skip to main content
Called to Coach
The Power of Cascade With Charlotte Blair
Called to Coach

The Power of Cascade With Charlotte Blair

Webcast Details

  • What are some of the key features of Cascade?
  • How will the integration of Access and Cascade benefit coaches?
  • How can Cascade benefit organizational leaders and managers in their day-to-day work?

Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series -- Season 10, Episode 34.

Below are audio and video plus a transcript of the conversation, including time stamps.

The integration of Gallup Access and Cascade holds tremendous potential for coaches, organizations and managers alike. What do you need to know about Cascade and its benefits for you as a coach -- as well as for those you coach? Why is there a high level of excitement around the Gallup-Cascade integration? And why is now a good time for you to seriously consider investing in Cascade? Join Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and Strengths Partner Charlotte Blair, along with guest host and Cascade creator Richard Sterry, for an insider's look at the power of Cascade.

You need [Cascade] straight away. No. 1, it will save you so much time ... if I think back, the amount of time Cascade has saved me over the years, I'd hate to add it up.

Charlotte Blair, 14:35

This is a massive opportunity ... to reach a wider audience with a greater range of reports and tools and resources.

Richard Sterry, 20:55

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on August 31, 2022.

Jim Collison 0:18
On this special edition of Called to Coach, we'll look at Gallup's new Cascade reporting tool from a user's perspective. Richard Sterry, the creator of Cascade, is with me today. Welcome, Richard! And can you introduce our guest?

Meet Our Guest on This Episode

Richard Sterry 0:29
Hi, Jim. It's great to be here. Yes, and thanks for including me on this special edition. And yes, I want to introduce Charlotte Blair. Charlotte is a highly experienced strengths coach and part of The Strengths Partners in Melbourne, Australia. She has presented at many of the events, including Gallup at Work Summits and several Called to Coach sessions. Working closely with organizations, Charlotte uses her strengths to develop teams and managers. She's very familiar with Gallup Access and Cascade, often promoting their benefits to coaches. In addition, Charlotte is a big contributor to the global coaching community, supporting new and existing coaches who want to develop their skills. Charlotte, please tell us something more we need to know about you. And can you share your top themes?

Charlotte Blair 1:16
Sure, no problem. Thanks very much for asking me to join you guys as well. So I lead with Activator, Woo, Command, Arranger and Positivity -- and Jim knows this: I can never just stop at the Top 5. So yes, OK, Responsibility, Communication, Maximizer, Individualization and Significance.

Favorite Access Features

Richard Sterry 1:37
That's quite a combination, isn't it? And obviously, you use that in a big way in all your coaching capacity and things. And here today, we're talking about Gallup Access, and we're talking about Cascade. And what would you say are your favorite features of those packages and how you use them? Let's start with Access.

Charlotte Blair 2:00
Yeah, good question. So I've been using the subscription version of Access, probably pretty much since it's been out, I think. For me, one of my favorite features is the code management when I can choose whether I want to send a single code or a multiuse code to a team and then just easily click the button of Create Team from that code management function. And then it's just so easy for me then to go, right, this is the team that I want to drop into Cascade and produce all my reports. So that's probably my favorite. Then it's actually -- the second favorite -- is to be able to impersonate a user and direct apply a code for a client. So I've got a lot of very busy executives and clients that they might have taken the full 34, and then they want their manager report. It's super easy for me to just go, "Here we are. Here's your report"; send it to them. Even something like, "Oh, you want the team's Activity Guide? Here we are," you know, "I've already uploaded this for you. It's already in your Learning Center. Go find it there." So they're probably my two favorite features, closely followed by some of the sort of personalized learning and articles that Gallup make available to, in particular, managers.

Jim Collison 3:20
Charlotte, there's, there's -- oftentimes, in a very complex system like Access -- there's a lot of places to go and a lot of places to remember: menus and, you know, where you've, where you've put things, code management, where the teams are. How do you find that you just, how does that work for you in a way that works best, where you remember where everything is at?

