The Intentional Or Unintentional source method is a way to make sense of the potentially unintended consequences of intentional actions and how they can be perceived.


The Intentional Or Unintentional concept is based on the natural human behaviour of attributing intentions to outcomes that may have been entirely unintentional or accidental. People naturally try to make sense of any complex or uncertain situation by creating stories about it. The stories are often created in retrospect to explain why a situation didn’t have the outcome that a person thought it would. The attribution of intention is often based on the attributer’s perceptions of the situation and these may not reflect what is actually happening. This can often happen in complex situations involving unknown and uncertain factors. Instead of engaging with the complexity uncertainty and understanding it more fully, it can be much easier to create a simple story based on the perception that unintentional outcomes were actually intended from the outset.


The purpose of Intentional Or Unintentional is to clearly identify intentional and unintentional actions, and their corresponding intentional and unintentional outcomes. Attributing intention to unintentional or accidental outcomes can often result in conflict and loss of trust. By using Intentional Or Unintentional to make sense of the connection between intentions and outcomes, complex situations can be understood much more effectively. The Intentional Or Unintentional methods can also be used to understand and minimise ambiguity, making it easier to clarify visions and intentions. Even though a situation may be very complex, uncertain and ambiguous, working through what is intended and what is unintended naturally leads to increase levels of trust between individuals and among a group of people.


  • • To differentiate between intentional and unintentional actions
  • • To differentiate between intentional and unintentional behaviours
  • • To understand real reasons for behaviours
  • • To understand the root causes of actions
  • • To understand the deeper connection between actions and outcomes
  • • To minimise ambiguity of intention
  • • To clarify a vision
  • • To increase levels of trust
  • • To focus actions on producing the most effective outcomes
  • • To move beyond a blame culture


To learn how to use Intentional Or Unintentional in your work, contact us