Answer this question
 off the top of your head, and without thinking too deeply about it: What’s the latest ‘fad’ in your industry?

Is there a trend, a new framework, a belief system or an approach; something that everyone is talking about? Perhaps a buzzword that implies a principle?

This generally happens when everyone has bought into the latest overnight mental mushroom. It can sometimes amount to groupthink, and it can also present you with an opportunity: What if you were the contrarian?

Granted, every new fad will tend to have some degree of merit, otherwise it wouldn’t catch on. That’s fair enough. But jumping on the band-wagon and being ‘another one who’ tends to make you invisible as an expert. Can you see something original that can be done in the opposite direction?

Start with a little critical thinking: What’s the downside to the fad? Can you see a negative aspect or a weak point to the new orthodoxy? If so, and if you have the courage to go against the stream, you could be a contrarian. 

Contrarians are conspicuous by definition. Their ability - and courageous willingness - to think differently, set them apart. If you have it in you to be a contrarian, and to speak in the opposite direction to the crowd, you could stand out from the masses. Stand out, and you could own your industry. 


Douglas Kruger is a multiple award-winning professional speaker, focusing on innovation, agile culture and expert positioning. Books like his, ‘They’re Your Rules, Break Them!’ are bestsellers, informing his conference presentations for leadership delegates. Book him as the keynote speaker for your next conference at