Charlotte Blair 3:42
I think it's a little bit like going to the supermarket. If you go to the supermarket on a regular basis, you know exactly where the baked beans are, and you know to go there. If you don't go into that supermarket very often, it's like, Oh, hang on! I've got to walk up and down every single aisle before I find where the baked beans are. The fact that I'm probably in it on a regular basis, it becomes a little bit autopilot. Now, I might go on holiday and I come back and I go, Oh, hang on! I can't remember -- where did I put that? But, you know, I think I have a system of, Oh yes, we need codes. Then we create a team. Then I know where everything is -- the learning management. Jim, I think the simplest answer is, you know, getting in there and using it; anything becomes a common pattern. It's what, driving, driving a car the first time -- you got to do it, and then you get used to it so --

Cascade Features: Brings & Needs Report

Richard Sterry 4:18
That sounds great with Access. There's a lot to it -- huge amounts. And I like the analogy with the supermarket, as there's so, so many goodies on the shelves; it's just a matter of finding those and then remember where your favorites are with that. Let's, let's move on to Cascade. What are your favorite things about the Cascade products?

Charlotte Blair 4:54
Definitely my go-to are the Brings & Needs report and the Insight report. I'd probably say that those two are tied. And, and I say, when, when I say, "my favorite," I think what I find is it's my clients' favorites. So they're the ones that I get the most, "Ooh, wow, this is really great!" Brings & Needs, in particular, I think, for somebody that's maybe going for a new role. Maybe it's something where somebody wants to update their CV or their LinkedIn profile. Or maybe it's just sitting down with their team and having a conversation about what they bring to the role and what they need with each other.

Charlotte Blair 5:38
So it's one that I find useful to give maybe part of the way through something like the Best of Us conversation, because I get people to start that conversation without it. And then I might be some, adding things to it. And then we can do some really great activities around the Insight statement. We have them create their own kind of "I am" statements and articulate those to others. I think the one that people always go, "Oh, wow, these demotivators really ring bells with me." So they're my two go-to favorites.

Cascade Features: The Team Grid, Team Summary Report

Charlotte Blair 6:13
Then, obviously, the Team Grid and the Team Summary report. Great. What I really like there is that ability to be able to say, Oh, Top 5 -- sorry, Top 10, Bottom 5, or Oh, OK, we're working with this team again; let's now look at the Top 15. What's maybe just outside the Top 5, Top 10, that they could then start leveraging a little bit more? Maybe there's something at 11, 12, 13 collectively as a team. I remember working with a team and noticing that the Top 10 data was really great. But when we looked at the Top 15, that kind of opened up a whole new toolkit to them. They were like, Wow, yeah, didn't really sort of think about these.

Charlotte Blair 6:52
And when I speak to them again afterwards, it's like, Wow, yeah, we're really using these. I think then I also really like, or my clients really like, that all the different options, like all the, again, goodies in the supermarket that you've got under the Theme Advantage tab. And what I like to do there is suggest to clients, say, "This is how you might be able to use this. And here's a great podcast that Gallup have that maybe go in conjunction with this." So we sort of, you know, pair up then the functionality of, of Access and some of the materials they've got there, along with some of those downloadable functions in Cascade. So the fact that they'll be in one place will make that so much easier.

Jim Collison 7:33
It's, the "bring," the "I need, I bring" concept has come up several times in the last 3 weeks in all the webcasts that I'm doing. It's a very powerful conversation. Charlotte, we include those, of course, in the Insight Cards; they're statements that are there. Talk a little bit about why that report is so powerful inside of Cascade. What is it, what's it bringing? What's it doing for individuals that go beyond the kind of the cards or even the statements?

