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Adaptive Space: How GM and Other Companies are Positively Disrupting Themselves and Transforming into Agile Organizations by [Michael Arena]
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Adaptive Space: How GM and Other Companies are Positively Disrupting Themselves and Transforming into Agile Organizations Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 85 ratings

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From the Back Cover

“Adaptability has never been more critical, and this book takes a practical look at what it takes to build that capability in your organization.”
--Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg
“I have known, and coached, for years that relationships are essential to organizational success. Adaptive Space will help you elevate this understanding to a whole new level by masterfully articulating how specific network connections facilitate innovation and agility. This book is an essential read for anyone who’s business is facing disruption.” 
--Keith Ferrazzi, New York Times #1 bestselling author of Who's Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone

Adaptive Space is the best book I’ve read about what it takes for big organizations to innovate as a way of life.  Michael Arena blends rigorous research, success and failure stories, and his experience as a senior executive to show how to build companies where people uncover and weave together the best ideas, challenge conventional thinking and methods, and develop promising innovations in focused and energized teams.  Even better than that, Arena shows how companies can keep releasing new and better offerings into the marketplace—rather than developing promising innovations that are crushed by dysfunctional people and internal politics.”
--Robert Sutton, Stanford Professor and author of bestsellers including Scaling Up Excellence and Good Boss, Bad Boss

“Perfectly stated by Michael Arena, ‘In today’s rapidly changing environment, lack of agility is the kiss of death.’ Adaptive Space gives real insight into how mammoth companies such as General Motors were able to disrupt their strategy paradigm to thrive in a rapidly changing marketplace. His insights are based on extensive research, as well as real-life, roll-up-your-sleeves work experiences. A great read for leaders looking to disrupt and innovate.”
--Melissa Howell, Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources, Kellogg Company
“Over the past few years, networks have changed the way we live our lives. Arena makes a compelling argument about how they are also radically altering organizational practices. Adaptive Space reveals the power of networks in generating, sharing and scaling ideas. It is a must read.”
--Alex “Sandy” Pentland, Director of Human Dynamics Laboratory within the MIT Media Lab and author of Social Physics
“Reading this book is like swapping out an old, scratched, dirty pair of glasses that once saw hierarchies with an entirely new set of lenses that make both visible and actionable the radically, positively disruptive power of networks.”  
--Chris Ernst, Ph.D. Head of People and Organization Potential, Bill & Melinda Gates foundation

“Incisive and immediately impactful! Michael Arena’s book is that rare gem, applying sharp analytical insights from state-of-the-art science to some of the most pressing managerial and organizational issues of the day.  Delivered in highly lucid prose with a heavy dose of practicality. Digesting this book will enhance every executive’s knowledge base and toolkit.” 
--Glenn R. Carroll, Laurence W. Lane Professor of Organizations, Stanford Graduate School of Business
“With Adaptive Space, Arena masterfully takes us where few authors have been able to, seamlessly integrating research with application in some of the most respected organizations today. It is a rare treat to enjoy a profound point of view on innovation that is also actionable.” 
--Rob Cross, network expert and author of Driving Results through Social Networks
Adaptive Space provides an innovative and important look at what it really takes to drive innovation and performance in today’s disruptive business environment. There is a lot to learn here.”
--Josh Bersin, Industry analyst, founder, Bersin by Deloitte

Adaptive Space provides us with a modern-day cypher that unlocks the often elusive and increasingly important world of innovation and agility. The 4D Framework is simply brilliant. Arena seamlessly mixes deep social-science research, with practical solutions into an intoxicating cocktail that goes down smooth while packing an intellectual punch.” 
--Greg Pryor, Vice President of Leadership and Organization Effectiveness at Workday

Adaptive Space is a book that sheds a bright light on the hidden social interactions that exist within every organization. Using the manta, ‘Adapt of Die’ Arena crisply articulates how an organization can positively disrupt itself by enabling adaptive space and facilitating innovative interactions. With vivid examples and a straight forward approach this book is a must read for everyone from executives to individual contributors.” 
--Joseph Folkman, coauthor of The Extraordinary Leader and The Inspiring Leader
“A company doesn't survive over a hundred years without being adaptive. GM is a great illustration of a company in transition yet again. Arena's book tells how it and other companies are embracing new ideas, new technologies, and new business models. Your company needs to do the same.”
--Thomas H. Davenport, Distinguished Professor, Babson College, Fellow, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy

“Every organization and every business function must answer the question: How do I become more agile? Adaptive Space is a fascinating look at how General Motors and other companies are rewriting the rules of business so they can proactively disrupt themselves. Brimming with research and practical experience, Michael Arena is challenging all of us to disrupt or be disrupted! Drop what you are reading now and make this a must read for your entire team!”  
--Jeanne C Meister, coauthor, The Future Workplace Experience 

“This book should be on the device of anyone who needs to accelerate and scale agility in large organizations. Michael has masterfully articulated years of experience and results in building agile organizations, and wrapped them in contemporary and futuristic cases and examples. Adaptive Space brings clarity to essential principles of continuous organization adaptability amid disruption.”
--Roger L. Cude, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Humana, Inc.  

