Organizational Strategic Planning

CPSG works with zoos and aquariums and other conservation organizations to guide the development of comprehensive Conservation Strategic Plans designed to direct an institution’s future conservation efforts. The Organizational Conservation Strategic Planning process is tailored to meet the needs, and build on the strengths, of the institution or group and, over the course two or three workshops, a vision for conservation is developed and goals, objectives, and actions are identified resulting in a comprehensive conservation plan for the entire organization. After the workshop, each department at the zoo or aquarium takes on a role putting the plan into action and making meaningful progress toward fulfilling its new conservation vision.


Examples of strategic planning projects for organizations


Kansas City Zoo Conservation Planning (2015)
"The Conservation Planning Workshop facilitated by CBSG went far beyond my expectations. They did an outstanding job of creating a process that engaged and inspired staff beyond the people who were able to attend the workshop.”—Randy Wisthoff, Executive Director/CEO of the Kansas City Zoo

Kansas City Zoo management invited CBSG to design and facilitate a strategic planning workshop that would result in the development of a comprehensive Conservation Strategic Plan to direct the zoo’s future conservation efforts.   

To design a process to best meet Kansas City Zoo’s needs, CBSG initially met with the zoo director and several senior animal management staff. The group discussed the history of conservation culture at the zoo, their current conservation projects, their motivation for developing a conservation strategy, and future goals. This meeting helped CBSG to develop an understanding of the zoo’s philosophy regarding certain critical parameters. On the basis of this in-depth discussion, it was agreed that the scope of planning would be 25 years, the planning team would be expanded to include senior managers from all departments, and the project would be conducted in a series of two workshops.

Over the course of two more workshops, the planning team drafted a vision for conservation at the Kansas City Zoo that identified three major themes: conservation of species, resource conservation onsite and in the community, and influencing others to become more active conservationists. Goals, objectives, and actions were developed around each of these themes, resulting in a comprehensive conservation plan for the entire organization. After the workshop, each department at the zoo took on a role putting the plan into action. As a result, Kansas City Zoo is eliminating the use of palm oil to help save orangutans in the wild, directing a portion of each admission ticket and membership purchase to the zoo’s conservation programs, implementing priority conservation projects, and making meaningful progress toward fulfilling its new conservation vision.



Strategic Action Planning for the Colombian Association of Zoos and Aquariums - August 2014
The Colombian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (ACOPAZOA) was created in 1978 and is one of the oldest zoo associations in the region. It is comprised of 15 zoos and aquariums from all over the country. ACOPAZOA recognized the need to develop a new action plan and invited CBSG Mexico to design and facilitate the process. From 19-21 August, ACOPAZOA’s Strategic Action Planning workshop was held in Bogotá, Colombia. During the workshop, 19 participants representing 13 institutions created a new vision, mission, and core values for the association. Current challenges were identified along with focal strategic areas, objectives, and actions to tackle those challenges. Participants discussed what ACOPAZOA offers to its current and potential members, as well as the obligations of its members. The role and scope of the committee serving the Association were also reviewed.

Mr. Rafaél Torres, current ACOPAZOA president, said about the process, “I have never liked strategic planning processes but after this experience I feel I have overcome my fears.” This new action plan will give ACOPAZOA more tools to continue improving and to deepen its commitment to wildlife conservation.



Back to Workshop Processes.