Charlotte Blair 8:03
Well, I think beyond the cards, what I like, so, Jim, still in my cupboards, I've got lots of packs of Insight Cards and Theme Dynamic Cards. What I used to find is that there were certain cards that would disappear out of those packs when I got them back home, and invariably it would be Learner and Input. Funny that, isn't it? Because I get my kids to sort them out. So the fact that it's just easy at the touch of a button to be able to produce that personalized -- personalized, as in somebody's Top 5, Top 10, Top 15 -- I like that option that you can kind of choose, All right, we're gonna give this group the Top 10; I don't know, of this group, we're going to give them the Top 15, so that they can go deeper. At the click of a button, it's easy. We don't have to sort of sort through anything. But, and particularly, I think the Brings & Needs report is, there might not be every line that resonates with them. But there might be one or two lines, and we get them to sort of go through and pull out the bits that really resonate. And what's this one thing that you really want your manager to know? What are these 10 things that you really want your team to know about you? So the fact that it's personalized to them makes it handy and easier.

Jim Collison 9:14
Richard, you built that tool. What were you, as you were putting this together, what were you hoping for? As you, and you, there's lots of these tools available in there. What were you hoping for with this one?

Richard Sterry 9:25
That's an interesting question. I actually don't know what I was hoping for. But let me explain how I created them. I listened to Series 1 Called to Coach and wrote meticulous notes on them. I think it took me about 3 hours for every episode of that. So I went through the, all 34 themes on that. Did lots of other research for lots of other materials and things, and then gathered the information together for those Brings & Needs statements. And it's not just literally a two-liner; there are between four and six lines for each of the different themes for that. And that whole process took me about 2 years to bring it all together. So there's quite a lot of investment going into that. And I was just enjoying doing it. I've got Learner in my Top 5. And so I just really reveled in that aspect, not knowing exactly how it is going to be used. But having that in Cascade, I'm regularly hearing, that's people's favorite report, or that's the one that resonates most with individuals and so on. And I think as Charlotte, she touched on the fact that it, they may not agree with all the aspects, but at least there'll be two or three which they will pick up on and then run with those. So yeah, Futuristic, Strategic -- that's not me. I will just get on and do it and see what happens.

Jim Collison 10:34
I think a lot of folks ask us, Why can't you just come up with new tools faster? And I think you just answered the question of 2 years of, of a lot of work and a lot of, you know, a lot of thought went into that. It's just been uncanny how in the last couple of months, I have heard that come up a lot. Richard, let's continue.

How the Access-Cascade Integration Will Benefit Coaches

Richard Sterry 10:53
Yes, so we've spoken about Access, and we've spoken about Cascade. And now with the, the new season coming up where the two are going to be integrated, Charlotte, what really excites you about the fact that the, the two products are coming together? And what difference is that kind of make for you, as a coach?

Charlotte Blair 11:10
I think for sure, it's about this kind of one-stop-shop piece. I can, you know, yeah, I've got my two screens and I might go into Access, and then I do one thing there, and then I kind of cut and paste it and I put it into, into Cascade -- the fact that it will be in one place will make my life a lot easier. But I think just that kind of, you know, integration and finding the right things for me, finding the right things for my clients and pointing them in their direction. But when I think about all the managers and the users that that I work with, for them to be able to sort of find things easily as well. So I think, you know, a number of my clients use Cascade as well as Access, just to be able to guide and point them in the right direction and make it easier for them.

Charlotte Blair 11:58
So the integration of being a one-stop shop, I think is the, the most exciting piece. And then I think the new features that will be easier for, you know, Gallup to integrate along with your support, Richard. So you know that I've often come to you and said, "Oh, can we look at creating this?" And you're like, "Yes, and there might be a little time delay." I think, you know, now it will be easier, hopefully, for some of the, the amazing stuff that Gallup produced to be able to sort of integrate those two. I mean, Jim, I remember having this conversation with you a couple of years ago at the summit of going, you know, "What's your, what's your wish list as a coach?" And I'd be like, "Oh, if only we could just integrate Cascade and, you know, Gallup Access, that would be great." And lo and behold, we got our wish.

