Command and control attitudes and strategies don’t help protect you or you company. Instead they produce pain and frustration between your employees and clients, often to the point of causing them to simply give up and abandon the very task in which you want them to engage.
Case in point:
I understand the need to protect intellectual property, but there comes a point when openly sharing the right information will lead to further growth and opportunity. Presently, the share and tweet buttons on their site will post my top 5 strengths as show to the left here, but the link provided takes the reader to a very generic home page where the only action a reader can take is to learn more about the overall program or purchase their own assessment. A pure marketing ploy if ever there was one. Without context and a bit more information to help the reader understand the value, I’d be shocked if Gallup ever sold a single license from this page.
Now, let’s imagine the same home page and same sales links, but with the simple addition of my top 5 identified strengths AND their descriptions. Now I have context and information to share that shows more value to you, perhaps even enough to prompt you to buy your own assessment based on how accurate you perceive mine to be (which by the by, appears to be quite accurate from my own perspective). Simply allowing me to provide deeper context and meaning to my identified strengths would not only allow me to engage in good social conversation given a shared understanding of the terms, but it would ultimately help with Gallup’s marketing of the program by allowing it to be shared virally.
Instead, I am here telling you that my top 5 strengths were: Relator, Intellection, Empathy, Command, and Deliberative, but have no way to connect with you and show you how they really apply without breaking Gallup’s terms of service and explaining what they each mean. Rather than helping me be a great marketing vehicle for their program, they have instead made me a detractor providing negative social sentiment about the program and how it is overly controlled. (Ironically, my own Command strength has noting to do with command and control attitudes, but rather to do with taking charge of situations.)
People love taking tests like this and learning about themselves as evidenced by the glut of internet memes that are so similar in nature to these types of assessments. Imagine how different this post would have been had Gallup been just a bit more open and transparent with what they allow to be shared publicly. Their program inherently has a greater amount of trust and weight behind it given their reputation… even given the $10 price tag, I can imagine a far larger uptick in purchases would be seen if only potential customers could have some better understanding of the terms being shared by those who have taken the assessments already.
*Update: 1-17-2013 at 1pm PST: Thanks to my business partner @coreybowers, it seems Gallup does indeed post the definitions elsewhere causing more of a confusion of business strategies than outright command and control: http://businessjournal.gallup.com/content/102310/clifton-strengthfinder-book-center.aspx and a PDF here: http://t.co/k6NACeRh
So, I may yet be able to make the post I’d intended to and provide some context to the terms. Time will tell as I investigate the possibility of sharing the information on either of those two sites.