HomeQuick Tour of EPIC-Organizations


Tested Theory & Proven Processes

Most people face the past and back into the future.  Joe Scanlon
EPIC-Organizations is a website and consultancy dedicated to helping to create better organizations.  It is based on the Frost/Scanlon EPIC Principles and Processes that began with the work of Joe Scanlon and the United Steelworkers of America in the 1940's.  Joe's work continued at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where it was supported by Dr. Douglas McGregor, and Fred Lesieur until the 1980's.  It continued at Michigan State University (MSU) with Dr. Carl Frost into the 1990's.  Today the Scanlon Leadership Network, the Scanlon Foundation and organizations that have embraced the ideas continue to experiment and improve on them.  The Frost/Scanlon EPIC Principles are an open-source organizational development process.  Neither Joe Scanlon nor Carl Frost trademarked or copyrighted their work. There are many different types of organizations (for profit, nonprofit, public sector, etc.) and many different structures within these organizations (Corporate, Cooperatives, Churches, Partnerships, etc.)  EPIC-Organizations seeks solutions to help all organizations improve. This site builds on the pioneering work of Frost/Scanlon in the following areas:

  • Gainsharing

  • Profit Sharing

  • Goal Sharing

  • Labor/Management Cooperation

  • Employee Involvement/Participation/Engagement

  • Open-Book Management

  • Suggestion Systems

  • Quality Improvement

  • Servant Leadership

  • Organizational Change

  • Organizational Democracy

  • Sustainability

  • Lean

Our Model for EPIC-Organizations

  A company is rightly judged by its products and services but it must also face scrutiny as to its humanity.  DJ DePree


For many years the test of a good organization was whether it could survive and generate profits, donations, fees or tax revenues.  Today we ask much more from our truly great organizations.  At the core the organization must meet the needs of four different groups.

  • Investors/Owners:  the organization must generate some form of return for those who have invested their capital in them.  Even nonprofits and government organizations are expected to return a service or a product of value for the resources put into them.
  • Customers:  Organizations must satisfy the people who purchase the product or use the service.
  • Employees: Employees are life-investors.  They want to work in organizations where they are safe, paid equitably for their time and expertise and where they have a chance to learn and grow. 
  • Suppliers:  Most organizations do not produce internally all the elements of their products or services.  They depend on trusted suppliers.  Suppliers want fair pricing, good communication and long term relationships with the organizations they serve.

These four are the heart of our free enterprise system.  If any partner does not trust and value the relationship the organization is in danger. Surrounding and supporting every organization is the community where the organization exists.  This can be a village, town, city or state.  It could also be considered the country or countries where the organization operates.  Communities supply many valuable services that enable organizations to survive.  They may supply infrastructure like the roads, airports and rail systems.  The community educates the employees.  The community provides fire and police protection.  The community creates and enforces laws that protect all the parties.  For example, communities provide the system of checks and balances that protect investors from fraud.  They provide systems of weights and measures that protect customers.  They regulate workplaces to make them safe.  Contract law protects suppliers from abuse.  The community depends on organizations for tax revenues, valued products and services, and employment for citizens. Our economic system and all organizations need a planet where there is clean air to breathe and safe water to drink.  Ultimately we are all dependent on the biological and physical systems that govern reality on our small blue planet.  Global warming and energy use impacts us all.  EPIC Organizations are global stewards of our environment.  They are sustainable.  They produce their products or services with the least amount of waste. 



The Scanlon Plan puts it all together--worthwhile employment, worthwhile goods and services, and worthwhile investments.


Dr. Carl Frost


Epic: Webster’s Dictionary (adj.) Marking an important date in history; of very great size. Synonyms: historic, momentous, epochal, fateful, enormous, immense, and monumental.


EPIC: The essence of Scanlon Leadership which stands for Equity, Participation, Identity and Competence.

The Scanlon Plan and Principles attempt to create worthwhile organizations within a capitalistic economy. By ensuring accountability to key stakeholders (Equity), by allowing those most competent to influence decisions (Participation), by educating all employees to the reality of their organization (Identity), and by constant commitment to personal, professional and organizational development (Competence), Scanlon organizations create competitive advantage for investors, customers, and employees.

Scanlon organizations have become the best places to work in their industries, valued members of their communities, and trailblazers in environmental stewardship.

In the process Scanlon also develops individuals. People who are exposed to the Scanlon EPIC Principles are more in tune to reality, less dependent, more able to work with others, more satisfied with their work and are more competent at work and at home.

The Frost/Scanlon EPIC Principles of Equity, Participation, Identity and Competence we believe are the key building blocks for personal, professional and organizational excellence.

To learn more about the EPIC Principles



Scanlon-the man and the Plan

scanlonplateLearn about Joseph N. Scanlon, the father of employee involvement, gainsharing, and labor-management cooperation.


EPIC Resources

Native RTL SupportLet us help you put the pieces together to create your own EPIC-Organization.  Here you will find research, articles, and books on Leadership, Scanlon Plans, and Gainsharing

Link to the Resources Pages

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