SoMe and supertankers

How did this happen? Yesterday I was preaching in the desert, nobody believed a word of what I said, I spent a lot of my time evangelizing. I was a leader.

One morning everything changed and now I do not have ONE client who’s not an ardent believer, and I do not meet ONE  person who didn’t “always get it”. I am a follower !

My father used to work in the oil industry and explains this with the “supertanker rudder” effect: to steer a big ship you throw the rudder all the way in one direction, but for a while nothing happens, the ship continues on its course; then all of sudden it veers around with a vengeance. He said that good skippers steer the ship without seeing where she’s headed.

So, enough with evangelizing, I now want to deal with supertankers, helping their skippers in devining where to steer them in the SoMe ocean, hence the new blog category.

One of the first contributions we consultants can make to help supertankers skippers is the definition of a sound SoMe policy. However, the best SoMe policy in the world won’t be of any use if your employees don’t “buy in”; in that sense, every supertanker steering exercise is a Change Management project and one day I will get Ralf to help me write a good guide to introducing SoMe in big companies using the Change Management tools he masters.

Awaiting this, Marta Ogneva of Yammer sums up in this article on Mashable a good list of tips; I feel that, on top of these, there is probably one that I found both very important and very difficult to implement which is: Lead by Example. Like many other company values, expressing them in nice language and printing on Our Values posters, and running workshops and doing audits is useful, but I will trade a ton of each of these for a gram of a CEO displaying authentic affection for them.


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