Novice Insights

“…money isn’t the enemy. However, how a company goes about making it determines the moral side the entity falls on…”

I have only recently been inducted into the consulting world. In so doing, I have had to confront many stereotypes and have had a number of revelations about the industry.

The Industry
Coming from a socio-education environment, the commercial incentive of business always tugged on my socialist heartstrings. However, I found that Africawide has a strong social conscience. I was directed to the company though their work with SSP, and upon joining discovered the great work done by the Africawide Trust Foundation. Money isn’t the enemy, but how a company goes about making it determines the moral side the entity falls on.

The People
In a recent Financial Times article, it was said that the best consultants are “insecure overachievers”. They respond to clients’ very whim, craving for affirmation and status. With HR departments actively seeking out hotshots with anxiety, Africawide seems different. The desire for achievement does not appear to come at the expense of the individuals or teams’ health. A great deal of time seems to be given to making sure employees are developing and being fulfilled.

The Work
“Problem Solving”, “MECE”, “Implementation”, “Shared Value”, “Synergy”. The language of work is still new to me. Colleagues casually drop words and acronyms into conversations, where I need to go look things up later. However, it has been pleasurable to find that there is a pre-existing framework to determine work channels and work responsibilities; “can you put it in a RACI”.

Another interesting dynamic is the client engagement and trying to win over the client to get them to participate in the process. Reading “What Clients really want from Management Consultants” is a great reference to the dynamics of working with clients.



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