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> near ubiquitous distrust for consultants among almost everyone who has worked with them

Perhaps this empirical observation doesn’t have enough unbiased samples. Consulting in general, more in particular management consulting, and even more in particular strategy consulting (where MMB, McKinsey, Boston, Bain are leaders; and the kind that sparkled this discussion), are 3 different, huge, mature, global industries. So there are empirical odds enough to say that people trust them enough to pay them, which is at odds with that universal distrust you state.

Perhaps that “ubiquitous distrust” is just more prevalent in HN or in the IT industry.

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