SCAN model

Don Tosti

Bob Carleton

The Periodic Table of Elements brought great advancement to the field of chemistry. It provided a way to order the millions of potential chemical reactions. It provided greater predictability and control through understanding the relationship among elements. The breakthrough that created the Table model was ordering the elements of chemistry according to the underlying atomic system. In a similar way the Organization SCAN (System Centered ANalysis) has the potential to advance organizational “chemistry.” It provides a way to order the million or so things that can affect organizational results. It provides greater predictability and control through understanding the interdependent relationship among organizational elements. The SCAN model was created by ordering organizational influences according to the underlying human performance system. The SCAN identifies 17 critical system elements. Changes in any one of these can affect results. But it is just as important to realize that changes in any element can affect and, in turn, be affected by any of the other elements. Not recognizing the inherent interdependence of the organizational elements is a fatal flaw in many organizational change efforts. There are three main environmental elements – the preexisting conditions: • The physical environment – the tools, equipment, plant or store, raw materials to be worked, goods to be sold, etc. • The social environment – The behaviors and conduct of the people. They are the cultural, collaborative, leadership, followership practices, etc. • The organizational environment – the structure, reporting relations, policies, regulations, decision-making, distribution, etc There are three principle receiver systems for which results are important: • Investors – the people that supply capital- primarily owners and bankers • Customers – the people that supply revenue • Employees – the people that supply labor The next nine elements reflect an input-process-output system flow that can be defined at three levels: • Organizational level • Operational level • People level Finally there are two forms of feedback: • Formative or corrective – information or consequences intended to change the form of an action – to correct or regulate future action • Evaluative or motivational – information or consequences intended to increase or decrease the likelihood of repeating action