A BetaCodex: The mindset

The BetaCodex is a mindset. A mental discipline. The BetaCodex suggests another way of looking at performance, success, and an organization´s reason of being.

If you ask yourself why your organization does not deliver the performance you might expect.
If you ask yourself why performance doesn´t improve. Or why people in your organization seem demotivated.
Well, then, the BetaCodex suggests, you should ask for the causes not by assigning blame, but by identifying the systemic problems in the organization itself.

Systems theorist W. Edwards Deming one stated that about 95% of all problems within organiaztions are caused by the system, and only 5% by humans within the system.
He had a point.

To describe the new breed of post-tayloristic 21st century organization, which we call "BetaCodex" organizations, these expressions fit well:

  • radically decentralized, or "devolved"
  • adaptive
  • agile
  • ethical
  • people-oriented
  • empowering
  • entrepreneurial
  • democratic
  • lean
  • market-driven
  • dynamic robust
  • sense-and-respond
  • un-bureaucratic
  • networked

The notion of the BetaCodex, or “the Beyond Budgeting model” relates to 12 laws, or principles.

In this way, the BetaCodex is a “mind set” that results in putting an end to tayloristic and hierarchical command-and-control and to shift the overall organization to total market-pull. In this sense, the entire organization is "managed" by market-pull. Traditional "management" and "governance" become obsolete. If they exist, they are counterproductive, lead to waste and can even harm the organization.

We have learned, over the last years, that the term "Beyond Budgeting" often led to confusion. We have seen many academics and even "experts" fall prey to the idea that a concept named like that must be somehow related to "planning", or finance mangement, for example.

The term “Budgeting” in Beyond Budgeting, in our views, merely hinted at the starting point that the movement parted from. Many other starting points would have been possible. The transformation proposed by the Beyond Budgeting model and movement could always have been described through the Peter Drucker phrase that "90% of what we call management are actually practices that keep back people from doing their work."
The challenge is to abolish those 90% and get the other 10% of management practices, or better: leadership practices right.

Although "Beyond Budgeting" thus never was at all conceived as a controlling or finance concept, unfortunately, even publications from acknowledged management experts proved that the term Beyond Budgeting was quite often wrongly understood. Therefore, we re-baptized the Beyond Budgeting model as "The BetaCodex", finally, in 2009.

This is a new starting point. Welcome, BetaCodex!