The case study “Heidi Roizen” talks about a very popular venture capitalist Heidi Roizen and her professional and personal networking skills. Roizen is currently a venture capitalist at SOFTBANK Venture Capital, working there 80%. In her career, from editor of company newsletter for Tandem Computer (Tandem) to venture capitalist at SOFTBANK Venture Capital, she succeeded mostly because of her unique networking styles. According to Harvard Business Review (2007), “How Leaders Create and Use Networks” the author explains three distinct forms of networking: operational, personal, and strategic. Operational networking helps them manage current internal responsibilities. Personal networking boosts their personal development.
Strategic networking makes them look at new business directions and the stakeholders they need to enlist. Roizen’s first experience with networking was getting the Tandem position by hitting it off on the phone when applying for the job. Her networking technique was very similar to the above three networking forms. According to Harvard Business Review (2007), “How Leaders Create and Use Networks” it is mentioned that “operational networking helps ensure coordination and cooperation among people who have to come together to accomplish their immediate tasks”. Heidi commenced her operational networking during her tenure with Tandem, she sat in on top management meetings to stay abreast of company events. After she joined T/Maker, Roizen’s willingness to invest time into developing relationships with members of the press, attending numerous industry conferences and events, paid off and the Personal Publisher was a great success, swamping the company’s operations, so they sold the product to Software Publishing Corporation in late 1986.
According to Harvard Business Review (2007), “How Leaders Create and Use Networks” it is also mentioned that,” personal networks are largely external, made up of discretionary links to people with whom we have something in common”. As a mentor capitalist, Roizen was able to dedicate more time to her family and active social life. She enjoyed having small dinner parties at her home in Atherton, where she invited 8-12 people. Only invited people she liked and respected on both a personal and professional basis – goal of the parties was to make every person feel comfortable and at east. As a result, it increased her connections and helped her to get better opportunities and more successes. Another instance from Harvard Business Review (2007), “How Leaders Create and Use Networks” author notes that “strategic networking plugs the aspiring leader into a set of relationships and information sources that collectively generate the required ammunition to achieve personal and organizational goals.
” In mentor capitalist, Roizen served as an active outside board member for startups that had received at least one round of venture capital banking. She used her strategic networking skills and contributed time and experience to ensuring that the company’s products and goals aligned with the personal and professional goals, for which she received an equity stake in the company in return. I believe that successful leaders have an ability for knowing whom to tap to get things done using networking and Roizen’s skills of networking is very unique and result oriented which helped her to achieve success. She needs to maintain her networking style in the future and she does not need to tailor her networking approach in order to succeed venture capital.
As her role required to use the professional network to increase investment in SOFTBANK, and fortunately her networking skills consist of all above three-networking quality which contributed the major part in her career success hence her networking approach should not change.