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Breena Fain

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How to Avoid Endless Idea Generation for Your Next Product Feature

 rawpixel-973137-unsplash

 

The Issue: Endless Roadmap Meetings and Too Many Product Ideas

Brainstorming can feel like the wild wild west of product planning. The unpredictability of idea generation sessions can derail productivity and leave your team more at odds than before. Despite its unruly nature, product teams still use open-ended brainstorming to identify new product ideas.

In this post, we will teach you how to generate winning product ideas for new features using unmet customer needs in a Job-to-be-Done. We include an example of how to beat Google Maps and Apple Maps using this technique.


The Traditional Way: Generating Ideas with No Objective Criteria

One of the most popular methods to generate new feature ideas is brainstorming. To facilitate the generation of new ideas, there is often only one rule in brainstorming - there are no bad ideas. In other words, your team is not supposed to use any criteria to judge new ideas on the assumption that this will enhance creativity.

Brainstorming has proven to be ineffective at generating valuable product ideas. The reason brainstorming is inefficient is because it doesn’t include any quantitative criteria your team can use to quickly and efficiently judge new product ideas. Those criteria are the unmet customer needs in the job.

The JTBD Way: Clear Criteria Focused on Customer’s Struggle

Because Jobs-to-be-Done identifies unambiguous and quantifiable customer unmet needs in your customer’s JTBD, your team can use these unmet needs as the criteria to judge your product ideas. This eliminates any opinion-driven decisions and instead frames all ideas in the context of whether or not they will help your customer overcome the struggle to get their job done.

Let's look at our example of Apple and Google Maps. What feature idea will help us beat Apple Maps and Google Maps?

How to use JTBD to Uncover Unmet Needs

We know that customers aren’t waking up in the morning saying, “I want to use a navigation app today!” Of course, not. Instead, they’re ultimately asking for something to help them get to a destination on time. This is the Job-to-be-Done that consumers are “hiring” navigation apps to do. Consumers getting to a destination on time is the underlying market for navigation apps.

thrv jtbd job steps

 

Above are the 16 steps in the JTBD of getting to a destination on time. Job Steps are all the things a customer has to do to complete a job. Once we know the job steps, we identified the needs in each step to determine how customers struggle to get the job done. For example, customers need to determine the optimal sequence to make planned stops in a busy day.

Unmet needs in the job are the criteria
to use to generate and judge new product ideas.

To determine if this is a struggle, the thrv team asked consumers in a survey how difficult it is for them to determine the optimal sequence to make planned stops. We determined the customer's struggle by calculating a customer effort score. And we used customer effort scores to identify an underserved segment of customers who all struggle to get the job done in the same way.

This revealed that 86% of customers in the segment did not find it easy to determine the optimal sequence to make their planned stops. And for each customer need, we used the existing competitive solutions - in this case, Google Maps - to determine how quickly and accurately a customer can satisfy the need with the existing competitors.

In this example, satisfying this need takes five minutes or more and is only 20% accurate. With our quantitative data and analysis, we discovered that it takes too much effort for customers to satisfy this need with our competition - Apple Maps and Google Maps. These effort, speed and accuracy scores are your baseline for our idea generation. In other words, the unmet needs in the job are the criteria to use to generate and judge new product ideas.

How to Generate and Identify the Best Product Ideas - An Example Product Idea

Let's use this unmet need to generate and judge new product ideas. How can we help consumers determine the optimal sequence to make planned stops faster and more accurately?n To help them determine the optimal sequence in their busy day, one idea was to create an assistant service. A customer could call a remote assistant who would have access to their calendar, assess their stops, routes, and likely arrival times. And then make recommendations to re-order their stops. We can score this idea using the speed and accuracy of satisfying the unmet needs with our Assistant Service features. And we can assess the likely resulting customer effort.

Our second idea is called Sync & Optimize. This idea includes syncing with a user's calendar to determine the stops in their day. And to create an optimization algorithm that will factor in which stops can be moved, what the likely local traffic conditions will be at the time, and any atypical travel conditions like traffic or weather that may occur as the departure time approaches. The Sync & Optimize feature automatically and instantly optimizes the sequence of their planned stops.

Want to see how these two product ideas compare? Learn more in our online course.

The Benefit: Ditch the Debates and Align Your Team with Less Risk

Jobs-to-be-Done provides you with clear, objective criteria to generate and identify the best product ideas so you can end debates and build features your customers actually need and want. JTBD helps align your team with your customers and helps you get faster executive approval on your product roadmap.

