Project Portfolio – Organizational Credo Development

North American Oil Sands Corp 2006


The leadership team of North American Oil Sands Corporation (NAOSC) wanted to develop an organizational Credo that would summarize the values of the corporation and guide decisions and actions of its staff. The model to guide this work was the Credo developed by Johnson & Johnson in 1943.

Fall Line’s Role

Fall Line facilitated a series of short meetings with the leadership team of NAOSC to brainstorm and clarify the core values of the organization. We summarized the results and helped the group prioritize the core values that captured the passion everyone had for building an exceptional organization.

We then developed three draft statements of the credo to test what the leaders were trying to express as their Credo for the organization. There was a very strong agreement on the most important items to include in the Credo. We captured key phrases and summarized the discussion, resisting the temptation to write important sentences in committee.

The founding President of NAOSC took the results of our discussions and wrote his draft Credo, making sure he reflected the priority values discussed in the leadership team meetings. The President’s draft was slightly edited by the group, and then adopted as the Organizational Credo.


The NAOSC Credo became a competitive advantage for the organization almost immediately. The Credo helped differentiate NAOSC in hiring key staff during a boom in demand for technical people with SAGD experience; in building relationships with communities in its development area; and building credibility with investors. In addition, the Credo was used by staff as a guide for making decisions and as a signpost for discussing ethical issues in this fast moving organization.