THE IDEAS THAT BOSSES ACQUIRE

Bosses get ideas from a variety of sources – some come from their employees; some from reading a wide range of journals and books; and others come to them out of thin air.

The WSJ published an article recently entitled, “When Your boss Steals Your Ideas.”  I didn’t read the article, only the title and its subtitle, “Nothing frustrates employees more than a manager taking undue credit . . . ”  To which I would reply: Garbage.  First off, I’ve always given due credit to every idea that I’ve used that was provided by my employees.  But, that being said, the fact is that the ideas that employees generate while on the job belong to the company, not to the employee – they’re being paid to generate ideas and share them with others in the company, including their boss.  Unless the employee has a written and signed agreement that any ideas they generate are theirs, alone (and, it would be the rare company that would agree to such a condition – otherwise, why hire the employee – ?), then whatever is generated in the workplace is the property of the company.  It’s always nice, as I say, for the employees to get credit for their ideas, but they do not own those ideas.   The lodging of such a complaint sounds like a typical millennial whine – and to those fomenting such complaints, I would say, “Suck it up and learn to be an adult.”  I can see 20-year-old millennials being surprised when they have freely shared their ideas and those have been taken and used without crediting the source.  But I can also envision older millennials making the same complaints – and to anyone older than 21, my advice is to learn how the business world really works and learn to adjust to its guidelines and requirements.  And, along the way, learn to be a little less selfish – selfishness is a true millennial trait and should not be fostered in the workplace – their parents have done enough of that before they reach 21, to last a lifetime.

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