With 66,000 members, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is the largest organization in the country dedicated to promoting optimal health and wellbeing for children. The Academy also seeks to ensure that its members practice the highest quality health care and experience both professional satisfaction and personal well-being. In an era of rapid change, the Academy reached out to CBI to assist with creating a five-year strategic plan to maintain and enhance the organization’s relevance. With CBI’s assistance, the Academy’s board of directors identified the following trends driving the rapid transformation of pediatric health care:

  • Demographic changes among both patient and pediatrician populations
  • Evolving concerns and focus of pediatricians, especially around the social and environmental determinants of health and the need for pediatric behavioral and mental health care
  • Transformation of the healthcare landscape, including team-based care, value-based payment models, and an evolving array of health delivery systems
  • Enhanced use of technology by both patients / families and healthcare providers


CBI structured the strategic planning process to explicitly consider the Academy’s future in an evolving pediatric profession and to focus on driving much-needed strategic decision-making. Using a strengths-based approach that built on the Academy’s many assets, CBI deployed a three-step process to develop a five-year strategic plan. Specifically, CBI:

  • Conducted a series of interviews and survey work to develop a concrete understanding of the diverse perspectives and expectations among board members and other key stakeholders regarding organizational priorities and strategic direction
  • Designed and facilitated a strategic planning retreat with the board of directors and executive committee that leveraged the interview and survey findings. This allowed the Academy’s leadership to think creatively and ambitiously about the organization’s future while remaining grounded in data and the Academy’s current context
  • Developed a five-year strategy and clear action steps, providing a roadmap for organizational renewal, innovation, and modernization


The Academy’s board of directors officially adopted the strategic plan and the document received widespread support from the Academy’s membership. The board and staff are actively engaged in implementing the strategic plan, including the creation of a companion Action Plan document for 2017–2018 that lays out a series of action steps for both the board and staff to implement for each of the strategic plan’s five goals. CBI also continues to work with the Academy’s board of directors to support planning and execution of select objectives of the strategic plan.