If you receive this blog post in the mail, you must have followed Quarturn some years ago. Time flies, doesn’t it. We started in 2013 with a first trial to create a not-for-profit organization that would fundamentally change the way businesses were governed in Belgium (Europe). The creation of the not-for-profit organization did not get enough traction to proceed though, and the quarturn.org website was put asleep for some years. Now, times are changing, and Quarturn is going to be alive and kicking again … this time, it’s here to stay and impact the global business DNA.
How it all started
The actual history of Quarturn goes even further back in time. The Quarturn vision was originally engineered by Jan Lagast, senior advisor and managing partner at Forte. He had been teaching and advising sales and marketing people on how to create a win-win messaging (this method is still called WinSquare Messaging at Forte, by the way). In 2010 he also started to explain leadership teams that ‘striving for a win-win with customers’ can be the primary strategic intent of a successful company.
In this way, Forte was able to change the vision of many businesses that originally were trying to escape from the post-2008 crisis by following the old school Kaplan & Norton books that taught them to go after the money as their main strategic vision. Jan and the Forte team changed some companies into success hits, by going after (or better: ‘for’) the client’s added value.
When Forte released Quarturn
In 2013, Jan thought it was time to liberate this client-first vision from the small Forte advisory company, so that it could become a mainstream idea. Unique Value Proposition, Client-first, Customer-Centric, and even Osterwalder & Peigneur’s Business Model Canvas with the central concept of value proposition, were not really “there” yet, at that time. So on the board of directors of 2 December 2013, the vision was released to allow Jan to make the vision bigger than the boundaries of the small team.
In that same year, Jan had decided to brand the vision as Quarturn. Quarturn was derived from ‘quart turn’. In order for companies to change from a money-first strategy (horizontal axis), into a client-first vision (vertical axis), they indeed had to make a visionary quart turn – at least that’s how it looked on the flip charts :-).
Jan quickly found some fans to support the idea. Even a former bank leader, such as August Van Put who created the first collaborator co-owned bank in Belgium, and Hugo Derkinderen, who had ‘convicted’ many leadership teams from hospitals and other large organizations in Flanders to manage differently, were among the first-time fans.
The first ideas however failed to get enough traction, because time was a critical resource. Gradually the meetings started to be cancelled, and other projects and clients required all of Jan’s attention.
Participium to take over
In the meantime, Jan had created Participium, an investment company that was going to invest in companies that were following the Quarturn vision. Participium paid for the rights on the Quarturn brand, website, and ideas. The creation of a Quarturn organization was even in the first Participium fundraising prospectus. However, there were too many other priorities that kept Participium from getting the Quarturn ideas towards a broader public. Just for the record, the Quarturn vision was the only task from the whole prospectus that was not realized, which is probably why the investors pardoned the board for not having kept that promise.
Participium did invest in a couple of companies the past few years, though, and was also able to expand the Forte company with several extra activities. All the time, Forte kept following this Quarturn vision – sometimes more explicit, sometimes more implicit. But still, up to day, the Quarturn vision is key in the decision taking both at Participium and Forte, as it is for the services provided by the Forte-branded companies and the selection of strategic clients. It was also a decisive factor at Participium to allow Paul Indekeu and Jan Beyen to become strategic co-founders, since they are firm believers of this vision.
Quarturn is now back ‘on’
As you could guess by now, something happened very recently to the benefit of Quarturn. Indeed, yesterday, the core team of Participium, consisting of Jan Beyen, Paul Indekeu, and Jan Lagast, reached a breakthrough decision. We decided to re-launch the Quarturn vision and brand. Even more, it will be the main brand of Participium’s new back-bone software system – the CoDEM system (Corporate DNA Evolution Management system). It will also be used as the main brand for the certification of its partners, and it will be an ingredient brand supporting the various software providers — both within the Participium portfolio as outside on the market — that are going to cooperate with the Quarturn CoDEM. Quarturn is alive and kicking, and now it’s there to stay and impact the global business DNA.
More news will follow in the coming weeks and months. Feel free to follow us, and keep posted on the Quarturn evolutions.