Vice President, Talent & Development, Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Michael Arena is the Vice President of Talent & Development for Amazon Web Services (AWS). Mr. Arena also serves as a faculty member in the University of Pennsylvannia’s Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics program and acts as a design thinking coach within the Stanford School. He was recently nominated to the Thinkers50 Radar class of 2020 for his work on network roles in creating adaptive organizations, and his research on networks won the 2017 Walker Prize from People + Strategy.
Prior to joining Amazon, Arena was the Chief Talent Officer for General Motors Corporation where he launched GM2020, a grass roots initiative that enables employees to positively disrupt the way they work, which was featured in Fast Company and Fortune Magazine. This initiative and others are highlighted in his book, Adaptive Space: How GM and Other Companies are Positively Disrupting Themselves and Transforming into Agile Organizations. Previously, Arena was a visiting scientist with MIT’s Media Lab researching human networks and served as Senior Vice President of Leadership Development at Bank of America.
How GM and Other Companies are Positively Disrupting Themselves and Transforming into Agile Organizations
Lack of Agility is the kiss of death. Position your company to succeed in world of change.
To edge out the competition in today’s disruptive environment, you need to ensure that your company is agile―that it can respond to change instantly and effectively. Because fast and furious change is the only thing you can count on in business today.
Network expert Michael Arena helped enable GM’s legendary turnaround. In these pages, he explains how you can transform your own company through the concept of adaptive space. Based on hundreds of interviews and the author’s own groundbreaking study of dozens of organizations spanning a variety of industries, Adaptive Space shows how to position your company for today―and for the future―by enabling creativity, innovation, and novel ideas to flow freely among teams, across departments, and throughout the company.
Using GM as the main case study―along with the stories of other highly adaptive organizations, like Apple, Amazon, Disney, and Gore―Arena provides a model you can follow to reinvent your company. It’s about inspiring employees to explore new ideas, empowering the most creative people and teams to spread their ideas across the organization, and operationalizing the entrepreneurial spirit so adaptability is set in stone.