- Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
- Season 7, Episode 24
- Listen as Austin Suellentrop describes what coaches can expect regarding changes coming to The Coaching Blog and Gallup Strengths Center in September 2019, part 1.
On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Austin Suellentrop, CliftonStrengths Portfolio Manager, about upcoming changes for the strengths community that involve bringing strengths more into the center of what Gallup does with clients, and the work of coaches around the world. One of the key changes will be moving Gallup Strengths Center to Gallup Access. Learn what you can expect in terms of the timeline for these changes, how you can plan for them, and some new opportunities for you as a coach.
Below is a summary of the conversation. Full audio and video are posted above.
[4:28] Jim Collison: Austin, we've got a lot of changes coming, both around the strengths community and the summit. Let's clarify, let's give some additional information -- walk us through as we think about the next three to six months, and even for the summit next year, walk us through that.
Austin Suellentrop: We're really excited about the things we're developing for CliftonStrengths as part of the strengths movement, to really bring strengths into the fold as the center of what we do at Gallup -- as the center of all the great work we're doing with clients, and the great work our coaches are doing around the world -- of bringing strengths into the fold to connect it with everything else.
I think one of the things I've experienced in my own career, as a client, as an independent coach, as a part of the Gallup organization, is that strengths can often live in this silo of this really cool thing -- it's this really cool tool, it's this really great conversation you have about your strengths. And when it works at its best, what we know about strengths is it's connected to the work you're doing, to the life you're living, to your day-to-day habits, your day-to-day routines.
And so one of the things we're really excited (about is) bringing strengths, CliftonStrengths, into the center of Gallup Access, and getting Gallup Strengths Center -- which has been living in isolation over here as a sort of independent website, an independent place people go to search for strengths -- bringing it into the center of Gallup Access, where we are devoting resources and energy and time to make that the premier platform.
That gets me excited, because that makes strengths one click away from everything else we're doing. It connects it to our database of all of our clients, our indices for comparisons. It brings strengths to the forefront of conversations.
So from a long-term view, the dream here is that strengths is not something that's off to the side or separate from any work we're doing; strengths is at the center of all the work we're doing. And I guess that's what gets me the most amped up about what's coming in the next three, six, nine months, is we're about to take the first big step with the formal bringing of Strengths Center into Access, but it's got a lot of other things beyond that that are coming as well.
[7:37] JC: I did hear -- some folks at the very end of the Summit talked to me about it and (said), "Does this mean we're abandoning -- so now we're calling it "At Work" and "Workplaces," and when we think about all those things around education and some faith-based organizations, and some of the nonprofits -- when we think about, we didn't mention dentistry -- does that mean we're giving up on CliftonStrengths for those areas, when we talk about the Summit? Is that what we're doing?
AS: Absolutely not.
JC: Boom. Done, right there.
AS: I appreciate the perspective, I genuinely do, because as a former youth minister who used strengths in my youth ministry for years, there are uniquenesses to that. For a long time at Gallup, we may have called out and shone a spotlight on some of the uniquenesses of certain workplaces.
But when it comes down to it, what CliftonStrengths helps us do is have better conversations human to human, understand humans better, so that we can achieve better outcomes together. Ultimately, that's what we're trying to do with it.
So when we talk about the workplace, that's a universal phrase for where people interact to achieve good outcomes. That's how I think of it -- that big and broad. So schools are a workplace -- we have teachers working alongside aides working alongside administrators to achieve outcomes.
We have in churches and in faith organizations, they're a workplace. The outcome may not be profit, but the outcome is helping improve people's lives. The same with nonprofit hospitals. They're working to achieve outcomes. They may not be profit.
So when we think of Gallup at Work, or the workplace, there's a visceral reaction some people have to profit and loss, to stock prices, to for-profit, publicly traded companies, and that's just one segment of the workplace.
So we absolutely see CliftonStrengths as the center of all these workplaces. So we do a lot of work in faith organizations; we do a lot of work in nonprofits; we do a lot of work in schools and higher-education organizations. They're all workplaces because there are human beings working alongside other human beings to achieve outcomes.
So if we think about it (via) that lens, that's where we're going. Where do we spend so much of our time as adults and as humans? Working alongside people to get things done. So that's how I view the relationship, and that's why I get so excited about CliftonStrengths being at the center of Gallup at Work, because it's now broadening the potential reach; it's opening the door to other things beyond just strengths.
