Episode 248: Bill Moore talks about inspiring the next generation, changes in employee engagement and conservation through storytelling

Leadership, Podcast, Zoology

Bill Moore is the President and CEO of the Zoo Miami Foundation.  As a public-private partnership, the Zoo Miami Foundation “fosters community pride and involvement with Zoo Miami and secures financial support for the zoo.”  After spending more than 30 years with Six Flags, Bill’s experience in the attractions industry transcends for-profit and non-profit leadership roles.  Throughout his career, Bill has observed shifts in trends related to engaging guests, influencing action to save the planet, as well as managing employees in innovative ways.  In this interview, Bill talks about inspiring the next generation, changes in employee engagement, and conservation through storytelling.

Inspiring the next generation

“If we take care of animals, we take care of the planet.  And if we take care of the planet, we’re creating an environment for those who come after us.”

The way in which the Zoo Miami Foundation reaches its audience is shifting, largely due to technological changes.  Nowadays, people can easily socialize while sitting on their couch and never leaving their homes for the entire day.  This leads to challenges related to encouraging people to take action in their daily lives toward supporting conservation and sustainability initiatives.

When people say that the animals should be returned to the wild, there isn’t a lot of “wild” left to go to.  Bill stresses that our planet is in peril, and that future generations have the responsibility to take better care of it than those in the past.  Solving these challenges requires efforts both in the zoo as well as beyond the zoo’s gates.  This includes initiatives such as creative learning and immersive volunteer opportunities. By creating these opportunities, an inspirational outreach is made to help encourage future generations to take much better care of the planet, an impact that goes far beyond the gates of the zoo. 

Changes in employee engagement

“There is value to having the same people under one roof.”

According to Bill, the way we managed before is not how we manage today.  In particular, the popularity of working from home presents issues in productivity and agility that aren’t as prevalent when the entire team is within close proximity.  However, it does require more flexibility than it did before.  Employees with infants or small children, or those who may have needs that come up throughout the workday should be able to take care of their individual needs while still being a productive member of the team.  Even if it is not a rigid 9am-5pm and timed lunch break, Bill stress that a team working together is more productive than a team working remote.

Even with the popularity of working from home, there is still a substantial advantage in working within close proximity. Problems always tend to be solved sooner, and the team is encouraged to bond and grow closer, therefore increasing employee engagement and activity. Although both methods have their benefits, working while actively engaging with each other is what really matters. 

Conservation through storytelling

“At the end of the day, we’re storytellers.”

The way the Zoo Miami Foundation encourages people to take action on conservation is through the unparalleled power of storytelling. Something as simple as how the zoo started using aluminum cans instead of plastic bottles to help improve their recycling efficiency and protect the animals can engage people and bring light to important subjects like conservation. 

Ultimately, people come to places because they want to have fun. By capitalizing on the natural beauty of the zoo and the engaging the nature of storytelling, an impact can be made on guests that will bridge the gap between humans and nature. This perfect intersection between education and entertainment can not only bring guests back, but help change the course of the world by promoting conservation and inspiring the next generation. 

To learn more about the Zoo Miami Foundation, visit www.zoomiami.org.  To reach Bill, connect with him on LinkedIn or email him at bmoore@zoomiami.org.

This podcast wouldn’t be possible without the incredible work of our amazing team:

  • Scheduling and correspondence by Kristen Karaliunas
  • Branding and design by Fabiana Fonseca
  • Summary by Mason Nichols and Josh Liebman

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