Intervention forecasts whether an Issue has reached a tipping point where action is required or can be expected to be successful.

Uses of the method

  • Military decision making
  • Legal actions
  • Change management


  • Rational approach to making complex decisions to act 
  • Fast and collaborative
  • Highlights divergent views and can be used to obtain consensus
  • Can track the direction of travel of an issue if the forecast is monitored regularly


  • May be subject to wishful thinking. Use Worldview to reduce this

Steps to complete

Decision meeting

  • First, ask participants to review what is known in terms of the strength of evidence, legal backing, support or opposition to the proposed action
  • Agree up-front an agreed threshold at which action should be taken e.g. 'high' or above
  • Then take a first vote using the template  without discussion
  • Review the results and discuss where participants views diverge. Collect views through the Forum including capturing your most exciting ideas and biggest fears
  • Re take the vote as many time as required with further discussions and collection of views to see how participants views are changing
  • Decide if action should or should not be taken: Act now!, Not yet, Watch, Indifferent, Forget, Completed


  • Set an up-front an agreed threshold at which action should be taken e.g. 'high' or above
  • Use what is known of the Issue to rate each provided year and quarter as required using the template
  • Click Save each time you analyze a quarter or year. See the Spider chart and click Show Results to examine your assessment
  • Use Report to aggregate and visualize different Issues 
  • Decide if action should or should not be taken and alert decision-makers if thresholds are crossed
  • Determine the fixed 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 predetermined 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?
  • Finish by noting your next steps. Next steps could include a further round of iteration, a recommendation on how to get the answers or use of other research and methods such as 'Starburst' to create more vantage points on the issue.

'Intervention' 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

Developed from the above article by Dr Mike Jackson, Shaping Tomorrow, while considering whether an attack should have been made on Iraq and contemplated on Syria in August 2013 for a client.

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.

Contact us today for a free discussion on your needs.

Are there other enhancements or new methods you would like to see here? Let us know and we will do our best to respond with a solution quickly.

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