[11:30] JC: Austin, this is not a secret -- we are moving from the Gallup Strengths Center to Gallup Access. We have been talking about this ad nauseum for three to six months already. Many of you know it's coming. You and I are going to be responsible for communicating a lot of the changes that are coming. This is the very beginning of that communication.
When we think about that move, what do you want to start preparing coaches for today?
AS: I think it's a big project; it's a big initiative that you've said; we've been talking about it for a while, hinting at it. So I can share a few more details today than we've been able to share in the past, which is exciting. I'm glad to do it.
So we sent out some communication to all of our Certified Strengths Coaches, twice now, around the Certified Coaches Newsletter -- which, if you're not signed up for and receiving, I really encourage you to do that. We give some great information in that. So the first conversation was around the idea of resetting of your discounts that you get -- of the codes you use to purchase discounted assessments.
And in that communication, we talked about the fact that on August 16, we will freeze the ability to purchase codes on August 16 but then pick back up in September, and (you will) be able to get a new batch of 350 discounted codes -- which is exciting. You can have the access to buy more discounted codes this year than ever before.
It's a one-time deal, it's just this year, but we are excited about that. That was the first communication around this. So why is that? Because Gallup Strengths Center is going to be sunset on August 16. That's the day that Strengths Center will be sunsetting, so I can put that out there in the world now, right? And we will begin the formal communications -- you can expect the first email message from us on July 10.
So on July 10, we'll begin reaching out via email to all of our clients. So anybody who's used Strengths Center to purchase a code, to redeem a code, whatever it may be, over the last three years -- that's as far back legally as we're allowed to go -- we will reach out to (you) with our first formal communication about here's what's coming, here's what's happening, here's what you can expect.
So a little less than a month from now, we'll start our formal proactive communication plan in writing. So be on the lookout for that message. I say the best way to keep in the loop is that Certified Coaches Newsletter, and making sure you're subscribed to any sort of emails from Gallup, we'll be sending them out every way we can to get them out to you.
But also this forum here with Jim and myself -- we're here to answer your questions and help. So I'm excited to be able to start building in some detail with you there. So August 16 is the big day. So what do you need to do between now and then? What are the things you should be thinking of between now and the middle of August, if you're using Strengths Center for code management, for helping your clients with codes?
First of all, look at your plans for the rest of the year and for early next year. If you have the opportunity to be doing a lot of code purchasing, take advantage of the code reset this year. Load up by the middle of August. Max out your code discount of 350 discounted codes so you can take full advantage -- you get another 350 in the second half, in that fourth quarter this year.
I think that's a really big savings -- we're talking a couple thousand dollars, $3500 of cost savings there, if you're using that volume of codes. I think that's really important to think about.
I would, if I was in your shoes, if you've got events or sessions or coaching set up for that third week of August -- that third week after the 16th -- and maybe the week after (that), there's going to be a learning curve of learning how to use Access. There's going to be a transition that you'll have to get in there in play around and see what can be done with it.
So if you know you've got events coming up or sessions or clients you're working with, get as much done on the front end as you can, before that 16th happens.
I know my style, my approach is I oftentimes will prep a session at a time. So I'll print materials, pull reports, all that sort of stuff, one session after another. You've got a couple of months to be thinking ahead of what your calendar looks like -- who the clients (are) that you're working with. Maybe you want to go ahead and pull some of that earlier rather than later, just to avoid the rush of having to learn a new system and get all that material done in a crunch. That would be my perspective to be thinking about.
But then also, if you are thinking about purchasing some large amounts of codes, and you are thinking about taking advantage of that second batch of 350 discounted codes from September on, I'd really encourage you to contact one of our Gallup sales team, and think about -- is a subscription to Access going to be a good solution for you?
Does it make sense for you as you're purchasing those codes to have it go toward the cost of your subscription to Access? Because that's one of the perks you can get this year as well. We may talk about that in a little more detail.
[17:02] JC: Austin, let me clarify a little bit too, because a lot of coaches have asked me, "What if I don't want a subscription?" The way it is on the GSC today is mirrored in Access. So if you don't do anything, if you don't take us up on the subscription, you'll have the same functionality as a coach that you have in the GSC today on Access.
So basically no changes -- there may be an exception to that, so stay close to us as we go forward, something that may take us an extra month or two to develop.
Austin Suellentrop's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Communication, Activator, Futuristic, Belief and Positivity.