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#97: Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, July 22, 2009
A consulting colleague has developed a unique methodology to evaluate an organization's ability to successfully implement change. It is deceptively simple, and I think the tool is extremely clever. In fact, I like the tool so much; I have begun to use the approach in my engagements. Do you see any ethical issue with me utilizing my colleague's approach with my own clients?

The IMC USA Code of Ethics is clear on this matter. Within Section 12 ("Public and Profession - Respect for Rights of Others"), it states that "I will respect the rights of consulting colleagues and consulting firms and will not use their proprietary information or methodologies without permission." If the intellectual property is not yours, even if you think you might have come up with it on your own, it is not yours and any use by you may give the impression that it is yours.

Tip: If you are going to utilize a colleague's established methodology in your practice, get their explicit permission first before doing so. Better yet, work with your colleague to be clear what constitutes your own work and what belongs to them.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  consulting colleagues  ethics  product development 

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