“It is rare when science discovers a simple concept such as critical connections. They are so practically powerful, that they resolve the most pressing challenge of our time.  Adaptive Space will be at the center of business conversations for the next decade.” 
--Robert Quinn, author of bestselling Deep Change

“Michael Arena is what I call a ‘practitioner, thought-leader.’ He personally embodies ‘Adaptive Space’ and has a gift that allows him to clearly synthesize theory and practice and have this fusion make sense to us mere mortals. I highly recommend Adaptive Space…it’s a groundbreaking book that provides a compelling framework and a set of practical tools for creating an agile organization.”  
--Michael Dulworth is the CEO of Executive Networks, Inc., the Founder/Chairman of Flerish, Inc. and the author of The Connect Effect

 “Innovation is a social endeavor. Adaptive Space outlines four different network dimensions to unleash the adaptive potential of an organization, and highlights five principles to enable agility in a rapidly changing world.” 
--Kenneth Freeman, Dean at Boston University Questrom School of Business   

“Benjamin Franklin wrote, ‘Look before, or you will find yourself behind.’ While Russell L. Ackoff wrote an important book entitled, Creating the Corporate Future: Plan or Be Planned For.  In Adaptive Space, Michael Arena conveys that ‘looking’ and ‘planning’ are not enough. He argues you must also change the game. You must positively disrupt or be disrupted.”  
--Alan Barstow, Director of Organizational Dynamics Program at the University of Pennsylvania

“An engaging and accessible book that combines practical experience with scientific knowledge to yield deep insights into positive organizational transformation.  Written by an expert practitioner of the art, Adaptive Space shows you how to tap the invisible network of brokers, connectors, positive energizers, and challengers to disrupt your industry and come out on top.”
--Wayne Baker, Robert P. Thome Professor of Business Administration, University of Michigan Ross School of Business

 “Most people sense that we live in the most intense time of change in the history of our species—and they’re right. Those same people nearly always sense that their own organizations are changing way too slowly. They’re right about that too. And it’s scary.
“Now Michael Arena mines the remarkable transformation at GM led by Mary Barra to show the rest of us the key mechanisms and principles that make bold change easier, faster, more reliable and more robust. His insights about Adaptive Space help you move transformation from a vague hope to a practical reality. Read it. Use his concepts. Shift from being afraid of the future to getting it to show up somewhat ahead of its regularly scheduled arrival.”
--Larry Keeley, Innovation expert, Doblin

 “Adaptive Space is a terrific achievement. Arena's book creates a very simple model that leaders of innovation can use. The book delivers tactics for leaders to help teams innovate, as well as, guidance on creating the more subtle and important social connections that a leader must both be building and a tune to in their organizations. “
--Perry Klebahn Adjunct Professor Mechanical Engineering (the  Stanford University 

“Michael Arena’s Adaptive Space is an important book on a critical issue for many organizations.  His first-hand knowledge of GM combined with extensive research provides relevant, accessible and thought-provoking insights and is a must-read for anyone struggling to increase the speed and agility of their organization.”
--David Gillespie, Partner Oliver Wyman Group

Adaptive Space takes agility and innovation to the next level. This is the future. Actually this how companies should be managing now.  It truly is a must read for business leaders, from the CEO to the line leader to the HR professional, in all industries.”
--Cynthia J. Brinkley, President and Chief Operating Officer, Centene Corporation

--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

Michael J. Arena, Ph.D., Chief Talent Officer for GM, has helped enable the company's ongoing transformation. He is the winner of the 2017 Walker Prize from People + Strategy, and his work has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Sloan Management Review and Chief Executive Magazine. Mr. Arena has also served as a visiting scientist at MIT. He teaches at Penn and is a coach in the Stanford dSchool.https: // --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B077ZFGTMX
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ McGraw-Hill Education; 1st edition (15 June 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 6777 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 289 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 85 ratings

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ for practitioners/leaders of change in large organisations
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 April 2019
Verified Purchase
L P Sommers
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book. Must read for those trying to get ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 July 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must read resource for HR professionals and consultants
Reviewed in Germany on 1 October 2018
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Rob Thornton
5.0 out of 5 stars Far more than a great book on organizing principles or management practices for our increasingly complex and volatile world
Reviewed in the United States on 26 June 2018
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Rijon Erickson
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring new take on how to make "organizational agility" a REALITY
Reviewed in the United States on 4 November 2018
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About the author

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Michael Arena, Ph.D. is an acclaimed speaker and author of the groundbreaking research on adaptation that won the 2017 Walker Prize from People + Strategy. He is a leading expert in organizational network analysis and his work has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Harvard Business Review, Business Insider and Sloan Management Review.

Arena is also the former Chief Talent Officer for GM where he played a critical role in the company’s transformation. 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. Arena teaches in Penn’s Masters in Organizational Dynamics program and acts as a design thinking coach within the Stanford dSchool. He also spent two years as a visiting scientist within MIT’s Media Lab and served as Senior Vice President of Leadership Development at Bank of America.