In this part, we build the case that Platts is a business charlatan, taking Ning and Mariam for a ride.
What is your opinion of Ashley Platts as a corporate trainer?
He is terrible.
I agree. What do you say he is terrible?
I found the whole thing difficult to stomach. When Ashley was School Manager at MK he was famously rude and aloof. He would rarely even address the teachers and never did any teaching at all. After he became a business consultant, he started spouting all this ‘leadership’ and ‘team building’ talk once or twice a year at TBI workshops. It was just rank hypocrisy as he was an absent and contemptuous manager who was the exact opposite of a team player.
Did he ever do any ‘team building’ activities when he was School Manager?
None at all. He is a complete phoney. I’ve sometimes had the thought that he wanted to get rid of anyone who remembered what he was really like as a manager.
Were you surprised to learn that he had plagiarized the GROW Model and KPIs and passed it off as his own business system?
It actually makes a lot of sense. When he stood up there giving his presentations, everyone was bored stupid. His performances were always stiff and awkward. He was just mouthing someone else’s words and ideas without any feeling. There was never any enthusiasm for his subject and he didn’t inspire anyone. If he had made it up, he would have been more attached to the model. His presentations would have been more interesting. It makes sense he was just faking.
Did you ever once hear or see him acknowledge that the ideas he presented as the Business System were entirely taken from other sources?
Absolutely not. He deceived people 100% and charged TBI upwards of $30,000 a year for someone else’s work.
How serious a matter do you consider plagiarizing an entire business system and calling it your own?
It shows a complete lack of integrity. It shows he is willing to mislead everyone in the room. Clearly, in a proper company it would be a sackable offence. But as we keep saying, TBI is not a proper company.
What do you think about the argument that because these materials are available free on the internet it was okay to pinch them?
The whole Beatles’ catalog is available on the Internet free these days. That doesn’t mean I can pretend that I wrote and recorded it and sell it to the highest bidder. God knows how many laws I would be breaking if I tried. And in terms of intellectual property rights, there are professional standards. In academia people use footnotes to source their information. They even use links on Wikipedia to show the other websites that were sourced. If you take someone’s ideas without once mentioning where they come from, right down to the smallest details, that is a blatant case of plagiarism. If Platts had tried that at as a student any reputable university in the UK, he would be up before an ethics board explaining why he shouldn’t be expelled. He has demonstrated the lowest possible standards of personal integrity in this matter and has the nerve to be presenting himself as some kind of expert or role model.
Who should be holding Ashley Platts to account for the lies he has told everyone in the company?
Mariam. But she is useless. I doubt she checks anything. She doesn’t want to do anything but take long lunches. I’d say Ashley knows that he can get away with anything, as Mariam has no idea what she is doing.
Were you ever audited by Ashley Platts?
Yes I was. The second time when I was at Menara Kuningan in 2011.
Is it true that at that stage you had more students than he did as manager of the same school in 2007?
Absolutely. According to official TBI statistics, he went as low as 530 students and we had almost 650 and that point and had grown 35% since the days when Luke and Wati were running the show.
What did he say about the fact that you had outperformed him on every KPI?
He said it didn’t count because I had Saturday afternoon classes and he didn’t.
Did they have Saturday afternoon classes at any other school?
Yes they did. They had been running them for years at Dago and Jawa-Riau. These classes were very popular and had hundreds of students.
Did Ashley ever subtract the Saturday afternoon classes from the Dago student numbers?
Of course not.
Did Ashley ever subtract the Saturday afternoon classes from the Jalan Riau student numbers?
Of course not.
When Luke congratulated Alex on reaching a record number of students at Dago did this include Saturday afternoon classes?
Of course it did.
So in making his assessment of your school Ashley was deliberately subtracting students from the total even though this was completely unheard of in any other context?
Ashley just misuses his power as an auditor to advance his own agenda. He has no standards or integrity in anything he does.
Is it true that Chris tried and failed to get Saturday classes going?
Yes, Ashley and Chris tried it and it flopped. They did no marketing and got no interest in it and it was soon closed.
How much do you trust the objectivity and impartiality of Ashley as an auditor?
I have no doubt that he is biased. His only agenda is getting rid of expat managers. If he has to lie and distort data to achieve it, he will not hesitate.