Strategic Planning is dead.

The Creative Plan is the new Strategic Plan.

How many millions of dollars and thousands of hours are being wasted on the strategic planning process? 

How many strategic plans end up on shelves too complex, cumbersome and expensive to implement?

Move over, strategy.
Creativity is the Number One demand today.

If you don’t have time to read Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, as well as the many articles and the growing body of evidence that makes the case for creativity as today’s driver, then just read the short excerpt below from, August 30, 2016

Creativity and Innovation are the key drivers to organizational success. Change is the inevitable result of this creative and innovative process.
Why is it important to understand the process of creativity, innovation and change? Today’s reality dictates that only those organizations that embrace creativity and innovation management will achieve sustainable competitive advantage in the market place. 

The article incorporated this chart which shows creativity in the lead, followed by critical thinking (or strategy).

Ideas change the world. Not strategies.

No one gets excited over a strategy. I’ve seen this throughout all my careers, whether it has been presenting ad campaigns to Apple or Coca Cola, fundraising plans for $400 million, teaching brilliant Masters students at USC Annenberg, or facilitating dynamic conversations at a big national bank. It’s when you present an idea that the soul is ignited to think and react passionately. Because ideas change the world. 

Of course, you need strategy. But do you want to lead your company or organization in this new era of change with the big of course? Or do you want to lead it with energy, excitement, motivation, the new and unexpected? And, do you want to keep doing things the way they used to be done?

Creative Planning: Born in the classroom at USC Annenberg

There is all the lore today about the garages where new ideas and products are built that change the way the world works.

Well, in this case, the garage is a crowded classroom in the Masters in Communication program at USC Annenberg, the world’s Number One Communication school. Last semester there were two sets of creators in this garage.

There were the thirty brilliant student creators from all over the world—truly a globalized classroom of professional thinkers. And then there were the three of us—a teaching team so diverse you can’t even imagine we found one another, anywhere—and jelled so extraordinarily well. There’s me, the Boomer Jewish guy, an adjunct professor, advertising exec, nonprofit professional, writer. There’s Heba Gibani, a Millennial, Libyan-American Muslim woman, public diplomacy grad, super designer of presentation decks like you’ve never seen. And there’s Chris Agutos, a Millennial Filipino-American deeply believing Christian gay pop star who leads social media for celebrities and major media outlets.

We experiment on the students, who are eager subjects.

Every semester, Heba, Chris and I set out different experiments in the classroom, challenging all the holy old axioms and practices. The purpose is to release the students’ creativity—and ours. 

This past semester, we tested out Creative Planning over Strategic Planning, challenging them to discover and release their creativity by building their final team projects creating big ideas first. We wanted to see if they began with a heavy shot of creative thinking and passion, would they evolve great ideas that they would fall in love with, become riveted upon, committed to and could dream about.  And then as a result, would they create more dynamic strategies to breath life into those ideas? If you flipped the old paradigm on its ear, and went into creative sessions first, developing ideas, would better strategies follow? 

The results: The semester’s final projects beat out every previous semester. There was no comparison. And we have now successfully taken this practice and knowledge into our clients with the Red Table. 

Isn't it time you began Creative Planning?

Read the testimonies about where the students took this creative thinking and landed their jobs. Scroll down the home page at: And then read more about Creative Planning.

Gary Wexler