Quick Review: To identify the best feature ideas, determine the JTBD and the steps, quantify the unmet needs in JTBD and segment customers, finally analyze and calculate the competitive speed & accuracy baseline for each of the unmet needs. Then you are ready to use the unmet needs to quickly generate and judge the best product feature ideas. 

 

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How to Choose your Features for an MVP

how to choose the right features for MVP

Coming up with the right set of features for an MVP is a pressure-filled task. If your MVP doesn't succeed, convincing anyone to continue investing in your product (or company) is an uphill battle. Your team's once strongly held opinions are revealed to be guesses and you are left wondering, "how many more guesses can we afford?" Without clear criteria for what feature ideas will deliver customer value, your MVP could end up looking like a hodge-podge of half-baked ideas, leaving you with a product no one needs and zero runway to burn.

We sat down with JP Luchetti, CEO of Yolion, a startup that helps consumers get more value out of what they spend. Yolion is an app that helps UK families get better value for money in their everyday spending and household bills seamlessly. All Yolion users need to do is connect their bank account to the app, and then the savings start rolling inWe talked to JP about how he and his team used Jobs-to-be-Done to understand and quantify customer needs, generate and filter ideas for their MVP, and deliver a prototype that wowed users.

Here’s the tl;dr:

  • Yolion identified and prioritized the unmet needs of consumers in the UK who wanted to get more value for what they spent
  • They found a market segment of 9M households in the UK that struggle to get the job done
  • With a clear understanding of customer problems, they designed and built a prototype of an MVP that eliminated Job Steps for users
  • Along the way the product, technology, commercial and marketing teams with aligned around a empathy for their customers, criteria for good feature ideas, and a common language based on Jobs-to-be-Done.

Read on to find out how Yolion achieved all of this.

jp-yolion JP Luchetti, CEO, Yolion

 

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced before implementing jobs-to-be-done?

When we first started building the product strategy, we were basically in diapers. We had a gut feeling about the things that would work and knew it would eventually come together, but we weren’t clear on how that was going to happen.

Our team had an idea of what the value proposition would be, but couldn’t articulate who our client was or what they were struggling with. We also didn’t have a good understanding of who the competition was and what they were good at solving.

We had actually tried Jobs-to-be-Done a couple of years ago, but we didn’t understand how to implement it. For us, figuring out the job was easy - we wanted to help people get the most of out their money. But understanding the customer’s job steps it took to get there was unclear. This is what thrv helped us do.

 

What were some of the biggest takeaways from the Jobs-to-be-Done process?

Jobs-to-be-Done gave us the confidence to move away from building what is easy and makes sense to what we know will drive value and an MVP that defies conventional approaches. It gave the team (product, tech, marketing, etc.) a clear understanding of who our customer is, what they are trying to do, and where they are struggling.  It gave us a very clear understanding of the market, allowed us to see where the gaps were and showed us how to build a product that filled those gaps.

 

How did you find those gaps in the market?

We found out that the competition was focused on helping people get the job done as opposed to just doing the job for them. We saw an opportunity to move away from helping our customers to just doing it for them completely. Instead of building a comprehensive product that helps people get the job done, we could build a very narrow product that gets the job done with minimal time and effort on the user side - a great MVP to define a footprint and grow from.

Some of the unmet needs we found were that customers were:

  • In the dark about their spending
  • Looking for alternatives with better value and especially quick-wins
  • Struggling to make changes or adopt new behaviors
  • Unsure whether they are better off after making a change
  • Unsure whether the changes they have made are enough
  • Struggling to adjust the new solution to better fit their needs

thrv and jobs-to-be-done not only helped us define our market and unmet needs, but it also helped with market segmentation. That market segmentation gave us the ability to say, “This is a group of people who are willing to provide data to get the job done.” Before that, I couldn’t paint a picture of who our target customer was. And honestly, I couldn’t answer one of the key questions you get in banking which is “How are you going to get people to trust you?” Before we had the results of the survey, I didn’t even want to get into that ring. I would shut down conversations.

Today, we have a very clear understanding of who our target customer is. This is the group of people who have articulated their struggle the most and provide the greatest opportunity in the market.

When we show them the product, they can quickly articulate our value and show a willingness to pay because they understand what we are doing.

 

What was one of the biggest breakthroughs you had in the process?

