The BetaCodex Network was founded in early 2008. Over the course of the previous year, it had become apparent that the Beyond Budgeting movement urgently needed to change, in order to fulfill the promise of what we then called the Beyond Budgeting model.
A turning point
The initiating moment for the BetaCodex Network was a work gathering of Beyond Budgeting Round Table directors in Basel, Switzerland, in December 2007. During that meeting, a bold new vision and mission for the BBRT were outlined. The vision was quite simple, really. It said: “The Beyond Budgeting model is the standard management model” – meaning that the movement had to turn the model into the natural choice for organizations of all kinds, everywhere. That made sense to everyone at the meeting: The vision was bold. It was clear. It was “true”. Several more great ideas for the movement were dashed out during that session in Basel. But when the group voted on installing the new vision and mission, both were rejected by a majority within the group, due to personal reasons and preferences.
The meeting resulted in the immediate retirement of Robin Fraser from the BBRT., Robin was one of the “founding fathers” of the Beyond Budgeting movement, back in 1998, and a leading figure in the movement´s transformational wing. Niels Pflaeging, then a BBRT director and Gebhard Borck, who also took part in the Basel meeting, opted for another direction: Not out, but in. They wanted this to be the starting point of something new, energizing, and exciting. In response to what had happened at the meeting, they decided to pick up the challenge of the freshly developed vision and mission statement, and to initiate the foundation of a new, international network, separate from the BBRT. An association that would not just “talk” Beyond Budgeting. But that would, instead, “make it real!”. Initially, this new network would be called the Beyond Budgeting Transformation Network, or BBTN.
A new beginning
Between April and December 2008, Niels and Gebhard worked on generating content for the network, based on their previous work and focusing on what they thought could be the starting point for positioning the network. They also tried to solve the riddle of how to take BetaCodex open source. In late 2008, they arrived at the conclusion, together with help from other peers, that all commercial interest should be rigidly separated from the network. That BetaCodex Network abolished the rather complicated membership structure it had previously envisioned. And also any ranks, titles or positions, such as that of “director”. The network, if it were to be open source, would not have any formal hierarchy. And its finances should not be based on membership fees, either.
The first web portal of the network, designed by Valérya Carvalho and Niels, was launched at the end of 2009. It featured a social network community forum (which was moved to LinkedIn, in 2017) and a great deal of BetaCodex content. The publication of the BetaCodex Network white papers (14 papers, up to now, plus two “special edition” papers) are especially noteworthy, in this context. These papers have attracted over 350.000 views so far. The array of available content has been broadened further with the launch of the new, current web presence, which went live in early 2018.