When I was in third grade, Joe Nelson stole Mary Paul Craft’s quarter.
A quarter was lunch and milk. A quarter and a nickel was lunch and milk AND a Nutty Buddy. Or an orange dreamsicle, if you didn’t love chocolate.
No one saw Joe steal the quarter, but everyone knew he did.
Mary Paul put the quarter in the pencil section of her desk.
After recess, it was gone.
The next day, Mary Paul brought another quarter, and had her usual nutty buddy.
Joe bought ice cream every day that week. He had never bought ice cream before.
So, here I am now, in New Orleans, attending the National Speakers Association’s annual conference. All members of NSA agree to an ethics code. Simply put, we agree not to steal from each other.
Your profession no doubt has a code of ethics too. Now that our economy runs on services and intellectual property, ethics are paramount. Most of us who consult, teach, advise, research, or analyze earn our living with our knowledge.
We were all taught not to steal quarters and Nutty Buddies. But how about concepts? Has anyone used your ideas without giving you credit? Have you ever taken a concept from someone else?
What are the Nutty Buddies in your profession?