After identifying the market and customers, we mapped out the job steps and had a visual of what we had to do for the customer. The major breakthrough came when we realized we didn’t want to help the customer do the job steps - we wanted to do get the job done for them. We wanted to kill steps in the process completely. Seeing people interact with the product and reactive so positively was validation for us.

The conventional way to tackle our problem would be to show someone how much they spend on groceries and create anxiety by pointing out opportunities to save.

The Yolion way is to analyze your behavior through your spend data coming from OBP and then activate offers on the merchant you already visit. This way we seamlessly make it more affordable to spend with the merchant you already love.

Having the ultimate JTBD focus changed our point of view of what the job steps were for. A particular job step (e.g. “see where you spend”) is not valuable in and of itself, it’s only valuable insofar as it helps our customer get the job done. If we can get it done for the customer, then we will do that.

From there, we just got laser-focused on what we needed to build. Although many people on the team initially thought to build a dashboard, when we asked “is that the fastest way to get the most value for what you spend?” the answer was obvious--no. Just viewing data left a lot of manual work for our customers to achieve their goals.

 

How did you get the entire company aligned with this new approach?

Getting people on the same page can be a huge challenge. We had a lot of people who were very adamant about what they thought the product was going to be. When we did get that pushback on including the dashboard, we relied on customer testing to provide evidence that was inarguable.

When we showed customers the dashboard, many responded that they thought we were a budgeting app, which we had agreed as a team was not the job we were targeting. We are a savings app and something about the dashboard communicated “budgeting.”

We compiled videos to make sure our team could see how people were reacting. We wanted to remove opinions and only focus on the evidence.

Jobs-to-be-Done gives you ammunition to articulate exactly what you need to build.

 

How will JTBD help you in the future?

Moving forward, we now have clear criteria of how we make decisions has empowered the team.

When someone brings up a new idea, we put it in a list and look at which customer needs in the job it fits and how well it could meet them. It’s a great way of being able to evaluate ideas quickly and with little emotion. That’s one of the key things we learned from the jobs-to-be-done process. We’ve moved away from subjective comments about what features our employees like or don’t like and instead focus on how quickly and accurately they get the job done.

Previously, the subjectivity would cause so many problems because once you verbalize an idea, you’ve fallen in love with it. Anyone that comments on the idea you just verbalized, it feels like they’re talking about you. Jobs-to-be-done gives the team the ability to look at their ideas before they talk about them. It helps you be less subjective about your own ideas as well.

Without the JTBD process, we would have built a monster. It was complicated, twisted. Now, the product is just so simple.

At the end of the day, identifying the job wasn’t the revelation. The revelation was finding the gaps that the competition wasn’t doing in the job. We killed steps entire job steps for our customers. If we hadn’t broken down the job steps, we wouldn’t have seen the gaps. And then we wouldn’t have been able to determine the value our product could deliver to the customer.

A lot of people have this idea that once they figure out what the job is, people are going to be blown away, it’s going to be a totally disruptive thing and we’re going to have to back up what the job is. But to us the job was obvious. What wasn’t obvious is how we’re going to get it done. What features would we build for the MVP? How would we back-up our roadmap? The JTBD process helped us get there.

Jobs-to-be-Done is the perfect ammunition you need to execute a perfect product strategy.

Our strategy is centered on the JOB and how we get it done. The product is not an amalgamation of features that make sense. The product strategy is not a backlog of features or changes to be implemented in time. Our product is ONE THING, clearly defined and very, very simple.

If we would have launched early based on opinions, we would be out of money by now. But we’re not. We have a series of market data points that support what we are building. There is a level of confidence in the team that you cannot pay for. The product team is talking at a different level and they know why and what they’re building.

Posted by Breena Fain , 0 comments

The 3 Types of Jobs-To-Be-Done Your Customers Have

three types of jobs-to-be-done

In Jobs Theory, there are three types of jobs-to-be-done your customer is trying to get done - functional, emotional and consumption. Knowing the difference between these three jobs is critical in your ability to define your market, to identify unmet customer needs within that market, and to create an outstanding customer experience.

No matter what theory, framework, or method you and your company may use, it is vital to remember that your customers are real people with real goals they are trying to achieve in their personal and professional lives. These goals (called “jobs-to-be-done”) are real and measurable regardless if your company serves consumer markets, business-to-business markets, or medical markets.

For example, parents need to teach kids behaviors like managing anger, learning a subject, eat healthily, etc. Financial executives need to optimize company cash flow, comply with regulations, and mitigate investment risk. And doctors need to diagnose a medical condition, obtain blood samples, and prescribe medicine.

