Michael Arena

Michael Arena is the author of a best-selling book, Adaptive Space: How GM and Other Companies are Positively Disrupting Themselves and Transforming into Agile Organizations and the former Chief Talent Officer for General Motors Corporation where he was responsible for enterprise talent management, cultural transformation, leadership development, talent acquisition and people analytics. While at GM he launched GM2020, a grass roots initiative designed to enable employees to positively disrupt the way they work, which was highlighted in Fast Company and Fortune Magazine.

His research on social capital and networks won the 2017 Walker Prize from People + Strategy and his research has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Harvard Business Review, and Sloan Management Review. Prior to GM, Arena spent two years as a visiting scientist with MIT’s Media Lab studying network theory. He also served as Senior Vice President of Leadership Development at Bank of America, where he co-designed and launched the Center for Future Banking, an initiative created to positively disrupt consumer banking. 

Dr. Arena is a faculty member in Penn’s Masters in Organizational Dynamics program and acts as a design thinking coach within the Stanford dSchool. 

Arena also served as Senior Vice President of Leadership Development for Bank of America's Global Consumer and Small Business Banking group, where he led talent management, executive development and organizational development. He also co-designed and launched the Center for Future Banking in partnership with MIT and created the Consumer Banking Design organization dedicated to driving customer-based innovation. 

Dr. Arena earned his Ph.D. in Organizational Dynamics from the Union Institute and University. He currently serves as board chair of the Plexus Institute, board member of the Innovation Institute and as a business council member for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).


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