I have a confidence flaw that exists in my mind that I haven’t been able to shake despite my expertise and contributions to my field of study being recognized in their own right by entities like the US Department of Labor and executives from Fortune 500 firms. It relates to “brand names” and “pedigree”. One of the reason Big 4 consulting firms like McKinsey say that they can charge a premium to their clients is because they hire grads from Harvard, Yale, etc. and some consider “brand name” and “pedigree” to be a proxy for quality even though the research in this area is very dubious. I fundamentally help companies predict and proact to the future competitive environment. The research in forecasting accuracy by scientists such as Philip Tetlock show that there is no correlation between brand name/pedigree and a person’s forecasting accuracy. Technique and cognitive thinking style are the only traits correlated with accurately making predictions about the future.
I didn’t go to a McKinsey or Gartner even though I had the opportunity to do that, and it is usually in the back of my mind when speaking to a kindred, “does this person think less of my expertise or service because I’m not associated with the McKinseys and the Harvards of the world?” Recently I audited the work of a Big 4 consulting firm for a kindred and they actually liked my work better, but this hasn’t erased this thought from my mind.
I’m curious to learn how other bar flies here have felt or thought through how they’ve positioned themselves against the “brand names” in their market and how they confidently navigate through this noise.