Jim Collison 12:46
It happened. Richard, let me flip that question on you. What, what are you most excited about? You're seeing this from, you know, from your perspective and everything that's available. We've been working together for the last couple of weeks. What are you most excited about?

Richard Sterry 13:00
One of my parts of my mission statement is to grow and support the coaching community. And I'd realized with Cascade, it's supporting a small community, but it can't really grow bigger and scale up bigger. And the collaboration with Gallup is really going to help enable that. So that's one thing I'm really looking forward to happening. How that's going to happen -- I'm looking at some of the reports in Cascade, and I've had loads and loads of requests. Can you bring in this? Can you bring in other aspects and different things? And as a licensed partner, I don't have permission to use that IP. But now Cascade is part of Access, and it's all part of the Gallup model, then using IP from other sources within Gallup, that's absolutely fine. So there's more opportunities there for more reports, to really help coaches in a different way.

Why Now Is a Great Time to Invest in Cascade

Jim Collison 13:51
I remember you saying that when we first got together, and I hadn't really thought about the limitations that, just based on what, what we had, what we had licensed to you. And so great to kind of, you know, open those doors. Charlotte, let me ask you a question on if you're thinking about, because oftentimes, you're, we're talking to Cascade users; they're already aware of this. For someone who's coming new to the community or has been maybe on the outside over the last, you know, year or two and keeps hearing about this Cascade, What would you tell them -- now that it's coming, it'll be part of a subscription -- what would you tell them, a reason why they should jump at this right away?

Charlotte Blair 14:32
Well, what I would tell them is you need this straight away. No. 1, it will save you so much time, like if I think back, the amount of time Cascade has saved me over the years is, I'd hate to add it up. But the moment I got it, it was like, Wow, this has just saved me so much time to be able to produce materials for a workshop. And, you know, hit a button and there's everything downloaded for you is the biggest thing. But it's not just that; it's, it's then the value that they then might be able to add to their users, their clients. So if they're a, perhaps an internal learning and development person, an internal HR person, you know, even a manager, to then be able to produce some of these reports themselves -- something like the Power of 2 conversation -- to just be able to go, Oh, yeah, I've got these two people; let's produce this report.

Charlotte Blair 15:24
And then that integration with Access, where we may have been giving managers access to their team's results, to then be able to say, Oh, right, well, you can go and download the Theme Advantage Sheet on career conversations or on, you know, VUCA, what a great value-add to be able to just have things that you can use straight away. I mean, I hear a lot from people. "Oh, yeah. Well, we've done a CliftonStrengths workshop. Now what?" Well, yes, as a coach, I might feed them these materials, but for them to be able to self-serve themselves is really powerful.

Jim Collison 16:00
Richard, I think we've got one more, time for one more question. What else do you have for us?

How Cascade Can Benefit Organizations, Leadership

Richard Sterry 16:06
Yeah, well, what Charlotte was just talking about -- how Cascade can help an organization. Can you expand a little bit more on that? So not just talking about how coaches can benefit from Cascade, but, say, someone who works in an organization, maybe the Learning and Development Department, or someone supporting the management team? What advantages would Cascade offer those people to help create those strengths-based environments?

Charlotte Blair 16:29
Yep. So I've got a client that uses Cascade at the moment; I manage it for them. But the fact that they then will be able to manage it themselves really easily will be great. But what they do is every new starter does a induction around CliftonStrengths. And then when they're in the office, they have their name tents by their desk. So, you know, imagine people coming up and going, "Oh, wow, Sophie, welcome to X Y, Z organization. Oh, I see that you're high Positivity. Oh, so am I," and it kind of builds that connection. So, one, you know, being able to do the name tent: Oh, we've got a new person in the team; let's make sure that we add Sophie into the team. And then next team discussion we're having, you know, let's learn a little bit about Sophie and, you know, what she brings and needs in, in, in her role.

