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    The Major Motive why We Snatch Other People’s Ideas

    29 December 2020

    Have you ever had a great idea and shared it with a colleague only to find out later that the same colleague you trusted took your idea to use it as their own? 

    You will be surprised to know how many people face the same situation in different contexts! Even more surprisingly, many bosses admit to doing this on a regular basis, and almost all of them have done this at least once. 

    This “stealing” of ideas, as we can call it, has become a regular topic of discussion from schools to workplaces. The question is, how has this unethical act become so popular, and why are people continuing to do so?


    Many companies have a culture of appreciating competitive aggressiveness in performance rather than friendly teamwork. This leads to a power struggle between the employees leading them to steal others’ ideas when they have nothing good in their own mind. Instead of encouraging this type of behavior, companies can have small culture improvements in their teams, where collaboration is given more importance than the competition. 

    Unorganized System

    Creative businesses often feel proud to present themselves as messy. But this mess can create a chaotic environment where it becomes difficult to find who presented what idea, leading to idea theft. These organizations need to understand that creativity does not require mess. Having a structured system is always good for businesses for their development. 

    The Pressure of Innovation

    The need to have newer, innovative ideas often creates pressure on people. It is not every day that one can come up with a new idea. But many companies put pressure on their employees to have ideas regularly. This pressure often pushes them to use the idea that they have heard before. 

    Rather than pushing an individual to have new ideas regularly, companies can have them work in a group and foster knowledge-sharing instead. The collaboration will allow them to share their ideas and improve them rather than stealing other people’s ideas. 

    Psychological Factor

    Many people often use another person’s ideas as their own without even realizing that they are stealing them from someone else. This may sound unusual, but most idea theft is actually the result of this psychological circumstance called kleptomania. This is a situation where people believe that the idea that the represented is new, while it actually came from someone else. 

    Ideas are people’s intellectual properties. Coming up with a good idea requires hard mental work. So, when someone you trust steals that idea, it can be pretty hurtful and is obviously unethical. But the truth is, this is quite a common scenario in workplaces. Organizations need to change their company culture and focus more on collaboration to stop this.