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Spaced out at Royal Dutch Shell

”SPACE, VISION AND STRATEGY”: Sir Philip Watts, disgraced Shell Group Chairman who once donned a space suit at a meeting in Maastricht, Netherlands, in 1998 to pump up his troops. Subsequently a defendant in various US class action law suits arising from his role in reserves fraud ,which cost Shell shareholders almost $1 billion in lawsuits and fines. Sir Philip was rewarded with a reported $18 million pension pot/settlement for destroying Shell’s reputation.

Spaced out means to be confused or distracted…

REFLECTIONS OF A SHELL RETIREE

During the Mark Moody-Stuart tenure as Group Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, someone had the brainwave of setting up “hydrocarbon value creation teams”.

The foundations for the reserves scandal were laid.

The company had got (with the explicit knowledge of the top brass) into the hands of people who were only motivated by personal rewards, and who smelled their chance. None of that ‘Enterprise First’ stuff. It was ‘Me first’ and all the snouts were in the trough and nobody wanted to take their snout out of the trough. Anyone complaining or making remarks that things were not right was publicly destroyed and removed. And those with their snouts in the trough started to make promises and ever more ridiculous demands. Explicit instructions to cook the books or ‘err on the high side’ were hardly given in written form or were at least well disguised. It was said and whispered in meetings, conferences and workshops and personal discussions during the annual staff evaluation time. There were clear instructions to aim for the impossible with those stretched targets and anyone who said he could go even further or higher was handsomely rewarded with promotions or fat bonuses. Brinded was a real champion of this, he was #2 and later MD in Shell Expro and I believe they missed their business targets for 7 years in a row under his reign!

If we go back to the heady days of Phil Watts, where he did some time-travelling to the future and returned in a horrendously expensive spacesuit to tell the large audience of the self proclaimed ‘Leaders’ of Shell that he had seen the future and liked it. Presumably we are in that future now. Since as a good born again Christian he would never lie, I can only assume he compared the current state of affairs with Hell. And this is indeed better than Hell (so he must be feeling more miserable by the day as he gets older and closer to the day of the final judgement….)!

When Watts first came to power (he actually stole that job at the time with his gorilla talk and behaviour) the pigs were truly feeding. Watts started his circus with new and bigger promises every year. And then it became unsustainable and the truth came out.

We have internet, everyone knows what has happened and why it happened. Inflated reserves, massive fines, massive bad publicity which brought about the end of Anglo Dutch Shell in the form in which it had flourished for 100 years.

SONG AND DANCE

They were all singing along with this attached song!!!! Nobody spoke up. The CMD danced the Macarena. People resigned because they saw Shell was going over the cliff. And still nobody woke up.

AUDIO LINK FOR THE SONG “WE ARE ALL WINNERS”:

The Lyrics

GROWING AND WINNING (WE ARE THE WORLD)
THERE CAME A TIME
WHEN WE  HEED A CERTAIN CALL
FOR CHANGE , WE NEED TO BOND TOGETHER AS ONE

NOW WE’RE ON A JOURNEY
TO STREAMLINE THE WAY WE WORK
AND BUILD A GLOBAL ENTERPRISE

WE HAVE MOVED ON, GROWING DAY BY DAY
SHARING STRENGTHS, WE PRACTICE WHAT IS BEST
WE ARE ALL A PART OF
SHELL’S GLOBAL FAMILY

DOING WORK ALIGNED WITH EVERYONE
(Chorus)
WE ARE THE BEST
WE ARE ALL WINNERS
WE ARE THE ONE’S WHO HAVE MADE THE CHANGE
WE’VE GROWN THE BUSINESS
WE ARE SHELL’S TOMORROW
B2B, WE’RE ONE GREAT TEAM
WITH OUR
SPACE, VISION AND STRATEGY
WE WILL SUCCEED

WE’LL WORK WITH OUR PEERS
CAUSE THEY’RE PART OF OUR TEAM
HAND IN HAND WE’LL BUILD THE VISION WE PLANNED

OUR HIGHEST GOAL IS TO BE THE CUSTOMER’S BEST CHOICE
FOR THE TEAM, WE MUST LEND A HELPING HAND
Repeat Chorus

WHEN TRIALS ABOUND
OUR MISSION SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE
BUT IF YOU JUST BELIEVE
THERE’S NO WAY WE WILL FALL

WELL, WELL, WELL, LET’S REALIZE
THESE TRIALS WE’LL OVERCOME
WHEN WE…..STAND TOGETHER AS ONE
Repeat Chorus

SONG THANKFULLY ENDS

Original article from which the above extracts are taken

MEMORIES OF MARK “MACARENA” MOODY-STUART

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