Dear Bob ...
What do you do when your boss is lying to you? When he says "No I'm not doing this," and two days later launches a press release stating "HIS" brand new idea. This action makes one not trust one's boss.
This isn't speculation, then facts are on paper, in the office, and several other people know what is going on at my level and grimace while being thankful they aren't in my shoes. Intellectual property (IP) in my business is what makes or breaks you.
We develop products from experimental to launching publicly. I had developed an idea into a currently launched product when my boss basically said it was his idea without others. Funny, I remember putting in 18 hour days while he operated on banking hours. Saying "This isn't fair" and also avoiding a life of job hopping, how do I stop from getting run over without coming off as whining?
* Move on, but never forget this life lesson
* Transfer to another devision
* Document every moment of the working day
* Warn any new comer of boss' actions
One last thought/question: How do you move to another company when the day comes that you may need to and all you have to show is a boss that steals ideas and you have nothing to show for your time?
- Not going quietly into the night.
Dear Disquiet ...
What can you do? About this episode, nothing that won't make it worse. Unless you have a very good relationship with your boss's boss - on that would let you quietly explain what happened without it ever getting back to you - give it up. And even if you do have that kind of relationship, unless there's a direct financial incentive attached to who gets the credit, it still isn't worth it - you'd expend political capital and receive nothing in return beyond emotional satisfaction. No matter how you personally intervene, you'll either get a reputation as a backstabber or a whiner - either way you lose more than you gain.
You can, however, take steps to prevent a recurrence. In particular, as you're working on your next new idea, make sure you tell as many people about it as you can on an informal basis. You don't need to be overt about it, nor should you: "I'm working on an idea. I think it's great, but I'm supposed to - I'm looking for some independent thinking on it."
If your boss takes credit for your next idea and fifty colleagues are aware of who it really belongs to, someone will let his boss know about it, probably without your even having to prompt it.