You’re busy, I’m busy, but let me bend your ear about objective contrarianism for a moment.
Right after I got my dogs, I had to replace my dilapidated, falling over dead wooden fence with something a bit more resilient and complete. In one corner of the yard, this necessitated cutting down some bushes, a bit of stump grinding and generally leaving a significant quarter of the yard as a dirt box. Not a sand box, a dirt box.
This became a problem when my dogs decided it would be great fun to play in the dirt, as dogs are naturally wont to do – and bring in all sorts of grit that got everywhere.
Now everyone I spoke to from friends and neighbors to outfits that sprayed down yards all pretty much concluded the same thing. The dirt patch would expand as the dogs played around in it and eventually, I would be looking at an unintentional zero scaping of my back yard into the dark side of the moon. It could not be helped.
Well. I love hearing those words. Because I love being the objective contrarian – especially when everyone thinks it cannot be fixed. I sectioned that corner off with a high chain fence, got a crew in to spray the yard with fertilizer but asked them not to specifically seed that section. That would have been easy.
Being blessed with sunshine and rain here in Florida – well, you should see the yard now. Green, lush grass and no more dirt being tracked in the house, except when my dogs decide to get adventurous and dig after some random Florida critter or another.
So now to the moral of the story, which, as Alice’s Duchess would say, “everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.”
Conventional wisdom is anything but and quite often particularly inappropriate when deployed to problems which have preconceived outcomes. Part “hold my beer” and part Samwise Gamgee your objective contrarian is one who is going to still try to resolve an outcome for a greater good when everyone else has decided that even Sisyphus would weep at the thought. There is an objective, an achievable objective in their mind – and a plan, which sometimes seems too obvious to work, which they will make work – and not through sheer stubborn, heads-down grit. No, the objective contrarian is going to work smarter, fail faster and get to that greater good.
Let us make the example more tactile. Enterprise integration problems have always been a bit of a hydra everyone would just rather let Heracles deal with. Well. We are fresh out of Heracles’. Cleaned right on out. At its most basic, it’s a question of zero’s and one’s – and if you’ve got access to those bits, you’ve got a workable start to integration. Yes, some of the logic can get really squirrelly, but invariably you’re going to be able to build up to that solution. If ever you think, or more likely are being told by a vendor, that an integration will not work – just ask the objective contrarian.
The answer invariably will be – “hold my beer …”