Idea Thieves

Recently, the Mrs. has been frustrated with those in authority at her work who steal ideas and claim them as their own.

I tell her not to worry for three reasons:

1) Fountains versus Showers

Creative employees are fountains of ideas while the intellectual property thief is like a passing rain shower.  The person who developed the idea will likely have two or three more waiting in the wings.  After the initial concept is in place, a fresh direction can then be pursued.

In contrast, the idea thief will ride the one "shower" initiative for as long as possible, and then be dependent on swiping another idea to continue impressing others.

2) Implementing is a Different Story

Initially, the idea thief will bask in the glory of something unique, but when it is time to implement the concept, he/she may struggle.  When one did not develop a concept, as in the case of the idea thief,  he/she will likely not have the same attachment, understanding, or passion necessary to transform the plan into action.

3) And the Veil Will be Lifted

Sooner or later, the idea thief will be discovered.  Good supervisors learn who is dedicated, who is a team-player, and will eventually identify an employee solely interested in performing the least amount of work to gain individual recognition. In general, executives want to surround themselves with the best--the sooner those of questionable character are weeded out the better. 

So, I told the Mrs. to hang in there and keep churning out the good ideas.

And with patience, one will be rewarded in watching the idea thieves fall from grace. 

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Have you ever had this problem: when someone else was taking credit for your hard work and creativity? 

23 comments:

A Doc 2 Be said...

Yes, always in the business world, especially at the executive level.

I see it now on LinkedIn. A woman nicknamed, "Lady Voldemort" took credit for MY vision MY implementation, on a professional website no less.

All I can do is ignore and smile at the life I have, moving on, singing and dancing to the beat of my own drummer.

Leeches are always around.

As the penguins in Madagascar say, "Smile and wave boys. Just smile and wave"...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi SlamDunk .. love A Doc2Be's comment .. so true - we know who we are .. and others are jealous, but the pigeons will come home to roost.

Our creativity and energies will shine through .. cheers Hilary

Pat Hatt said...

Oh yes I've had the leeches try and suck my behind dry. But there is great satisfaction watching them fumble about. Not able to back anything up.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

This happened in the movie Working Girl. The protagonist was able to prove it was her idea because the antagonist wasn't able to explain how she came up with the idea. The protagonist had already explained the wacky way the idea had hit her. No one could have possibly made that up on the spur of the moment. :D

secret agent woman said...

I agree there is. I sense in getting twisted up about it but I'd also be thinking about ways to get my ideas directly to the people who are in charge so that it can't happen over and over.

Bob G. said...

Slamdunk:
I don't think there is one of us that has not been a victim to something like this.

I had one boss that didn't know his butt from a hole in the ground, picking my brain clean of what I knew, then managed to dismiss me...after NINE years.
(I won the case, but didn't go back...it was principle...and integrity)
That's when I grew out of being "naive"...!

It's not always IDEAS that people like this will manage to "steal"...be warned.

Tell the missus to not become discouraged, but be emboldened to pursue HER ideas even MORE.
It will return to her, and those others will get their just dues.

Stay safe out there.

Michael Offutt, Expert Critic said...

I had this problem with a former employer. I was the one that wrote and constructed all of the reports and the counselors just signed them. I was just a better writer and knew how to make the labor market surveys shine. I never got credit or got paid for doing so.

Little Ms. Fun said...

yes!!! But I try and be flattered that they love my ideas so much that they want to take them as their own. Plus, you're right, there's always something new up my sleeve.

Have a great weekend!

Christina Lee said...

This is brilliant!!!! Esp. love #1!

Matthew MacNish said...

I work for a giant corporation, and this happens, every. Single. Day.

Jeanette Levellie said...

You are a wise and kind husband.

The truth always comes out in the end. No one gets away with anything. Ever.

It's the waiting that's rough.

Beth Zimmerman said...

You're definitely one of the good guys, SD! :)

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Yeah, number 3 especially. I mean, sooner or later, everyone knows who's a slacker and who's a hard worker. It always comes out

Diane said...

Curious what profession your wife is in. I agree that the truth will be revealed and they will live with shame until it does.... :O)

Carol Kilgore said...

What goes around, comes around. Your advice to your wife is good.

Happy Weekend to both of you.

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

You are a good partner to her! And I imagine we all have at some point...frustrating!

terri said...

This is SO timely for me! I have a coworker who will brush off my ideas only to bring them up again a day or so later, promoting them as her own. It is maddening!

Maxi said...

Your advice to the Mrs. is convincing, still…

Hold her tenderly, "I'm so sorry this happened to you, hon. It's not right and I hope the truth comes out…

Will go a long way to soothe her pain.

Momma Fargo said...

It happens in many workplaces to my dismay also. Tell the Mrs. I will let her borrow my Taser. That will teach them.

MONICA-LnP said...

great advice you gave to the Mrs Slamdunk,and yeah in the end the good prevail over the evil!

Elena said...

I can relate to the Mrs' frustration. Unfortunately for me, I have a hard time not letting my feelings out and found I have cut off my nose to spite my face a few times. Sometimes allowing the world to take care of things is better than using one's mouth.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I can see how that would be frustrating. I never really worked in the business world type jobs - mine were more social worky - so not so much idea stealing there.

Holly Lefevre said...

This happens all too often. When I worked in the fashion business this happened 20 times a day. I like your way of putting in in perspective.