Shallow dive

Shallow dive highlights an unusual or interesting development that will have significance in the medium to long term for business, research, government or society in a less than one-page article.

Uses of the method

  • Publication of Issue Alerts
  • Short informational briefings
  • Workshop conversation starters
  • Pre-cursor to determining if a Deep Dive is required


  • Quick to read
  • Relatively inexpensive to produce (half a day)


  • Cursory overview (requires subsequent Deep Dive on Issues of key interest)
  • Time consuming

Steps to complete

  • Follow the journalistic rules below to complete the template.


Business/ journalistic rather than research/ academic

Direct, lively language - not passives

Not loaded with abstract nouns

Make EVERY word count

Business, so not too informal

Explain any acronyms / abbreviations used

Interpretation of implication but NOT personal ‘I think’ piece

Not a personal rant but evidenced argument of what is happening out there

Very brief over view of key argument (almost an abstract) for para 1.

Short paragraph(s) on 'what is changing?' the different items you are bringing together, the trend, direction of change, issues  i.e. the key 'story' of the alert.

Short paragraph)s) on 'why is this important?' Impacts and implications – some can be adapted from the text of articles found/ used to develop / demonstrate the change.

Short and reflects the theme and direction if possible (less than 25 characters).

Business/government - so what to do useful but not essential.           
Implications important, at every step.

Some on all of the following:

Something new, that has made you go 'oh that's interesting',

Longer term issue that is important and new aspects are emerging, or overlooked,

Preferably referring to / drawing on several items to give it substance, and a firm basis, rather than pure opinion or simply one item which makes it more like an abstract or a précis!

Preferably relevant to more than one sector / audience / industry.

It can be a new aspect of an existing trend; a completely new development; a speculative ‘what if?’ based on a combination of events and the author’s knowledge and judgment.

It should be based on more than one item, unless that is a key item and you can then interpret and add value around it; to avoid it simply being a précis.

Links used to develop the alert. Please insert footnotes in the text of the alert, at the location for the link, and put the link itself into a footnote.

Win:win – that it should help you the author as well as providing us with new content. e.g. help you develop ideas on an area of interest; reinforce research / scanning you do on a regular basis. Target areas when you want to develop new client business.

  • Ask a peer(s) to review your article using the De-bias method  here and make changes as necessary, then publish.

This method and your response can be shared with other members or kept private using the 'Privacy' field and through the 'Tag', 'Report' and 'Forum' functionalities. Use 'Tag' and/or 'Report' to aggregate your analyzes, or add a 'Forum' to ask others where they agree/disagree and encourage them to make their own analysis from their unique vantage point.

Click the 'Invite tab to send invitations to other members or non-members (colleagues, external experts etc.) to ask for their input. You can whether or not you want anonymous responses.  These can be viewed and exported within the Responses tab.

Further reference

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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