Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Ugandan consultants are a very brilliant lot. Their expertise, qualifications and grasp on technical issues are well above international average, in my opinion. Why then are Ugandan consultancies not successful? I have noticed that they are always on the brink of something: on some days on the brink of succeeding and, on many more others, of failing. And it is the consultants themselves to blame. The same consultants who claim that they have the key to your business’s success can barely look at their own books of accounts. Why? Because they do not practice what they preach to others.

They preach about ethical practice and integrity but they are the worst manipulators and are shamelessly greedy. They will cut project budget amounts for every other item, especially personnel, but will never touch provisions for their own remunerations. Consultants preach to others about the need for and importance of motivating staff and yet their own are some of the least happy workforces around. They preach about the importance of good interpersonal relations within organisations and yet they themselves fuel feuds and wars within their own organisations (a result of their shameless greed and preference for manipulation rather than diplomacy). Fairness and equity are other favoured verses from their management bibles yet they themselves are anything but. Ugandan consultants are addicted to short-changing other project personnel. They preach about openness and accountability but are the worst in inking clear employment terms for the people they employ if they provide any at all.

All of the above can be summarised under three sub-titles: dishonesty, arrogance (preaching but not practicing and, in most religions, a top-of-the-list sin - subjecting others to conditions they would not want for themselves) and shameless greed for money. These are the enemies of any organisation. All consultancies depend a great deal on human intellect and effort so when you short-change people, you actually end up shortening the life of your consultancy. You gain the reputation of ‘the one that does not pay’. One does not need to look further than what is mentioned above to know why firms and individuals get blacklisted by contracting organisations.