All of these are “functional jobs.” They are goals people are trying to achieve. And because they are goals, the success of achieving the goal can be measured using speed and accuracy. For example, how quickly can parents teach their children to manage anger? How accurately can a CFO comply with regulations? And how fast can a doctor make an accurate medical diagnosis?

If your customers cannot achieve their goal fast and accurately, you have a market opportunity to grow by innovating (i.e. by creating a product or service that gets the job done faster and/or more accurately). Customers switch to a new solution when the new solution helps them achieve the goal (i.e. get the job done) faster and more accurately.

Functional jobs are independent of any solutions they might be using. So when you answer the question of what your customer’s job-to-be-done is, be sure to not include your own product in the statement. To figure out how to come up with the right functional job statement, take a look at this post on How to Answer the Question “What’s the job-to-be-done?”.

The second type of job is an emotional job - how your customers want to feel and be perceived while executing the functional job. For example, overcoming anxiety can be an emotional job as customers want to avoid feeling anxious due to being late and perceived as unprofessional. Customers are, of course, human. Even though your product must meet the needs of the functional job first and foremost, addressing the emotional job is also important in fully understanding the needs of your customer. Emotional jobs can highlight how your customer wants to feel about themselves when they are executing a functional job or they can be social, focusing on how they want to be perceived by others while executing a job. Either way, it’s important to gain insight on what these emotional jobs are so that you can have the full story of their struggle.

The third type of job is consumption jobs. They are what a customer has to do to utilize a solution. If you are trying to get to a destination on time, to use Google Maps as a solution, you will have to interface with a mobile app while driving. “Interface with a mobile app while driving” is a consumption job. Tasks that include verbs such as learn, install, maintain, repair, dispose of, unbox, etc, are often consumption jobs.

All three types of jobs are important to identify and analyze because together they contribute to your customer’s full experience of your product.  

How the Three Types of Jobs-to-be-Done Come Together

To see how these three types of jobs come together, let’s look at an example.

Functional job: Get to a destination on time.

We know that getting a destination on time is a functional job. It’s a goal people need to achieve every day, and it is independent of any solution. But what are some of the emotional jobs (or goals) that people have when trying to get to a destination on time? Perhaps they want to avoid feeling anxious about being late for a meeting. They most likely want to feel safe while getting there. The heightened emotional repercussions of not getting to a destination on time are what gives context to how a functional job is fulfilled. If the functional job is executed poorly, it negatively impacts the emotional job and creates negative emotions and anxiety for the customer.

The consumption job comes in when customers are using a particular tool to help them get to a destination on time such as an Uber or Lyft app. Interfacing with an app while driving is an example of a consumption job - a job that is related to using a solution to get a destination on time.

Although emotional and consumption jobs are important and contribute to the overall customer experience, it is the functional job that defines the market.

Why the Functional Job is Your Market (and the one that really matters)

Many people will argue that the way a product makes a person feel or the design experience created is just as important as the functional job. Although they may add more value, at the end of the day if your product isn’t fulfilling that main functional job - customers will fire you.  

To make this example concrete, let’s say you are using two apps: one that has a high probability of helping you sell your used car, but with a poor interface, and one that does not have a high probability of selling your used car, but has a beautiful interface. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the second product is if it doesn’t solve the functional job of selling your used car - the first, ugly product will win in the market.

jobs-to-be-done design example

Craigslist is perhaps the best example of this: it gets the functional job done with a poor interface. It still dominates the market for person-to-person buying and selling because it gets the functional jobs of buying and selling done (i.e. it has market liquidity), even though its interface has been given very few modern improvements.

Building a product your customer actually needs requires you to understand all the jobs (functional, emotional, and consumption) they are hiring for. But what separates successful companies from failing ones is the ability to identify the most important functional job they have and what needs you can fill to get that job done for them.

 

Posted by Breena Fain , 1 comment

Defining a Market and its Two Types of Customers

jobs to be done types of customers

 

How do you define your market? Is it by the customers you serve? The product you’re building? Or perhaps the category everyone else uses to describe your product?

When it comes to defining a market, a more common approach is to use a product-based market definition. If you’re creating a banking app product, you may simply say you are in the “banking app” market. On the surface, it seems reasonable. It’s obvious to your team, it’s a straightforward way to socialize the same statement across a company, and it’s easy to remember. However, creating product-based market definitions are inherently flawed because products change over time. If you tie your entire your business model to a product with an expiration date, your business will expire with it.

