“Never Mistake Motion for Action” is a quote attributed to novelist Ernest Hemingway. This is poignant in the current environment because motion affects results while action effects results. Said another way, if you create motion, something will happen. If you take action, you plan something to happen.

A few weeks ago I wrote about tooling for Adaptive Leadership. I was asking you to consider the analysis tools you have available to you to help you be adaptive through a time of much greater uncertainty. I listed many, but I homed in on one. Scenario Planning. A tool that requires us to imagine a range of scenarios in the future which leads us to make decisions today in preparation for a range of variants of the future.

Answer me this question. Have you and/or your executive team been discussing possible scenarios or have you been Scenario Planning? Discussing scenarios creates motion. You and others will most likely do something as a result of mulling over different scenarios. However, if you move from discussing to planning, you put yourself in the best place to manage whichever scenario plays out. Because you plan your actions with intent.

While you might find this a tad nuanced, the results can be stark. It’s why Hemingway’s quote is so meaningful. The difference can be the difference between saying “I wished we had of …” and “I’m so glad we …”

Stay safe and adapt - quickly.


Bryan's new book teaches you practical methods to cut through with your advice and make the impact you want to make. Available on Amazon or order here now.


Available on Amazon or order here now.

Bryan Whitefield works with strategic leaders across all sectors to help organisations harness uncertainty – uncertainty is the strategic leader’s best friend. He is the author of DECIDE: How to Manage the Risk in Your Decision Making and Winning Conversations: How to turn red tape into blue ribbon. He is the designer of the Risk Culture: Build Your Tribe of Advocates Program for support functions and the Persuasive Adviser Program for internal advisers. Both can be booked individually or in-house. For more information about Bryan, please click here.


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