“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.

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