GM talent officer next guest in LTU ‘Executive to Executive’ series

SOUTHFIELD – Michael Arena, chief talent officer at General Motors Corp., will speak on how large organizations can become more nimble in an era of constant change as the next presenter in Lawrence Technological University’s “Executive to Executive” lecture series.

The event will be held Tuesday, Nov. 13 beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Mary E. Marburger Science and Engineering Auditorium, Room S100 of Lawrence Tech’s Science Building (see There is a $30 fee for the event. Register at

In his speech, “Adaptive space: How companies are transforming into agile organizations,” Arena will offer ideas on leveraging a network to get things done, understanding social capital inside and outside organizations, and disruption in the not-for-profit world and how to succeed in a world of change.

At GM, Arena has used concepts such as predictive analytics and network analysis to launch GM2020, a grassroots initiative designed to enable employees to disrupt the way they work in a positive way, a move that was highlighted in magazines such as Fast Company and Fortune.

These experiences are highlighted in his book, “Adaptive Space: How GM and Other Companies are Positively Disrupting Themselves and Transforming into Agile Organizations.”

Arena’s research has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Chief Executive magazine, the Harvard Business Review, Business Insider and the Sloan Management Review. He currently teaches in the University of Pennsylvania’s Masters in Organizational Dynamics program and is a design thinking coach at Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. He also spent two years as a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab and served as senior vice president of leadership development at Bank of America. Arena earned a PhD in organizational dynamics from Union Institute & University after earning an MBA from Wheeling Jesuit University and a Bachelor of Science in industrial technology from California University of Pennsylvania.

The Executive to Executive speaker series is sponsored by Lawrence Tech’s College of Business and Information Technology and the accounting and business advisory firm Plante Moran.

Lawrence Technological University,, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 15 percent of universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

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