What Motivates Your Team?

I am always looking for new ideas and concepts that challenge my thinking and help me improve as a person and a church technical leader. I’m glad I have the opportunity to minister to the church body through technical arts, but I really value using my platform to minister to the people on my team. I believe tech is a tool God uses to spread the Gospel. It is also a tool God uses to reach technically minded people.

As you know, we are not like other folks. There are some unique challenges that go with ministering to technical people and leading them in discipleship. Recently, I gave my team a survey designed to help me gauge how we were doing in training, affirmation, system design, etc. We took a unique approach in crafting the questions to specifically understand why people serve on the tech team. We were gathering data to better implement Jobs-to-be-Done-Theory.

Jobs-to-be-Done-Theory was developed by Clay Christensen (author of The Innovator’s Dilemma). Both Apple and Ikea have designed their businesses around Jobs-to-be-Done-Theory to great success. In my words, it is a business and marketing strategy that principally looks at products as things customers hire to do a job. For example, through the initial price and contract, we hire our mobile phones to help us do the job of communication. How well they do that job determines whether or not we hire them again (upgrade) or fire them (switch to a different model or carrier).

Here’s the punchline: most companies do not design products that way. They calculate their strengths and the target market they want to reach based on their business model. In contrast, consider the iPhone. As a personal computer company, Apple didn’t belong in the phone business. How were they able to innovate so effectively compared to anything on the market in 2007? They looked at the job people were hiring mobile phones to do and concentrated on improving the experience so their device not only expanded the job, but did it better. That’s Jobs-to-be-Done-Theory.

As technical directors, we usually think in terms of what the church hires the tech team to do: run audio for live events, make videos, maintain infrastructure, etc. Have you ever considered what your volunteers are hiring your team to do for them? In other words, what is motivating them to serve in technical arts? If technical arts was a product, why would they be your customers?

Our survey revealed that people were serving on our team mainly for: camaraderie and fellowship, finding a place to fit in, training for a potential job, to serve the community with skills they had already acquired. There was even some additional reasons parents were hiring our team for their teens, including: acceptance, friendship, and discipleship.

I have no desire to coddle consumerism. Please don’t miss the point. Your team members will disengage if the majority of them desire training, but you design most of your gatherings as times for fun and fellowship. Or vice versa. Imagine them wanting acceptance, friendship and camaraderie but when they are with you all they get is training.

I have the tendency to design technical arts around my strengths and the job function that I need to get done. I am learning the value in creating space for the ministry that my team needs from the technical department. Jobs-to-be-Done-Theory could be a tool you use to more effectively leverage technical arts for ministry to your team, not just through your team.

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Mike Schwiebert is the Media Director of Grace Covenant Church in Cornelius, NC where he lives with his beautiful wife and talented daughter. Mike’s passion is to see the church live up to her scriptural commission. He believes that technology plays a key role in accomplishing that objective. How we live and communicate the Gospel, and the tools we use to do it, has become the passionate pursuit of his life. You can find Mike on Twitter @mikeschwiebert