The Creative Person Development Theory: A review article

Gregory Frenklach

Editor’s comments appear in italics, at Gregory’s request.

The work of building of the creative person development theory was begun nearly twenty years ago. One of the reasons to start this work was that a lot of engineers who during TRIZ courses found great strong solutions for their problems - put these solution away to find something less "revolutionary". It looked like they were afraid of their own strong solutions. Some of these people said honestly that they prefer not to "wake" troubles trying to realize such a revolutionary solution.

Is an ability to solve hard problems enough to be creative person? And if it isn't - What else has to be taught?

The first question, which G. Althuller and I.Vertkin asked themselves, was:

"What does characterize the creative person in comparison with "normal" one?"

In order to find some regularities were analyzed thousands biographies of people, considered by Human History as the great and creative people. As the first result of this analysis the main characteristics of the creative person were discovered (ref.1). They are:

  1. Great (Large) Aim (Goal) which is useful for human society, new or not yet realized, unbelievable to most of contemporaries (heretical), concrete and ...unattainable (looks like physical contradiction). Editor’s question: Is this because the people whose biographies get written are the ones who had such large goals? If someone had a modest goal, who would write about her or him? This seems to be a circular logic in the study, to define creativity in terms of the kind of people who were studied. Gregory’s response: Altshuller’s work was criticized by some of his colleagues on this same point. But, this large amount of research was done, and the findings will be useful to many people.
  2. Capacity for hard work;
  3. Good abilities of problem solving; (the field of TRIZ);
  4. The package of plans and check of their performance;
  5. The fate-knock-resistance-ability; (This means the ability to take advantage of good luck, in order to gain Great Aim. As the factor that causes so-called "good luck" the hostile "external environment" is considered).
  6. At least preliminary results on the way to the Great Aim; (Without results all the previous characteristics are worthless).

The second result of this research work was creation of The Life Strategy of The Creative Person - the game which was built in form of chess play, where the creative person plays against hostile "external environment" (ref. 2). In this "game" are described nearly all possible moves of "external environment" in order not to allow a creative person to gain the Great Aim and nearly all possible "answers" of the creative person to win in this "fight".

And, at last, the third result of this work were ideas which can be put as basis of the future Great Aim Development Theory (ref. 2).



  1. G.S. Altshuller To Find an Idea. Novosibirsk, Nauka, 1991 (in Russian)
  2. A.Selutsky. To Become a Heretic. Petrozavodsk. Kareliya 1990. (in Russian)