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Speaker session

The personal boardroom

14:00 - 15:30

Zella King

CEO, Personal Boardroom

About this session

The metaphor of a personal boardroom is used to encourage people to think about the heart of their network. There is a lot of focus on "networking" (getting to know strangers), and some awkwardness around that for many people. We say instead that there is more value in thinking about the core of your network, and about how to make the most of relationships you already have.

There are 12 roles you need around the table in your personal boardroom; these include Navigator, Unlocker, Sponsor and Nerve-Giver. The roles provide a very useful rubric to identify where there are gaps in your network, to identify candidates to fill those gaps, and to have purposeful conversations. We also encourage people to look for diversity of thinking in their boardroom, by drawing on a wide range of people both inside and outside their company, with different career backgrounds, from different age groups etc.

About the speaker

Zella began her career as a consultant (Accenture) and an investment banker (Schroders). Her PhD in Occupational Psychology is from Birkbeck College, London. Over a 12 year career as an academic at the University of Reading and Henley Business School, some highlights include:

  • serving as the Director of the Centre for Career Management Skills, a £4m centre funded by HEFCE at the University of Reading to lead innovation in career education
  • developing an award-winning website for undergraduate career education, which was sold to 37 other universities
  • being awarded a Fellowship of the Advanced Institute of Management Research in 2007
  • being awarded two prizes for a paper on gender segregation in recruitment with Isabel Fernandez-Mateo of London Business School.