We have often been informed that the “Indonesianization of management” policy which was pursued by TBI with cut-throat abandon in 2010 and 2011 has not been the glowing success that Ashley, Mariam and Luke envisaged. In fact, in the last 3 and a half years, TBI has seen 2 schools close permanently- TBI Semarang and TBI Cengkareng- and no new ones open. But the long delayed TBI Bali (it was originally planned to open in April 2012 and now, 51 months later, it is still not there) may finally be limping towards the finish line.
Yet in the latest demonstration of how badly their “Indonesianization of management” policy has failed, the TBI authorities have performed a complete back-flip on the policy and put an expat in charge of academics at not only TBI Malang but also the forthcoming TBI Bali as well. All the talk about letting locals lead the way and restricting expats to narrow teaching roles has been thrown overboard like so many crackpot TBI plans before it. No expat managers except degreeless, South Australian beach-bums Luke and Scotty? That is so 2012. Now they have driven around the roundabout of incompetence and are back to the earlier policy of admitting that they do need qualified expats to run their English schools after all.
Who could have guessed that letting the likes of Binsar, Nunu and Nida run their schools would prove to be less than a total success? Well, just about everyone except TBI management actually. But now the failure of this policy is out in the open for all to see. TBI Malang once again has an expat Academic Teal Leader. What? Oh you want to know that an Academic Teal Leader is. You think it ought to be team leader? Hmm. Well, not sure about that, because I have seen the LinkedIn page of this brilliant new class of TBI expat manager, and he has said three times that he is the new Teal Leader. Check it out for yourself. Click on it to see the full size.
To out great shame and embarrassment, we thought that a teal was a species of duck known for the green feathers to the side of its eyes. We were also aware of the color teal, the name of which is derived from the aforementioned duck. But who are we to question the wisdom of the someone with a Master of TESOL? Or should that be TEALSOL? Teal must also be something to do with TEALSOL pedagogy or why would Mr Lambert be using it on his profile, three times?
What’s that? You say that this is just a typo and teal can definitely only mean a duck! It is not some new TEFL quackery? Has TBI gone past its much-vaunted goal of “inter-cultural cooperation” and is now attempting inter-species cooperation? In truth, there have been no shortage of lame duck managers at TBI in the past. The celebrated TBI Director, Ibu Mariam, was once a lame duck herself. When she managed TBI Sudirman a decade ago it was a loss-making mess, a financial black hole, and yet she was promoted to the role of Director because her in-laws were on the board of USG. Further, Matt would not have even got this job were it not for the failure of various lame duck managers appointed during the Indonesianization policy. So perhaps the role of Teal Leader is not so ridiculous after all in a company infamous for its lame duck managers. As the adage goes, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, perhaps it is a duck. Quack, quack.