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!” - Theodore Levitt, Harvard Business School Professor

Absolutely no company is absolved from this approach, either. For example, Blackberry, Britannica, and Kodak all lost billions of dollars in equity value because they were focused on their products and not the customer’s struggle, or as we call it - the job-to-be-done. As they grew, they became trapped and tethered to the product they built their entire business around.

In each case, these companies thought they were in a product-based market. Blackberry thought there was a market for keyboard devices. Britannica thought there was a market for Encyclopedias. Kodak thought there was a market for film. But these are all fatally flawed product-based definitions of markets, because products evolve.

This concept is true in any market. In a consumer market, consumers don’t want nav apps, GPS or maps, they want to get to a destination on time. Getting to a destination on time is the customer’s goal and it is therefore a stable job-to-be-done that will not change over time. The correct way to define a market is to focus on a group of people executing a functional job-to-be-done. With jobs-to-be-done, there are no product-based markets. There are no iPod markets, no Maps market. There is only the customer’s job to be done. If you build an entire business around that timeless job, you have a greater chance of innovating on products that can meet the needs of the customer.

Now that you have a clear understanding of what a market is, let’s get to the two types of customers you need to address. Within every market (or job-to-be-done), there are two types of customers - job executor and job beneficiary. The job executor, appropriately named, executes on the job. The job beneficiary benefits from that job. While they can often be the same person, in cases where they are two different people, you must always build your business around the job beneficiary. Why? Because just like a product, markets evolve to remove the job executor.

This beneficiary/executor distinction is important because the job executor is currently part of the solution to getting the job done and new solutions will be developed over time to help the beneficiary get the job done on their own without the current executor.

For example, cloud-based applications have enabled companies to reduce or eliminate specialized IT managers (job executors) so that non-technical employees (job beneficiaries) can "enable secure data use" on their own. In medical markets, new medical devices have been developed to allow a patient to "obtain a blood sample" on their own without a specialized phlebotomist.

In our B2C example, Lyft, Uber, and autonomous vehicles remove the need for consumers to drive themselves. In our medical example, a company called Seventh Sense is building a microneedle array that enables a patient to easily and painlessly obtain their own blood sample without a technically trained phlebotomist. Cloud services and cloud-based applications enable employees to use data securely without an IT manager. This process of removing executors happens in every market.

Again, this is why it is critical for your teams to focus on your customer's job and not your product - because customers, the job beneficiaries, are not buying your product, they are hiring it to get a job done. Even in cases where the purchaser is not the job beneficiary, over time, products that get the job done better for the beneficiary will be purchased by the purchase decision makers.

 

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How Kellogg School of Management Used JTBD for Better Customer Insight

 

jobs-to-be-done customer needs Graduates attend the Kellogg Class of 2012 Commencement Ceremony at Ryan Field on June 15, 2012. Photos by Justin Runquist

 

What do you do when you’ve spent the lifetime of your business focusing on one type of customer and suddenly you realize the market has shifted beneath your feet? Your customers are not who you thought they were, and the value you’ve long provided them is put into question. Do you have to change what you offer? How do you deliver value to this new customer?

Why is this new buyer willing to pay?

For Elmer Almachar, Senior Director, Strategy and Innovation, Kellogg School of Management, this was the multi-million dollar question. In the past, Kellogg’s enrollment for their executive MBA program was largely supported by company-sponsored tuition. Employees from top global companies would rely on their employer to sponsor them to attend the program, and in the end, the value to the company was that they had a more experienced, well-rounded employee.

Image of Elmer Almachar.

Elmer Almachar, Kellogg School of Management

However, over time the market had changed. Company sponsorships had decreased by 43%, while the number of students paying their own tuition increased by 42%, according to the EMBA Council.

Tuitions have gone up, outpacing inflation. Self-sponsorships have increased with them. Full sponsorships have declined. So more students are paying a higher proportion of a larger tuition load—but why?

In this interview, Almachar explains how JTBD customer interviews led them to understand their customer and how to serve them better.

What was the moment you realized there was a shift in the market?

When we saw the industry-wide sponsorship numbers, we knew something was going on. Although we knew that meant a change in how students were enrolling and paying, we didn’t know why it was happening and what that meant for our overall purpose. We had some educated guesses, but we didn’t have the right method in place. All we had were traditional methods which meant all we would get is a traditional answer. We didn’t have anything available to us that could get to the underlying purpose and the underlying motivation—that is until we explored Jobs to be Done with thrv.

