Monitor Group, the top-tier strategy consulting firm, is in hot water for their relations to Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi, who is currently engaged in a brutal war of repression against his own people. Mother Jones has the scoop on the project:
But the firm also succeeded on other fronts. The two chief goals of the project, according to an internal document describing Monitor’s Libya operations, were to produce a makeover for Libya and to introduce Qaddafi “as a thinker and intellectual, independent of his more widely-known and very public persona as the Leader of the Revolution in Libya.”
I’m confident that Monitor isn’t the only major consulting firm that engaged with an autocracy to help them gather legitimacy on the international scene, they’re just the guys who got caught when their client decided to respond to peaceful protests with a military crackdown.
Given the criticism Monitor is now receiving for their work, will it make other consulting firms more hesitant to take on dictators and their governments as clients? Or will the financial appeal, combined with a genuine belief that they’re helping these countries move towards more democratic government and efficient services for citizens, keep consulting firms engaged? At the time, I don’t think anyone at Monitor thought there was a problem with what they were doing, but I have to think there’s some serious soul searching going on at the firm right now.