How can I stop someone stealing ideas?

My guess is that this comes down to a lack of self-awareness. Where you, with your comment about not wanting to erode the foundations of your team or organisation, are concerned about how your actions affect others and how others view those actions, I suspect your colleague is unburdened by these kinds of worries.

They may be totally unaware that they’re stealing other people’s ideas and passing them off as their own. Or they may be acting with what they think is brilliant duplicity, oblivious to the fact that they’re committing theft in broad daylight and fooling absolutely nobody around them.

Credit:John Shakespeare

In either case, I think the best way of approaching the situation is to try your best to put the galling nature of the behaviour aside and think about rectification rather than retribution. By that I mean do your best to concentrate on getting credit for the person who had the idea originally rather than seeking punishment for the culprit.

One tactic might be to politely let the offending colleague know that “their” idea had, in fact, been raised previously. It could be a quiet chat or a quick email and there’s no need to be outright accusatory or even hint at the fact that they’ve done anything wrong. It simply needs to make them aware that someone else had the idea they presented as their own.

That’ll probably only work if your co-worker is acting more out of ignorance than malice.

If you’re dealing with a more… ahem… “mischievous” workmate, you might try going to the person who’s receiving these ideas – perhaps it’s a manager, supervisor or project manager – and having a private word. The trick is to pass on the information not as if you’re dobbing on a school bully, but instead sticking up for a peer who deserves recognition. This way you’re revealing the facts of the matter – “actually, that was X’s idea” – without any need for confrontation, and with little risk of being cast as an underminer.

There are two other, far less likely possibilities I should probably conclude with here.

The first is that what you’re witnessing is not appropriation of intellectual property but extraordinary coincidence. They say nothing’s new under the sun, and there may be some small chance that these ideas aren’t being pilfered, but are legitimately being proposed by both colleagues totally independently of one another. Of course, the more often it happens the less probable this is, but it may be worth considering.

The second is that your idea poacher is entirely aware of what he or she is doing and the angst it’s causing but simply doesn’t care. If that’s the case, you’re in deeper waters, I’m afraid.

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Local News - Victoria

New development plan for contentious St Kilda site ‘where ideas come to die’

The new $3.8 million proposal includes the creation of a plaza by closing the road in front of the theatre and linking the area with the public space outside Luna Park.

“Previous ideas have involved hundreds of millions of dollars and they have always gone wrong on the triangle, whereas this one is just … to provide a public open space,” Cr Gross said in a promotional video for the new forecourt.

An artist's impression of what ice cream and penguin shaped anti-terrorism bollards could look like at the site.

An artist’s impression of what ice cream and penguin shaped anti-terrorism bollards could look like at the site.

The road closure will see 20 car parks removed from a total of 767 in the precinct.

The project also includes a raised pedestrian crossing on Cavell Street, which runs between Luna Park and the Palais Theatre and new garden beds, trees and lighting.

Cr Gross said part of an “incredibly ugly” breeze block concrete fence that runs along the St Kilda Esplanade would be removed.

He told The Age he expected it to be a popular proposal, as it was modest and didn’t include any commercial developments.

Port Phillip councillor Dick Gross.

Port Phillip councillor Dick Gross.Credit:Simon Schluter

“There’s always controversy about anything to do with that site, but I did take comfort that some of the old warriors from past battles chimed in on Facebook and said they liked it,” he said.

“This is an iconic site. It’ll be a place where people can congregate.”

However, it’s not set in stone yet, with St Kilda residents set to have their say during a consultation period.

“You’d be mad not to be scared,” Cr Gross said.

The site in 1915.

The site in 1915.

If the consultation process goes smoothly, work is expected to take nine months to complete.

Port Phillip council will contribute $2.5 million to the redevelopment and an additional $1.3 million will be provided by the state government as part of its $154 million local parks program.


Some disruptions are expected during the forecourt’s construction, but visitors will still have access to the amusement park and theatre.

Cr Gross said there were still no plans for what could be built on the 418-space car park beside the theatre, across from the beach.

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Australian News

Inspired by the NRL’s new ‘six-again’ rule, Eddie Jones has some ideas on how to speed up rugby

England coach Eddie Jones says rugby union has turned into a stop-start visual product similar to the NFL and is calling for at least two fundamental changes to speed up play.

Australian Jones pointed to the dramatic impact one rule tweak has made to the NRL, which returned to action last week and was a notably faster spectacle.

The “six-again” rule reduced the penalty count and had singularly transformed the nature of the game, Jones said.

“It’s definitely become less of a wrestle in the NRL and a faster, more continuous game,” the former Wallabies coach told Sky Sport in New Zealand.

“I think we need to make that adjustment in rugby. I think the game’s gradually moved along a track and hasn’t been looked at carefully enough.

Jones said the typical Test match now lasted longer than 100 minutes, with at least 65 minutes taken up without action.

The concept of tiredness had almost disappeared, he said, not helped by more than half of any starting side being replaced late in games.

Jones said reducing the reserve bench from eight to six players would have an immediate benefit.

An NRL player plants the ball down in the corner while mid-air as defenders try in vain to stop him.
A tweak to the rules led to near universal praise as the NRL made its return last week.(AAP: Scott Barbour)

“I reckon that’d make a hell of a difference. It would introduce some fatigue into the game,” he said.

“With eight reserves, we’ve got such a power game now. I think it’s gone too far down the power line and we need to get some more continuity back.”

Re-set scrums chew up the game clock by minutes at a time and Jones said infringements should result in a quick tap or kick for touch but not a shot at goal.

How to handle scrums has also been addressed by former Wallabies captain Andrew Slack, who rounded up a group of thinkers in the Australian game to brainstorm beneficial law changes.

The group has approached Rugby Australia and it is hoped some of the ideas will be considered for the relaunched domestic Super Rugby season planned for July.

New Zealand’s Super Rugby competition kicks of next week and referees have promised to be more severe on ruck infringements, believing it is fundamental to a free-flowing game.


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