Dr Zella King
Executive Fellow, Henley Business school & Co-Founder, Personal Boardroom
To be as effective leader as possible, what is the diversity of the eco-system you can access? Who do you call to access the latest thinking? Who’s your connector? Mentor? Co-author of Who is in Your Personal Boardroom? Zella challenges leaders to stop networking and instead start thinking strategically about the network of people they need to surround themselves with.
The Personal Boardroom
Dr Zella King biography
Zella is an Executive Fellow at Henley Business School and Co-Founder of The Personal Boardroom. The Personal Boardroom is a highly practical tool that can help future leaders, talent cohorts and minority groups build a more effective network that will make them visible, propel them forward in their careers and equip them to get things done. It has been used in many well-known companies including Accenture, Allied Irish Bank, BBC, Dyson, EY, Google, Linklaters, RBS, Severn Trent and UBS.
Drawing on insights from academic research, Zella challenges leaders on the diversity of people they surround themselves with. She argues that, in order to lead innovation or respond to disruption, leaders need a “personal boardroom” that includes people outside their company and outside their comfort zone. She introduces 12 roles that personal boardroom members play to help a leader succeed. The Personal Boardroom approach has been used by companies to develop leaders and accelerate women into senior roles.
Before creating Personal Boardroom with executive coach Amanda Scott, Zella was a business school professor at Henley Business School. Her research on career management and networks has been published in top academic journals. Zella’s book, Who is in your Personal Boardroom? How to choose people, assign roles and have conversations with purpose, written with Amanda Scott, was published in 2014.
Zella has delivered keynote speeches for numerous clients including the BBC, BNY Mellon, Cisco, CYBG, Dyson, Eli Lilly, Google, Morgan Stanley, RBS and UBS. She gave a TEDx talk on the science of social networks to a youth audience in 2011.
"Zella's session was inspiring in the way that it asked some fundamental questions about our business and personal relationships, encouraging strategic but also very practical action to broaden our perspective. Zella helped us identify and target a variety of opportunities, which we can leverage with a powerful tool to help us think about managing our refreshed networks as the year unfolds."Duncan Baldry, Managing Director, Accenture Technology Consulting
"Zella gave well organised and thought-provoking session and her talk was extremely well received by my colleagues, who said they really enjoyed the session."Alison Lomax, Head of Brand Solutions, Google UK
"Zella’s session went down a storm, and the Personal Boardroom language continued to be used for the rest of the week. I personally loved the session too. Zella was very engaging and she did an excellent job of making her content relevant to us and our agenda."Emily Cadwallader, Head of Talent & Leadership, Dyson
"As a speaker and presenter, Zella lights up the room with her engaging and energetic style. Her talks combine research evidence and real life examples with activities that stimulate people to take action. The outcome is that people have better-focused conversations with a broader range of people, and that benefits our business."Michael Cole-Fontayn, Chairman of EMEA, BNY Mellon
"A vibrant, illuminating and engaging authority on networking best practice. Zella's energetic and interactive session engaged the whole room – offering theoretical and practical tactics on how we can network effectively and sincerely with each other to build and develop meaningful business relationships."Rachel Mitchell, IMG
"We highly recommend Dr Zella. She challenged common thinking and conceptions on our personal networks and how or why we should improve these. Whilst we can’t all make it to CEO level, we can work together to support each other to success once we have identified the barriers and risen above them!"Kirsten Oates, Head of People and Culture, Maxus
“The Personal Boardroom online tool, together with webinars and online resources, has made it possible for us to take a helpful concept, which I and other senior women first encountered in face-to-face sessions, and offer it to colleagues at all levels of the bank. It makes them aware of how things get done through relationships. It makes them think who are the people to help them get the right decision over the line. I think it can make all of us better at our jobs.”Jane Howard, Managing Director, Personal Banking, RBS
“Zella's session was inspiring in the way that it asked some fundamental questions about our business and personal relationships, encouraging strategic but also very practical action to broaden our perspective. Zella helped us identify and target a variety of opportunities, which we can leverage with a powerful tool to help us think about managing our refreshed networks as the year unfolds.”Duncan Baldry, MD, Accenture Technology Consulting