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Future-Proof Your Strategic Planning

Do your team’s strategic business goals take into account the whole system that they are operating within?

If not, you are at a higher risk of being derailed by unforeseen challenges.

One way to minimize this risk is to apply a systemic lens in developing your strategic goals. 

The following line of inquiry will set you on a systems-informed path. It is rooted in a framework for Systemic Team Coaching (STC) developed by Dr. Peter Hawkins. After working with team clients using the STC approach, I find it easily lends itself to related areas such as strategic business planning.


Carefully consider the following questions and involve your team in the exercise: 

Q1. What is the mandate that you and your team are here to ultimately deliver on? 

Q2. What are ALL the external systems that can potentially affect, or be affected by, your team’s mandate? What interconnections might need to be considered in formulating your strategic goals?


  • Economy, politics, societal issues, environment and technology, both on global and local scale

  • Your organization and organizational culture

  • Your team and team culture

Q3. What are ALL the systems that are nested within you? How might they influence your outlook and goal setting relevant to your mandate?


  • What personal values and core beliefs shape your leadership?

  • What organizational and team history do you carry inside of you and how does it affect how you operate?

Q4. What interdependencies between your team and their systems do you need to account for or leverage?

  • What opportunities might there be for synergy?

  • Where is there tension within the system that might impede progress?

Q5. Who are ALL the stakeholders that your team is creating value for and/or with?

  • Go beyond the obvious players. Who are the stakeholders that your team interacts with or serves beyond the commonly considered relationships?

  • Are there any stakeholders still missing, whether excluded intentionally or unintentionally? What value is there in including their voice in your planning?

Q6. What would your stakeholders name as your team’s must-do’s and/or must-be’s for the success of your strategic goals? How can you incorporate this into your planning? 

Q7. How can you set your team up for success in light of the systems landscape you just mapped out?

  • How does the team culture need to shift if they are to succeed?

  • What do they need to stop, start and continue doing?

  • What supports must be in place? What can you do to arrange these? Who else might help? 

Answering these questions will help surface new systems awareness in service of your key strategic goals. Be sure to involve your team in this exercise for diversity of thought, collective learning and team development. 


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