Invasion of the Idea Snatchers

The Idea Snatchers invade our workspace. They sit next to you in meetings and slowly siphon your concepts and ideas. They steal them quickly in full view of witnesses. They sometimes collect them and stash them away when no one is watching. Later they will repackage them and pass them off as their own.

The Idea Snatchers walk among us in our workplaces, homes, and relationships. They seem harmless, but they drain energy, engagement, passion, and creativity. As in the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers, these pods will lie next to you and pick your brain and replicate your ideas.

Ideas are necessary for growth and development. We have more than one great idea in us, so we must harness the ability of continuous generation. The process of duplication and replication of more ideas is a necessity. Ideas are in various stages of readiness. Some ideas should not be shared until they are fully baked and implemented. Others are resilient and modified and shaped into a form superior to the original. Many ideas have a shelf life and expiration date. If you sit on an idea and don’t release it, you will eventually see the idea expressed through the lives of others. An idea, like water, will seek its level and burst forth in time.

Ideas must live and we are the conduits to release them into a world waiting for their impact. We must, therefore, set them free and allow them to flow into the world. But we like to receive a credit; otherwise, we will shut down and shut off their supply.

Idea Snatchers may be ingenious deterrents for sharing ideas. They will question you to fully understand your idea and then use their gift of embellishment to enhance and disguise the origin of the idea. They are not concerned with plagiarism because they believe no one will discover their actions.

Idea Snatchers are prolific plagiarists. They may have the following traits.

  • Ruthlessly ambitious
  • Spontaneity
  • Opportunistic
  • Disloyal
  • Great at implementing
  • Poor at generating their own ideas
  1. Document and track your ideas

Nature channels feature programs about scientific experiments with animals in the wild. They may be tracking fish, birds, or large animals. To keep track of the test participants they will tag the animal with a GPS device to flag them later. They will tag the subject to flag the subject so when they bag or capture the subject to complete the experiment. You must utilize similar techniques to tag, flag, and bag your ideas. It would also be helpful if you could document your idea with a follow-up memo or handouts. Preparing for the meeting will enable you to claim the idea as your own.

  • Circulate your ideas

Make your boss or others aware of your ideas and contributions. Write your ideas in a memo or in your journal with the date and time of origination. Take your idea from concept to potential utilization. The level of thought put into it will identify you as the creator. Think through the ideas and the value they can provide to the enterprise or the area that can benefit most.

In a brainstorming session, it is hard to determine who generated an idea because they bear the fingerprints of many potential owners. A solution is to make your idea the center of the discussion so that it stands out from the others. You can also set up the idea by saying you thought about the idea a long time ago and list the advantages and disadvantages in a full-blown presentation.

  • Captured in performance evaluations

Submit your ideas when you provide input for your performance evaluation. Be sure you are claiming credit for your ideas only. Make sure your boss is aware of your ideas before your input. You do not want to be an Idea Snatcher.

  • Share your ideas

Be careful how and where you share your ideas. Networking events are promising environments to collect the ideas of others. You may willingly share ideas, concepts, and suggestions believing in the Law of Reciprocity, what goes around comes around. You will be rewarded for your generosity in helping others. When you pollinate ideas, don’t be surprised when your ideas come back under the name of someone else. A professional speaker said, “the first time I am quoted, the speaker may mention my name and give me credit. The second time it was something the speaker read. The third time the speaker was just thinking about a topic, and it popped into his head.” The only time you may get full credit is the first time.

You are the conduit, the vehicle to release ideas into the atmosphere. Victor Hugo said, “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Consequently, if you generated an idea, you want to get credit for creating it and keeping it safely out of the hands of the Idea Snatchers.

 Copyright ©2011 Orlando Ceaser

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