Dr Zella King Executive Fellow at Henley Business School and Founding Director of Personal Boardroom

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Zella is a recognised expert on networks, networking and the concept of a personal boardroom.

Zella is an Executive Fellow at Henley Business School and Co-Founder and Director of Personal Boardroom, a company that helps people build their networks in a structured, purposeful way, focusing on quality not quantity. Used primarily by companies for talent management and diversity, Personal Boardroom helps rising stars assign 6-12 people in their network to play the 12 key roles they need to help them succeed. Clients include Accenture, Hertz, Lloyds Banking Group and Top Right Group.

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, and the Personal Boardroom framework draws its inspiration from academic research on the network of high-performers. 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 October 2014.

Zella has delivered keynote speeches and talks at Google, BBC, Eli Lilly, BNY Mellon and UBS. Her insights are featured alongside Tom Peters and Seth Godin in the Audvisor app which delivers TED-like insights from experts in their fields. She gave a TEDx talk on the science of social networks to a youth audience in 2011.

After completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge, Zella began her career in consulting for Accenture and then worked in corporate finance at Schroders. She has a PhD in Occupational Psychology from Birkbeck College, University of London.


Networks v networking

The Personal Boardroom

The network gaps of women

Zella King gave a talk on the network gaps of women as part of our Women@Google initiative, which supports the advancement of senior and mid-career women. It was a well organised and thought-provoking session and her talk was extremely well received by my colleagues, who said they really enjoyed the session.

They also said it helped them in a practical way. One said: "I wanted to drop you a quick note to say thank you for bringing Zella King in today ... I've already put some of her advice into practice, reconnecting with some people who should certainly be in my personal boardroom!"

Alison Lomax
Head of Brand Solutions, Google UK

Maxus prides itself on being an egalitarian modern media agency, with a 50:50 diversity headcount, but even we can’t ignore continuing media coverage on gender pay gap at work and the seniority gap. Coupled with more general conversations about promoting women in leadership positions, how should businesses in the UK can get more women onto the boards of companies?

Dr Zella King held a fascinating talk at Maxus this March, straddling both the Network Gap and a thorough understanding the effectiveness of our own Personal Boardrooms.
Although the content of the hour long session was directed primarily at women, all were welcome to attend, as this would enhance our overall understanding of those within all reporting lines.

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