Friday, March 16

What did you expect?

When we were raising funds the first time, we had an amazing house sitter. He was a single guy, a friend from church. He was like a phantom. Nothing was out of place in our home not even a dish towel or a pillow. We knew he'd been there because the dog was alive and happy. It was great.

So when we came to Spain, it never crossed my mind to sort of check someone out or that perhaps a single guy might not be our best choice. We asked a young man from our home church in Spain to stay at our house for several weeks when we made a trip back to the States. We arrived home from an international flight to a house that looked like a fraternity party had just happened. It smelled bad, dirt and food were everywhere. Fortunately, the dog was alive.

Our expectations were that one person would do the job just like the previous person had done. This can get you into trouble. I'm going to do a talk at IMM's Connect 2012 addressing expectations and media. You're all invited!

I recently asked a newcomer on the team to do something and while the project turned out in the end some of the problems we had, I realized were because I had assumed they knew things. My expectation was that they didn't need to be told all the details which actually they did need.

When people, churches, individuals approach using media there's an expectation that it's very easy and accessible because media programs and platforms are appearing on every computer. It's true - it is very accessible. But access doesn't equal success. Anyone these days can indeed do a video or powerpoint, but things done well take a lot more finesse and a lot more time.

An old saying in media says: you can have it good and fast, you can have it fast and cheap, you can have good and cheap, but you can't have all three. So if you decide to take up media for an event or a church service, you need to evaluate your expectations and recognize which two of the three (good, fast, cheap) you can truly live with. A couple people on our team worked on a video and called me in hoping for a final sign off. It was a great rough cut, but it needed to be massaged a bit more. It was time for finesse to tweek it there, shave a few seconds here, adjust where the audio comes in and out by a second until it all clicks.

George Lucas said, "A movie is never finished, only abandoned." Deadlines serve to make sure we finish or as artists we can tweek forever, but the other side of that coin is that you can send out a project half-baked as well. It's all in managing the expectations.