Creativity in Planning: A Catalyst for Business Success

Planning is typically a technical consideration in business. Planning is devising strategies and methods to achieve a specific goal. However, creativity in planning is often overlooked despite its potential to further the planning process and yield innovative outcomes.

Formal planning can enhance creativity in an organization. Moreover, how creativity is integrated into planning will determine its support for strategic intents, solve problems, and reduce uncertainty.

Four businesspersons develop a strategic plan on a transparent board

Creativity and planning go hand-in-hand in today’s economies

The power of creativity in strategic planning

Creativity is the ability to generate unique and valuable ideas. In the context of planning, creativity can be a game-changer. It can lead to developing a good, effective, and innovative plan. Creative planning can help large organizations navigate complex external environments, devise new and potentially disruptive strategies, and solve intricate problems in unique ways.

Creative planning typically still means respecting norms, rules, and formal plans. It is finding innovation to achieve set objectives within given constraints. It is also looking at the same challenge from different perspectives and creating previously unknown solutions. In strategic planning, creative ideas often lead to new opportunities and the development of effective strategies.

The synergistic relationship between formal planning and creativity

Contrary to popular belief, traditional planning enhances creativity in an organization. A well-structured planning process provides a clear framework within which creativity can thrive. It reduces uncertainty, provides a sense of direction, and stimulates creative thinking.

The planning process normally includes a SWOT analysis. SWOT is a strategic tool that identifies a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This analysis is an outside-in process that stimulates creativity by encouraging teams to think about the organization and its operating environment in new ways.

SWOT leads to idea generation that helps businesses leverage their strengths, address weaknesses, mitigate threats, and exploit opportunities.

Teamwork, collaboration, and cooperation

Creativity in planning builds teamwork and cooperation. The planning process is designed to encourage creative thinking that leads to a diverse range of ideas. This diversity furthers open communication, discussion, and debate, enhancing the team’s cooperative efforts.

When all team members feel their ideas are valued and considered, it boosts motivation and commitment to the team’s new creative and innovative plan.

Creativity in planning questions and answers

There are common questions when it comes to creativity and planning. And wholly understanding short-term and long-term initiatives is key to successful planning.

What are the five stages of the creative process?

Determining a creative solution generally involves five steps. These steps are preparation, incubation, illumination, evaluation, and verification. Simply, you develop your ideas, step away and let them incubate, choose an idea and evaluate it against alternatives, and verify that it works by creating it. Though the process differs for everyone, most people employ these basic creative steps.

What are the 6 P’s of creativity?

In the context of creativity and innovation, the 6 P’s are People, Process, Product, Place, Purpose, and Potential. These elements are seen as crucial factors that influence the creative process.

Why is creativity important in planning?

Every business is creative in its own way. Entrepreneurs think of new ideas, form companies, develop their ideas with a team, and deliver final products or services to customers. This process is inherently creative.

Creativity in planning can help an organization identify factors that may positively or negatively impact positioning in its market. Innovation can help find a competitive advantage, potentially leaving competitors irrelevant. It can also assist in identifying unforeseen factors that could be significant strategic risks to the organization. Every business should be creative when planning for the future.


Creativity in planning is a powerful tool. It enhances organizational planning effectiveness and leads to highly innovative outcomes. Integrating creativity into planning often results in new strategic opportunities and efficiencies. It can also help companies deal with environmental complexities uniquely, allowing them to achieve their business objectives.

An MBA in Creative Enterprise might be for you

Meridian University’s MBA program is truly unique. The MBA in Creative Enterprise addresses how creative companies should be led and operated; its leadership, planning, and execution models are inherently visionary and applicable to any business. This mix of creativity and business should be enjoyable. Its daily activities should be inspiring, whether from brainstorming, mind-mapping, or even just a routine meeting. The MBA in Creative Enterprise celebrates this creativity and innovation and brings excitement to business planning.

Meridian University’s MBA courses include the following progressive topics:

  • Creative Marketing (MBA 521)
  • Transformative Business Innovation (MBA 706)
  • Innovation, Culture, and Sustainability (MBA 744)
  • Emergent Thinking in the Creative Economy (MBA 755)
  • Revisioning Entrepreneurship (MER 715)
  • Imaginal Inquiry (MER 720)

Meridian University’s MBA program prepares graduates for fast-paced, entrepreneurial, creative, and innovative emerging economies. The program focuses on personal and professional development as a whole, leading to a refined strategic perspective.

If you want to take the next step in your career, contact an Admissions Advisor for more information. Or apply online today!


  1. Shank, J., Niblock, E., & Sandalls, W., Jr. (1973, January 1). Balance ‘Creativity’ and ‘Practicality’ in Formal Planning. Harvard Business Review.
  2. Shapira, A. (2020, January 7). Spark Team Creativity by Embracing Uncertainty. MIT Sloan Management Review. Retrieved October 8, 2023, from

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