 

Before investigating further, how did you view what you were offering students? What was the value before?

I would say in some ways we were a bit puzzled. Many EMBA programs emerge out of the traditional MBA curriculum. And so a large part of our program did the same, and you can see how it tilted us toward thinking about the degree in a traditional sense, largely focusing on what students get in class. Obviously, the curriculum is important and we believe that in order to get an MBA there are certain things we have to teach you.

However, we wanted to align the overall program more with why they are coming to us in the first place.

We’d always thought there was something about their professional trajectory that influenced them to get an executive MBA. But we had the instinct that there was a deeper motivation there, we just didn’t have the method to get at that motivation.

 

What were you hoping to accomplish through your jobs to be done research?

We entered into the research hoping to better understand why applicants were coming to us. We could understand why when companies were paying their way; it was likely a part of their professional development plan, succession plan, or trajectory within that company. But when [students are] paying their own way, it’s a bit murkier.

The time and opportunity they have to invest just by being a part of any EMBA program is pretty substantial. We wanted to understand what was driving students to choose our program.

Framing this in a Jobs to be Done way, our objective was to understand the job that our students are hiring the EMBA program to do for them. That was the heart of the project.

 

What hypothesis did you develop before going into the interviews?

We had a lot of hypotheses, which were all focused on career, but we couldn’t nail down what about their career made them apply. Mapping out the potential goals helped us expand how we entered into these conversations with students, and eventually, we realized it wasn’t just about their career. That was too limiting.

When you think about a career, you think about changing roles - or getting the next role. And getting into the EMBA program at Kellogg meant much more than changing roles to these students. The students we interviewed were in all kinds of roles, and they were articulating a lot of the same things regardless of what they ended up doing in those roles.

The big response we heard at first was, “I feel like I topped out, and yet I still feel like there are more places for me to go.”

Expressions like that got us thinking that it’s not just about career, it’s about their professional life more broadly understood. And oddly enough, that broader mindset was what allowed us to get to the “job” much faster.

Understanding the JTBD was "realizing my full potential" was a critical first step, but thrv also showed us how to break down this goal/JTBD to identify unmet needs in achieving this goal. This is what we found really powerful about working with thrv: we can identify needs as metrics which we can measure and act on to help our customers/students.

 

How did thrv help you get to the job faster?

Although we had hypotheses, the jobs framework challenged us to think less about our own thoughts and more about what our students really needed. When we asked ourselves “what is the job students are hiring us to do?” our perspective shifted. This was the first time, in my experience, we were asking more open-ended questions like “what was going on in your life when you first thought about an MBA?” We wanted to get to the heart of why they were there and the only way to do that was to remove our own assumptions.

A large part of JTBD, and the value it brings is that it disciplines you to ask more open-ended questions and then to see the patterns that emerge.

What role did interviews play in your ability to get to - and validate - the finalized job?

We did 40-50 interviews, whether it was group interviews or individual interviews. We started out with talking to students as well as alumni. We would always have some questions prepared, but we tried to stay open-minded. Our first goal was just to listen and then to see the patterns of what we were getting and the responses.

I loved the question, “When did you first think about getting an MBA? What was happening in your life?” That’s a great entry point, because a lot of times, by the time they apply they have already established a narrative for themselves in preparation for telling us what their story is. They’re preparing to be a successful candidate.

But when you go back and say, “what was going on in your life, what was the trigger point, the moment” - you get a little deeper into what was actually going on. Whether it was a pivot in their life, or they were responding to self-recognition. When speaking in retrospect, people are more likely to be honest because they're not trying to sell themselves.

Here were some of the responses we received:

  • My mentor told me to do this.
  • I’ve always wanted an MBA, I’ve just never had the time or the courage.
  • I wanted to be a part of the business side of my company.
  • I felt like there was something more.
  • I didn’t know what I wanted, I just knew I didn’t want what I was doing.

That led us to this idea that we were fufilling the job of helping our students realize their full potential.

It was really the interviews that allowed us to recognize the patterns and helped us identify the particular job. As we probed, it was amazing and striking how many times a student came to their own “aha” moments about their own motivations. It was almost like therapy for a service industry like ours.

And when they express their own “aha” moment - that’s when you know you’ve hit something deep. That’s when you know you’ve connected with that “job”.

After recognizing and validating the job of “realizing my full potential,” the next step, is figuring out the best way to help them get there.

We feel we’ve finally found the real purpose of our program - not just to be the best teachers, but to help guide our students through that journey.

 

 

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