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C&S lesson workcard

3. C&S lesson workcard

C&S = Consequence and Sequel 

The invention of the gasoline engine made possible automobiles, airplanes, the oil industry and a great deal of pollution. If all the consequences could have been forseen at the time, electric or steam engines might have been used in cars. A new invention, a plan, a rule or a decision all have consequences that go on for a long time. In thinking about an action, the consequences should always be considered. The time frame will depend on the situation.

  • Immediate consequences

  • Short-term consequences - more people are responding to the change (a few minutes, hours, days?) 

  • Medium-term consequences - the change is now stable or accepted (a few weeks, months?)

  • Long-term consequences - the change has existed for so long it is not considered a change anymore (a few months, years, decades?)


A man introduced rabbits to Australia to provide hunting for his friends. The immediate consequences were good for the hunters. The short-term consequences were also good because the rabbit provided an alternative source of meat. The medium-term consequences were bad because the rabbit multiplied so much that it became a pest. The long-term consequences were very bad because the rabbit spread all over Australia and did a great deal of damage to crops.


1. A new electronic robot is invented to replace all human labor in factories. The invention is announced. Do a C&S on this.

2. A new law is suggested to allow school children to leave school and start earning a living as soon as they want to after the age of 12. Do a C&S on this from the point of view of someone who leaves early, from the point of view of the schools, and from the point of view of society in general.

3. A new device makes it possible to tell whenever someone is telling a lie. Do an immediate C&S on this.

4. While a boy is away on vacation his best friend goes off with his girl friend. What do you think would happen when the boy got back? 

5. There is a quiet residential district. Offices start opening in the area. Then there are more and more offices. What will change? Do an immediate and short-term C&S on this. 

6. The price of houses  rises to the point where young people cannot afford to buy them. What do you think will happen? Do a full C&S.

7. The world runs out of oil and gas. What would happen?

8. All school examinations are abolished. Do a C&S on this.

9. What are the consequences of arguing with your parents?


  • Do long-term consequences matter?

  • If it is not easy to see the consequences, should you bother with them?

  • When is it most useful to look at them?

  • Whose business is it to look at consequences?

Learning points

A. Other people may be able to see the consequences of your action more easily than you can yourself.

B. It is important to know whether the consequences are reversible or not.

C. The immediate consequences and the long-term consequences may be opposite: immediate consequences may be good and long-term consequences bad, or the other way round.

D. You should look at the consequences not only as they affect you but as they affect other people as well.

E. You should do a full C&S before deciding which consequences you should consider.

These de Bono Thinking Lessons are free to use by parents, guardians and teachers. (This means on this website, or to print and use in home or in the classroom. Not for further distribution or commercial use). 

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