Charlotte Blair 17:18
And then, as I say, some of those conversations that they might have with other people, some of those conversations that a manager -- a coaching conversation that a manager might be having with the person and, you know, here's some useful material to sort of think about those team discussions, is really just that kind of self-service of useful, value-adding information that will make their life easier and enable them to sort of live and breathe strengths, so that we're not just sort of Naming and Claiming it, but really moving to that intentional Aiming piece.

How Cascade Can Help Leaders Manage Their Teams

Jim Collison 17:58
Charlotte, you mentioned using, kind of, Cascade in an onboarding function, right, to, when people are new, when they've, when they're joining the organizations. How else do you think, from how you've seen it be used with, with managers, with leaders in really developing their teams, what kind of advice would you give in that area with leaders as far as day-to-day management, or 5 coaching conversations or any of those things in their day-to-day management?

Charlotte Blair 18:27
So I think one thing that I recommend in their day-to-day management is they take something like the Teams Activity Guide, and then using some of the materials and the Teams Activity Guide. So I kind of create a bit of a playbook for, for clients that say, OK, Week 1, you might want to consider using the Best of Us conversation, and make sure that you send people their Brings & Needs report or their Insights report when you're having that conversation. Oh, Week 2, you might want to consider using a picture card activity and make sure that people have got, you know, this particular report to hand as well. And it's just easy for them to send it out.

Charlotte Blair 19:09
So I think it's just sort of arming them with tips and things that they can use. But actually what I found, Jim, is, you know, once, once some of my clients get to use it themselves, they're actually really creative. And they come up with new ways to be able to use it as well, which is really exciting to hear. Oh, yeah, we've just been into Cascade, and we've just done this. And we had a great team conversation. And Wow, we looked at our team's results based on their kind of Top 15. Oh, no, we pulled down the, the All 34 report, and that was really great to be able to highlight where Adaptability is for all of us as a team. So it's really interesting hearing how they kind of customize and use it themselves.

Jim Collison 19:51
I think after this integration goes live, we're gonna see an explosion of creativity. Richard, you've taken on that creativity over the last several years, as, I'm sure, as you've heard from coaches that have had great ideas on things to do. And Charlotte, I'm sure you're gonna have lots of more ideas coming up. We didn't prep you for this, this question, but I'll ask it kind of on the way out: If you were to summarize how you feel about this integration, and it coming -- you mentioned a little bit of that earlier. But if you were to summarize it, maybe in a sentence, How would you summarize how you're feeling about this going forward?

Charlotte Blair 20:26
Oh, is that to Richard or me?

Jim Collison 20:28
No, that's to you, Charlotte.

Charlotte Blair 20:29
Oh, sorry. Excited, because it will save even more time; and time, ultimately, is money. And that time means that I can help my clients even more in a personalized way.

Jim Collison 20:48
Good enough, and good improv. Nice job on pulling that out. Richard, anything else you want to add before I wrap this up?

Richard Sterry 20:55
I think, really, this is a massive opportunity, as I touched on earlier, to reach a wider audience with a greater range of reports and tools and resources. So that's really going to help grow the coaching community, which will then have a greater impact on the wider audience in that sense. So yeah, I see it as a good opportunity for collaboration.

Jim Collison 21:14
Well, we're excited for this coming. It may have already happened. That's the great thing about time-shifted media that we do. And so, thank the both of you -- Richard, Charlotte, thank you for coming out today and being a part of this. And we're excited about it as well. I'm super excited to have a new tool out there for folks to be able to spend a ton of time working with and, and asking for more on. You know, you know my job -- they're always going to ask for more. And so I appreciate both of you coming out. A reminder, if you have any questions on this at any time, you can always send us an email: We want to thank you for joining us today. And with that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Charlotte Blair's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Activator, Woo, Command, Arranger and Positivity.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

Gallup®, CliftonStrengths® and each of the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are trademarks of Gallup. Copyright © 2000 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
+1 202.715.3030