Pioneering organizations & cases
"Pioneers", in our understanding, are organizations that live the BetaCodex. They may be organizations of all kinds and sizes. Usually, they are organizations that have created their own, unique leadership models, based on the laws of the BetaCodex, as opposed to tayloristic, or command-and-control principles. Essentially, the pioneers have at some point either transformed themselves from a traditional, command-and-control management model to a BetaCodex leadership model - with or without any information about the BetaCodex. Or they may also have evolved from their small, start-up days, by maintaining and by making more explicit a highly empowered, "beta" culture and model, without ever falling prey to command-and-control.
Each single leadership model of the "pioneers", we have learned, is unique. They are not copies of each other. They often use wildly different tools and denominations to describe what they do. But their leadership models are all based on the same, underlying principles that we call the BetaCodex.
Starting in 1998, the BBRT approached solving the leadership riddle by researching "pioneers" they found, and by deriving the principles of the model from the research results and through debate with their members. This was a formidable act of case-study-based research.
Identifying pioneering organizations has never been an exclusive role of the BBRT, of course. Since 2005 or so, many new cases have been identified and, researched and described by BetaCodex Network associates, or by independent researchers. Overall, since 2008 alone, over 15 new organizations have been identified as pioneers by independent researchers. We often found them through media reports, or sometimes books. Today, most of the pioneering case studies can be easily researched through online sources or published books.
What we can learn from the pioneers
The role of pioneering case studies today, as we see it, is not that of a "proof of concept" any more. Because, scientifically speaking, you only need one case study to prove the concept, or maybe "one per industry", broadly speaking. You only need one Galieo Galilei dropping balls from the tower of Pisa, to prove that Aristotle´s theory about gravitation wasn´t right.
Companies like Sweden´s Handelsbanken, Southwest Airlines, Toyota, W.L.Gore have proven the model, over and over. For an overview, sorted by industries, please take a look at the illustration at the lower part of this page.
Further identification of cases and further case research can be useful, however. For one, cases facilitate acceptance and learning and allow insights about specific practices that are coherent with the new mindset. An example is the "job sculpting" practice which was well described by W.L.Gore many years ago, and which few other pioneers have managed to make explicit.
Research about "transforming" organizations will also allow us to learn more about the process of profound change, as well as about the used methods, concepts, and challenges.
The following list contains some of the BetaCodex pioneers and their repective "icons" (see the chapter "leadership model transformation" for a list of the transforming companies). Interestingly, most of the iconic leaders listed here have published books or at least case studies, about their organizations, themselves.
- AES, USA (Roger Sant & Dennis Bakke) – www.aes.com
- DaVita, USA - www.davita.com
- Dell, USA (Michael Dell) – www.dell.com
- Google, USA (Larry Page, Sergei Brin, Eric Schmidt) - www.google.com
- Guardian Industries, USA (William Davidson) – www.guardian.com
- Herman Miller, USA (Max de Pree and brothers) – www.hermanmiller.com
- Johnsonville, USA (Ralph Stayer) – www.johnsonville.com/home.html
- Morning Star, USA (Chris Rufer) - www.morningstarco.com
- Netflix, USA (Reed Hastings) - www.netflix.com
- Nucor Steel, USA (Ken Iverson) - www.nucor.com
- SAS Institute, USA (James Goodnight) - www.sas.com
- Southwest Airlines, USA (Herb Kelleher) – www.southwest.com
- Sun Hydraulics, USA (Robert E. Koski/John Allen) – www.sunhydraulics.com
- United Supermarkets, USA (Dan J. Sanders) – www.unitedtexas.com
- Valve Software, USA, (Gabe Newell/Mike Harrington) - www.valvesoftware.com
- Whole Foods, USA (John Mackey) - www.wholefoods.com
- W.L.Gore, USA (Bill & Vieve Gore) – www.gore.com
- Zappos, USA (Tony Hsieh) – www.zappos.com
- Aldi, Germany (Karl & Theo Albrecht), includes Trader Joe´s (USA) – www.aldi.de
- Allsafe Jungfalk, Germany (Detlef Lohmann) - www.allsafe-group.com
- DM drogerie markt, Germany (Goetz Werner) – www.dm-drogeriemarkt.de
- Hengeler Müller, Germany - www.hengeler.com
- WM-Group, Germany (Hans-Wilhelm & Matthias Löhr) – www.wm-group.de
- FAVI, France (Jean-Francois Zobrist) - www.favi.com
- Mondragon, Spain (José María Arizmendiarrieta) - http://www.mcc.es
- Egon Zehnder International, Switzerland (Egon Zehnder) – www.egonzehnder.com
- Trisa, Switzerland (Adrian & Philipp Pfenniger) – www.trisa.ch
- Resource Informatik, Switzerland (Bruno Schmid) – www.resource.ch
- Irizar, Spain (Koldo Saratxaga) - www.irizar.com
- Interpolis, the Netherlands - www.interpolis.nl/particulier/default.aspx
- Kessels & Smit, the Netherlands (Joseph Kessels) - www.kessels-smit.nl
- Ahlsell, Sweden (Gunnar Haglund) – www.ahlsell.com
- Ikea, Sweden (Ingvar Kamprad) - www.ikea.com
- Handelsbanken, Sweden (Jan Wallander) – www.handelsbanken.se
- Snøhetta, Norway – www.snoarc.no/
- Promon, Brazil - www.promon.br.com
- Semco, Brazil (Ricardo Semler) – www.semco.com.br
- Flight Centre Limited, Australia (Graham Turner) - www.flightcentre.com.au/
- Toyota, Japan (Taichii Ohno & W. Edwards Deming) – www.toyota.com
- HCL, India (Vineet Nayar) - www.hcl.in
Transformation case studies
Some company cases, like that of Ahlsell (Sweden), illustrate transformation processes quite well. Some companies also initiated "transformation" towards the BetaCodex with the advice from the BetaCodex Network. Access the network's Transformation Case Studies here: www.betacodex.org/papers
Many other companies have been linked with the BetaCodex, or the Beyond Budgeting model, over time. Some, because they started "implementing" Beyond Budgeting at some point, some because they were BBRT members, some because they are considered "different", having developed leadership models that do not match the complete set of Beyond Budgeting principles, or haven´t been properly researched.