This technique helps you to identify high-impact risks, threats and vulnerabilities from highly unlikely events. It will help you surface your unknown-unknowns!

Use this to...

  • Identify hidden relationships between certain assumptions.
  • Reveal oversights in your thinking or planning.
  • Develop an early warning system.

Try this...

Just my imagination. Why not try a Brainstorming technique to help you draw up your list of potential triggers?

Think the unthinkable! The more creative you are, the stronger your indicators will be, so suspend judgement and let your imagination run riot.

Watch out for...

Keep your foot on the gas. It’s easy to slip back into our assumptions that an event is unlikely, so to counteract that be sure to periodically review your indicators.


  1. Agree the high-impact, but unlikely event that could affect your business theme. Agree on one event with your group and write it down.
  2. List the triggers that might increase the likelihood of your event occurring.
    Leverage the knowledge and experience of the group.
  3. Review the list of triggers, has your view on the likelihood of your event occurring changed? If it has changed, write down a sentence to explain why.
  4. What questions will help you spot a situation developing in the future?

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