Today, in the words of the old saying, it is really a case of ‘poacher turned gamekeeper.'
I am delighted to publish my interview with Ashley Webster of FOX Business TV. You can read more about Ashley by clicking here
I had the great pleasure of being interviewed, live to the US, by Ashley in January 2008 on Fox Business Network about some of my thoughts about simplicity.
I liked Ashley immediately and I have great respect for his professionalism. He helped me feel relaxed before going on TV for a live interview for the first time in my life. It could have been a bit scary but Ashley’s calmness, professionalism and experience was a great help – he actually made it easy for me. He is a real pro!
I was also impressed by the slick operation of the Fox Business studio especially the friendliness of the small team of people I met including Lauren Bedsole the Producer.
Ashley kindly agreed to share some thoughts with me - so here it is - I hope you enjoy it ...........
TREVOR: Ashley – thanks for agreeing to be the interviewee this time. Tell me a bit about your career in the media world.
ASHLEY: I started my career as a reporter/anchor for an NBC affiliate in Helena, Montana. From there I have worked in the same capacity at a number of different stations in California, Arizona, Wisconsin and Tennessee. After 20 years of working for local affiliates I joined the Fox Business Network in 2007 as the overseas markets editor and correspondent based in London, England.
TREVOR: When we did the Fox interview it felt like you and I were just informally chatting – and I mean that as a compliment to your skills. Is it just experience or do you have a different strategy with each guest?
ASHLEY: I have always enjoyed meeting and talking with people that is why reporting is the perfect job for me. When it comes to interviewing guests the best approach for me has always been to be relaxed and conversational. There is nothing natural about sitting in front of a camera and lights, so I try to make the experience as comfortable as possible and just let the guest talk about his or her subject.
TREVOR: You have the most fantastic view of London from your office. How do you like working in London versus the US?
ASHLEY: I am originally from Brighton, England and lived in the UK for 20 years before emigrating to the United States. Coming back to London after being away for more than 20 years has been a unique and rewarding experience. The studio has a wonderful view looking down on Big Ben and Parliament, so every morning I am reminded how lucky I am to be working in such a unique place.
TREVOR: As you well know I believe the search for simplicity is vital in business – what are you views about this and do you meet many people with similar views?
ASHLEY: Keeping it simple in business is vital. In business, as in life, it seems to be human nature to make things more complicated than they have to be. In business this can have disastrous consequences because without simplicity the function of the business can be severely hampered. I often meet people who agree but it seems big corporations are unable to make the necessary changes because there are too many people on the totem pole to get the changes enacted.
TREVOR: I was very impressed with the smooth efficiency of the Fox team – particularly Lauren Bedsole your Producer. It feels like you are a very effective and 'together' team. I assume teamwork is crucial in the broadcasting world with such acute and demanding deadlines. Am I right about that and how do you think team work is maintained in Fox?
ASHLEY: Teamwork in any environment is critical to success but working in a bureau so far away from the New York headquarters it is a necessity. We work under deadlines that often come around every 10 minutes throughout the day and it can be extremely stressful and without teamwork we would not be able to make it work. I think it’s a great example of simplicity at work!
TREVOR: What do you see as the main similarities and differences between managers in the US and Britain?
ASHLEY: Having worked in both countries I have noticed some differences in the style of management on either side of the Atlantic. Managers in the United States tend to be more macro in their approach, very goal oriented and expect a high level of devotion and accomplishment. I think UK managers are a little more relaxed and take a more hands-off approach but at the end of the day still expect results. I think this is as much a cultural difference as a work philosophy and both have their strengths and weaknesses.
TREVOR: Finally Ashley what is the future for Fox Business Network in Britain – will we soon be able to pick it up on our satellite TV?
ASHLEY: As a brand new network based in the United States it takes time to reach as many households as possible and this is an ongoing process. We hope the Fox Business Network will soon become a part of the regular UK channel options as soon as possible!
TREVOR: Thanks again for your insights.