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SUPERBUCKET motivational message from Shell CEO Peter Voser


By John Donovan

Printed below is a motivational message sent to Shell staff yesterday by Royal Dutch Shell CEO, Peter Voser.

It was supplied by a thoroughly disillusioned Shell insider along with these forthright comments from someone who has seen it all before at Shell:


Shell appears to be again in the hands of consultants who are laughing their balls off. I imagine these consultants are the sons of the ones that made the Shell management pass marbles and other spheres or forced them to perform kindergarten games. Nearly all of them participated since standing up and telling what everyone knew ‘This is bullshit, I am going home’ was a step too far for most!

Now we have buckets.

Full of horse manure methinks.

The American consultants have struck again and Shell stepped right into it. Don’t let Shell into your house without taking its shoes off, dogshit is very smelly.


The links are unfortunately to the Shellweb so not accessible.

Dear Colleagues,

Today I want to start a dialogue about how we can take full advantage of the strengths that make Shell unique.

Click here to read a message I’ve posted to Shell Online.  It’s about additional details to our strategy intended to drive our company to a new level of consistent delivery and reliable growth. It’s also about our key differentiators – the unique strengths that give Shell a competitive advantage.  Each of us needs to understand the differentiators we need to focus on in our individual roles in executing our strategy.

The article gives you a broad picture of our evolved strategy and differentiators.  I expect the real understanding to come in the conversations you have with your teams and colleagues across the organisation over the coming weeks and months.  Reflect on the growth opportunities.  Think about how you can build on and apply our differentiators. Consider your role in providing customers and partners with value and reasons for wanting to do business with us.

This is an exciting time to be at Shell.  Energy is vital in sustaining life and enabling progress around the globe.  I’m convinced we have the people, the brand and the technology focus to be the world’s most competitive and innovative energy company.  Let’s go!




Dear Colleagues,

As we drive towards becoming the world’s most competitive and innovative energy company, having the right strategy is critical to reach our destination.

Our strategy is our roadmap. And like any good map, it needs to be up-to-date to reflect the real world around us.

Earlier this year, I and my colleagues on the Executive Committee and the Board began to review and update Shell’s strategy. We started with an analysis of our business environment, which helped shape our thinking about how we can better execute our strategy and accelerate growth. Safety was included in our discussions and remains first and foremost in everything we do at Shell.

Our strategy essentially describes how we plan to achieve our vision to become the world’s most competitive and innovative energy company. When we fulfil that vision, we will be doing our best to serve our higher purpose: To meet the growing demand for the energy that sustains the world – the energy that continues to drive humanity’s remarkable march of progress.

Over the last few years our strategy has worked and served us well. While we still have a long way to go on our journey, I’m encouraged by the fact that we have a lot going for us competitively. Our brand is incredibly strong around the world. We have some of our industry’s best people and best technology. Those are significant advantages that differentiate us from the competition.

Today I want to initiate a company-wide dialogue about how we can take full advantage of the strengths that make Shell unique in order to drive our company to a new level of consistent delivery and reliable growth. It starts with a broad overview of our “strategic refresh”.

As we see all around us, the world has entered an era of long-term volatility. The world’s population will continue to rise and the middle class in developing economies will continue to expand, putting tremendous stress on our critical resources.

This creates new risks affecting the systems that underpin the smooth functioning of society. Our traditional ways of looking at risks in our business are inadequate for these emerging systemic risks. We need to change the way we think about our businesses and our opportunities.

As we analysed this, we identified strong similarities among our assets and the projects in our portfolio. So we grouped them based upon their characteristics into what we are calling strategic “superbuckets.” A list of the superbuckets is on the right.

By aligning our assets and projects into these superbuckets, we believe we can more easily reduce complexity and take advantage of standardisation and the resulting economies of scale. We can focus on developing innovative technologies and processes that can be readily deployed, reducing our costs and accelerating our response times.

Each superbucket has a unique role to play in contributing to Shell’s near-, medium- and long-term growth. To the right, you can see how we have grouped them into three categories that together will drive the company forwards.

·         Our “Core Engines” deliver the bulk of our cash, and we expect them to comprise our financial foundation at least through this decade. We need to continue to invest in them to remain strong.
·         Our “Growth Pipelines” will provide our medium-term growth through our next phase of investment and development. These are expected to become additional core engines in the near future.
·         The “Future Opportunities” will provide further growth potential to 2020 and beyond, subject to the right market and operating conditions. They could turn into major growth pipelines and core engines down the road – in fact, some are well on their way already.

Using the superbuckets, we will take more of a “thematic approach” when we make and implement our investment decisions. Each superbucket will have a strategic theme, which will give us more clarity on the organisational skills needed for success. In effect, it puts you and all of the talented people in Shell at the centre of our strategic focus.

Each superbucket will have clearly defined goals for growth, competitive position and risk. This will help us become more focused so we can better capitalise on our strengths as an integrated energy company.

I would like to emphasise one more point: It’s important to remember that our key differentiators – the unique strengths that give Shell a competitive advantage – remain an integral part of our strategy. Each of us needs to understand the differentiators we need to focus on in our individual roles in executing our strategy.

We are making progress on our journey, and all around we see positive examples. But not the progress we should expect of ourselves if we plan to win.

Successfully achieving our aspiration will require more focus and operational sharpness than we have today. We need continuous improvement. We need to drive improved operational performance including safety, project delivery, cash generation, and consistency.

How we perform today is vital to our long-term strategy.

You will learn more about our new strategic approach from your leaders in the weeks to come. Please take the time to read the materials here on the intranet, to engage in the discussions with your leaders and understand your role in implementing our strategy.

We can only make progress on this journey when all of us in Shell are driving together in the same direction, using the same roadmap.



I note that Peter Voser’s encouraging words make no mention of ethics, integrity, or competence.


With the concept of buckets, Shell is preparing for the ever shrinking volume of production (despite the preachings of the former beloved Bearded Brinded to the opposite). If they continue on this reorganisation for reorganisation sake, they need only a few buckets to move all oil they produce.
The fact that Voser was prepared to put his signature under all this drivel shows he has lost it. If he has lost his marbles, perhaps those can be passed around, I am sure he can find a consultant to design a learning event on the theme of passing marbles.
Or is Voser shrewder than most and is this the start of another major upheaval that will see more americans in the key and high paying jobs?
Let me point you to this youtube: in 1960 it was described already how it will go by Harry Belafonte:


LondonLad: “Superbucket” motivational message from Voser 

Have to agree for the most part with the source of the leak that this once again highlights not only contractors attempting to show their worth, BUT, also Shell’s HR department trying to justify their vast numbers within the organization. It really is a continuing case of “Buzzword Bingo” – most of which remain from the time I was working for Shell. The main outcome will be that minions down the system will have most of these buzzwords engrained on their end-of-year scorecard and will therefore help the technical staff to take their eye off the ball for what should be their main driver – technical excellence. So, more meetings, brain storm sessions, camp fires etc. etc. and all for HR to pontificate the added value they (HR) have created!! It really is the case that 90%+ of these buzz words were being “discussed” ad nauseam 10 years ago – time to tell the Emperor that he has no clothes on.


Ex-Shell type

Read your blog about Mr. Voser’s message. Now you know why I left that company long ago. At times management suffers from collective mental incapacitation, runs amock and turns the organization into a ship of fools. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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