What could possibly go wrong? Seriously – what could possibly go wrong? Scenario planning is too often focused on the expected case (plus 50% for the best case and -25% for the worst case!) But important decisions usually have unintended consequences. These consequences are also typically unforeseen. That does not mean they were unforeseeable.
An explicit consideration of the unintended consequences of a decision is good practice. Consider all the stakeholders (everyone affected by the decision, not just the parties at the table), and how they will actually be affected, as well as how they’ll perceive the decision. This analysis may or may not change your decision, but at a minimum it will likely give you insight into how to communicate, execute, or otherwise implement the decision. There is an aspect of “multi-player chess” in this analysis: “If I do X, what will stakeholder 1 do? How will stakeholder 2 respond to what I did and what stakeholder 1 will likely do?” Once again, this can be a paper-based exercise, or real research and intelligence gathering could be advisable.
Typically as a check on a decision, before you actually commit to it.
One of the common biases that afflicts decision making is an irrational discounting of context. Another is the assumption that context is static. Expressly considering all stakeholders and their (multi-move) reactions helps to minimize these biases.
How to map stakeholder interests, and their interdependence.