On this page we feature the main books, videos, and down-loadable articles--all on in one place. If you start here you'll have a good idea of what the Frost Scanlon EPIC Principles are all about and how they are applied.  Many more resources are found throughout this website.  Explore and you will find more videos, podcasts, articles and books.

The Scanlon Plan


The Scanlon Plan: A Better Way 

This video produced by the Scanlon Leadership Network features the Scanlon Plans that were at Herman Miller, Donnelly, Bridgestone and Neelon Castings.  Professionally filmed on location it includes interviews with Dwane Baumgardner then CEO of Donnelly, Dick Ruch of Herman Miller and Peter Kenny of Neelon Castings.  This is a good place to start if you want to learn about the Scanlon Plan and the Scanlon EPIC Principles.


Goalsharing: Tapping the Power of People

Professionally produced for SEARS this video does an excellent job of showing the Scanlon Process in a retail environment.













Books on the Scanlon Plan and the EPIC-Principles

Scanlon EPIC Leadership: Where the Best Ideas Come Together, edited by Paul Davis and Larry Spears

Scanlon EPIC Leadership is the definitive anthology of Scanlon thought and practice.  It contains original articles by Joe Scanlon, Fred Lesieur, Carl Frost and Douglas McGregor as well as current contributions by today's Scanlon thought leaders.  Preface by Waren Bennis and Afterword by Max DePree.  Available as a free pdf download.

pdfEPICleadershipbook.pdf9.54 MB


Changing Forever:  The Well Kept Secret of America's Leading Companies by Carl Frost

Changing Forever was written by one of the greatest change agents and teachers. While working with Dr. Frost, Herman Miller, Donnelly, Motorola and Beth Israel Hospital were all ranked in the top 50 best places to work in AmericaDr. Frost explains the Frost/Scanlon Principles and how they are applied to create individual and organizational excellence.  Changing Forever is the Scanlon bible.

The Leadership Roadmap, People Lean and Innovation by Dwane Baumgardner and Russ Scaffede

Dwane and Russ show how the Scanlon EPIC Principles can be combined with Lean principles to create truly EPIC Organizations.  Russ is a true lean sensei having learned from Toyota at their Georgetown Plant.  He used lean to transform Donnelly, Tiara Yachts and many other organizations.  Dwane is a Scanlon Steward and former CEO of Donnelly. 

Articles Free to Download

Scanlon Plans and the Frost EPIC Principles

pdfWhy Scanlon Matters by Paul Davis, Larry Spears and Max DePree2.02 MB

pdfThe ABC's of Gainsharing by Paul Davis209.83 KB

pdfLeadership from Theory to Action by Paul Davis442.74 KB

pdfPrinciple Based Participative Management by Terry VandeWater378.33 KB

pdfExploring Scanlon Workbook by Paul Davis449.05 KB

pdfBeyond the Bucks, the Banners, and the T-Shirts: Motivation/Rewards is About Mutual Respect and Developing People by Karen Wilhelm6.49 MB

 pdfScanlon Principles Lay the Groundwork for Lean by Karen Wilhelm113.89 KB


Sailing and the EPIC Organization Logo


Alberta Rose in North Channel

I helped to earn my way through college by teaching sailing.  Many of my best memories are of racing our small sailboat with my Dad on Devil's Lake Michigan.  When I grew up I bought a Trimaran and my family enjoyed crusing and camping in the north channel of Lake Huron on the Alberta Rose.



Houses are but badly built boats so firmly aground that you cannot think of moving them.  They are definitely inferior things, belonging to the vegetable not the animal world, rooted and stationary, incapable of gay transition.  I admit, doubtfully as exceptions, snailshells and caravans.  The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content thenceforward with a single anchorage.  The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting-place.

It is for that reason, perhaps, that, when it comes, the desire to build a boat is one of those that cannot be resisted.  It begins as a little cloud on a serene horizon.  It ends by covering the whole sky, so that you can think of nothing else.   You must build to regain your freedom.  And always you comfort yourself with the thought that yours will be the perfect boat, the boat that you may search the harbors of the world for and not find.   
     Jonathan Cape













Coquina in Fort Myers


I am now sailing a small Ketch Coquina.  She is the perfect one-person boat for exploring the bays and mangroves of Southwest Florida.

The EPIC-Organizations logo is based on the "center of effort" of a sailboat.  Sailing teaches that you cannot change the direction of the wind and waves but if you adjust your sails and use your skills you can steer and move.

Organizational leaders like sailors who want to move forward must gather the energy around them, constantly adjust to changes in the environment, set a course, and steer the organization forward.  The sure-thing boat just like the sure-thing organization never gets very far from shore.



 ELGA EPIC-Organization Case Study



ELGA Credit Union in Burton, Michigan has become the latest organization and the second credit union to use the Scanlon Process.  All ELGA Associates voted over 86% in September 2011 to implement their plan they call  "The ELGA Way". 

ELGA used the classic Frost/Scanlon Roadmap for change. The process started when Karen Church, CEO, attended a Colloquium at Loyola University Chicago sponsored by the Filene Research Institute. (Filene is the research arm of the Credit Union Movement in America).  The Colloquium featured presentations by two award winning Scanlon Organizations---Watermark Credit Union and Landscape Forms, Inc.  The Colloquium was facilitated by Dr. Dow Scott and myself.

ELGA Credit Union has a culture that encourages associate engagement and community service.  Karen believed the Scanlon Process fit the culture of ELGA.  Karen then developed a "Mandate for Change" explaining why ELGA needed to change.  (ELGA's members have been hard hit by the economic recession in Michigan that has hit the greater Flint region extremely hard). She shared her mandate with the Executive Team of ELGA and asked if they should explore the Scanlon Process to help them respond to the mandate.

The ELGA Executive Team voted to proceed and they engaged me to help.  The Scanlon Process requires Servant Leaders to be successful so we began by reading The Leader as Servant by Robert Greenleaf and Leadership is an Art by Scanlon Steward and best selling author Max DePree.  The Team discussed Servant Leadership and decided that this form of leadership is currently the way ELGA is led and the way they want ELGA to be led into the future.

A Design Team was created made up of representatives of the various departments and branches of the Credit Union to create a Scanlon Plan unique to ELGA.  The Design Team was organized into four sub-teams representing the four EPIC Frost/Scanlon Principles of Equity, Participation, Identity and Competence.

An Associate Survey was conducted to benchmark the current level of engagement.

The Design Team toured two Scanlon Organizations....Landscape Forms  and SGS Tool Company.  Lean methods common to manufacturing but not so common in the financial services industry were studied.

The Design Team created The ELGA Way Scanlon Plan and presented it to the Board of Directors where it was approved.

The Design Team them presented the plan to all Associates and asked for a confidential vote to try the plan for a trial period.  Before the vote ELGA created a parody of a music video to launch the ELGA Way.  The video shows the energy and enthusiasm of the Associates.



ELGA Music Video about their Credit Union (used in a contest to win a plasma TV!)



The ELGA Way Plan officially started October 1, 2011. 


 Resources Mentioned in this Case Study



 The ELGA WAY Scanlon Plan





 Building a Culture of Credit Union Excellence: A Colloquium at Loyola University Chicago




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

Scanlon-the man and the Plan

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


Go to top