Deception is a method to consider when false information might be being fed into the system by an adversary.  


  • Mostly used by military, criminal and intelligence specialists
  • Can be used by corporations when in a hostile bid situation, preparing regulatory submissions or litigation cases and asserting public disagreements between organizations (both attack and defense)


  • Helps determine when to look for deception
  • Assists in identifying deceptions
  • Helps develop counter deception strategies


  • Analysts may see deceptions everywhere where no exist
  • Very difficult to do effectively
  • Professional deception techniques are often undetectable 

Steps to complete

Use the checklist to ascertain and describe: 

  • Potential overt/covert acts for further examination
  • What the motive, opportunity and means of the opponent might be 
  • Look for past history of opposition and deception
  • Whether the source is being coerced or controlled by another
  • The accuracy, completeness and corroboration of the evidence or otherwise


  • Evaluate the evidence based on its importance and veracity
  • Come to a decision as to its authenticity
  • 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.
  • State alternative hypotheses drawn with different assumptions and judgments.
  • Consider what factors would likely change your mind through receipt of new information.
  • Determine which factors could surprise and alter your judgment and the direction of the outcome.
  • 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?

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

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