Tapping the right crowd. Journal of Business Venturing, 29(5), 585–609.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cooper, R. G., Edgett, S. J., & Kleinschmidt, E. J. (2002). Optimizing the stage-gate process: What best-practice companies do—I. Research-Technology Management, 45(5), 21–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. De Clercq, D., Fried, V. H., Lehtonen, O., & Sapienza, H. J. (2006). An entrepreneur’s guide to the venture capital galaxy. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 20(3), 90–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Jensen, M. C., & Meckling, W. H. (1976). Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure. Journal of Financial Economics, 3(4), 305–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Kotha, R., & George, G. (2012). Friends, family, or fools: Entrepreneur experience and its implications for equity distribution and resource mobilization. Journal of Business Venturing, 27(5), 525–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Manigart, S., Lockett, A., Meuleman, M., Wright, M., Landström, H., Bruining, H., & Hommel, U. (2006). Venture capitalists’ decision to syndicate. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 30(2), 131–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Maxwell, A. L., Jeffrey, S. A., & Lévesque, M. (2011). Business angel early stage decision making. Journal of Business Venturing, 26(2), 212–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Mintzberg, H., & Waters, J. A. (1985). Of strategy: Deliberate and emergent. Strategic Management Journal, 6(3), 257–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Wiltbank, R., Dew, N., Read, S., & Sarasvathy, S. D. (2006). What to do next? The case for non-predictive strategy. Strategic Management Journal, 27(10), 981–998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benoit Gailly
    • 1
  1. 1.Louvain School of ManagementUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain-La-NeuveBelgium

Personalised recommendations