Achieving startup speed at enterprise scale with ZBx.

The Big Zero shows how to imbue an organization with a zero-based mindset to achieve startup speed at enterprise scale. How? By transforming a culture right down to its foundations and aligning the strategic priorities of the entire organization. Reinvigorating people’s mindsets and behaviors. Endowing them with the ownership of what and how they spend and where they redeploy the savings.



The Big Zero with Kris Timmermans: A zero-based mindset (ZBx)

Accenture’s Kris Timmermans explains why a zero-based mindset (ZBx) is at the core of a successful wise pivot to growth. Read more.

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The book does a superb job describing how old ZBB techniques have evolved into a management approach that is fit for purpose in today’s dynamic business environment. The authors explain how good costs need to be separated from bad costs. Recognizing that smart investments can deliver benefits for business, society and the planet hits the mark, and is in line with ABInbev’s sustainability commitments.

- Tony Milikin, Chief Sustainability and Procurement Officer, Anheuser-Busch InBev

If you are looking for a framework (or mindset) that defines the future for leading change in the next decade and beyond look no further. The Big Zero breaks the mold on almost all current paradigms. While incorporating many of the components that we know to be critical – from transforming culture and improving agility to leveraging digital and the benefits of AI, robotics and the like – it also dismisses the old school definitions of continuous improvement, zero-based budgeting, and benchmarking. This is a brilliantly refreshing perspective – one you will want your entire team to read and discuss.

- Bill Marrin, Executive Director, World 50, Inc.

The Big Zero catapults innovation to a new level – and the timing couldn't be better. In my teaching at Harvard, I've found the biggest challenge for senior-most executives is steadily protecting and improving current business models, while pursuing the break-thru innovation that leads to new levels of value creation. Kris Timmermans elevates the well-proven strategy of Zero-Based Budgeting by expanding its dimensions and illuminating a new path forward for leaders who are not only looking to increase efficiency, but also striving to invest smartly in growth. The Big Zero is required reading for executives in all sectors that want to survive and thrive in this turbulent world.

- Dr. Antonio M. Oftelie, Fellow, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Zero-based budgeting is a proven technique for reducing costs to competitively-advantaged levels. With ZBx — a zero based mindset — the closed-loop process focuses the entire organization and engages senior management in the journey. The Big Zero clearly portrays the six steps necessary to successfully implement ZBx. However, cost savings alone do not guarantee success. As important as managing costs, ZBx creates a mindset in the organization to question historical norms across many areas. As described in the book, applying these new ways of thinking and reinvesting savings behind clearly articulated growth strategies is what will lead to sustainable profitable growth.

- Anthony DiSilvestro, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Campbell Soup Company

A zero-based mindset is improving our productivity and effectiveness in brand and marketing investments as we reduce the cost of advertising production and increase investment in media channels. Zero-based principles are also eliminating waste in those areas where we have tended to over-​saturate traditional media channels, as well as reshaping our overheads to be future-fit.

- Graeme Pitkethly, Chief Financial Officer, Unilever

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A zero-based mindset

The Big Zero lays out the rationale for adopting a zero-based mindset to drive growth and competitiveness.

The Big Zero with Chris Roark | ZBx

Accenture's Chris Roark explains why a zero-based mindset is at the core of a successful wise pivot to growth. Read more.

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LinkedIn series

This series of articles on LinkedIn highlights chapters from The Big Zero. Follow our authors on LinkedIn to be notified of newly published articles: Kris Timmermans, Chris Roark & Rodrigo Abdalla.

The Big Zero LinkedIn series

Kris Timmermans talks about demystifying the (R)evolution of the zero-based mindset and why he and his co-authors wrote the book on ZBx.

What’s a “Baby Z” anyway?

Zeroing in on the “baby Zs” in his LinkedIn article, Kris Timmermans gives us a sneak peek into the new book, The Big Zero.

But what should it cost? Forward-looking cost management

Rodrigo Abdalla asks us to question everything we thought we knew about costs as he discusses this radical shift in zero-based mindset.

Culture: Doing the right thing

Good things come in threes. Chris Roark discusses how company culture can make (or break) a ZBx transformation.

The secret sauce of ZBx: The closed loop

What’s the secret sauce that gels the principles of ZBx together? Kris Timmermans unveils the “closed loop.” The secret is out!

Visibility: How to move from denial to acceptance

ZBx is not only about facts and figures—there’s some psychology too. Chris Roark shows how companies can “get real” about how much they spend to move from denial to acceptance.

Value targeting: The engine of ZBx

Value targeting in ZBx is where the magic happens—good costs that fund growth. Rodrigo Abdalla shows how great ambition equals greater results.

Category ownership: Coaching a ZBx journey

How can you keep the ZBx engine humming? Kris Timmermans shares ways to create “healthy tension” between budget and cost category owners.

Locking targets into the budget

Budgeting is so much more than numbers—it’s a commitment. Rodrigo Abdella shows how locking targets is core to the ZBx transformation journey.

Execute initiatives: Translating ambition into action

ZBx theory springs into action in the execute initiatives phase. Chris Roark shares how to achieve consistent follow-through.

Control and monitoring: Staying on course

Kris Timmermans shares more about the last phase—arguably the most critical phase—of the ZBx closed loop.

About the authors

Kris Timmermans

Lead – Supply Chain & Operations

Chris Roark

Senior Managing Director – Accenture Strategy Lead, North America

Rodrigo Abdalla

ZBx Practitioner

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