Counterpoint looks to discover possible counter Issues as ways to compete on different playing fields or to see the other face of a double-edged sword.

"To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." - Newton's Third Law.

So, it is with Issues.  For instance, if an industry trend is towards low-cost competition a counter-trend or opposition strategy be the creation of a luxury market in the same space.

Uses of the method

  • See an issue or trend from a different perspective
  • Develop an alternative solution service
  • Evaluate how others might respond to the trend


  • Development of alternative strategies
  • Fast, cheap and easy to do


  • High strategic foresight skills maybe needed but can be overcome by group exercises

Steps to complete

  • Capture the emerging  trend
  • List the contradictions in the trend
  • Brainstorm all the possible reverse possibilities
  • List the key strengths and weaknesses of these possibilities
  • Develop a strong counter strategy for your own organization
  • List who and what might adopt these counter strategies
  • Capture your most exciting idea and biggest fear 
  • Determine the predetermined elements (almost certain hard trends) that will inform your strategic response: slow-changing phenomena e.g. demographic shifts, constrained situations e.g. resource limits, in the pipeline e.g. aging of baby boomers, inevitable collisions e.g. climate change arguments.
  • Capture critical variables i.e. uncertainties, soft trends and potential surprises. Both these and the fixed elements will be key to creating scenarios and examining potential future paradigm shifts.
  • Capture unique insight into new ways of seeing that can be utilized by the organization.
  • What conclusions can we draw from the exercise(s)?
    • How might the future be different?
    • How does A affect B?
    • What is likely to remain the same or change significantly?
    • What are the likely outcomes?
    • What and who will likely shape our future?
    • Where could we be most affected by change?
    • What might we do about it?
    • What don't we know that we need to know?
    • What should we do now, today?
    • Why do we care?
    • When should we aim to meet on this?
  • Develop next steps and determine if any further research required

Related/complementary tools

  • Brainstorming

'Counterpoint' can  be shared with others or kept private using the 'Visible to' fields and through the 'tag', 'report', 'share'', 'link and 'comment' functionality. Use 'tag' and/or 'report' to aggregate your analyzes, 'share' with others via email, Facebook and Twitter etc. or add a 'comment' to ask others where they agree/disagree and encourage them to make their own analysis from their unique vantage point.

Further reference


Technique developed by Shaping Tomorrow

Contact us
Even with all the advice and tools we have provided here starting a foresight project from scratch can be a daunting prospect to a beginner. Let us know if you need help with this method or want a group facilitation exercise or full project or program carrying out by us. We promise to leave behind more internal knowledgeable people who can expand your initiative for better organizational performance.

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