Dr Michael Arena Of Biola University: How AI Is Disrupting Our Industry, and What We Can Do About It

An Interview With Cynthia Corsetti

Embrace the reality of AI or become irrelevant: Organizations must confront the reality of AI disruption and adopt a proactive approach. My favorite AI quote is by Andrew Ng, “The key to a successful future with AI is not to fear it, but to understand it and shape its development in alignment with human values”. Even for those of us who are most concerned about the detrimental aspect of AI, we must focus on better understanding and shaping AI’s development in alignment with human values is essential for navigating its impact effectively. Embracing a mindset shift is crucial for organizations facing AI disruption.

Artificial Intelligence is no longer the future; it is the present. It’s reshaping landscapes, altering industries, and transforming the way we live and work. With its rapid advancement, AI is causing disruption — for better or worse — in every field imaginable. While it promises efficiency and growth, it also brings challenges and uncertainties that professionals and businesses must navigate. What can one do to pivot if AI is disrupting their industry? As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Michael Arena.

Michael Arena Ph.D. is the Dean of the Crowell School of Business at Biola University. He is also the chief science officer and co-founder of the Connected Commons, a research consortium that brings together business and academic thought leaders to develop and apply organizational network solutions. Arena also continues to teach in Penn’s Masters in Organizational Dynamics program. Prior to joining Biola, he served as the vice president of talent and development at Amazon Web Services (AWS), where he leveraged network analysis to enable employee growth, organizational culture and innovation. Dr. Arena was also the chief talent officer for General Motors Corporation where he helped to facilitate a business transformation, which is highlighted in his book Adaptive Space.

Arena also spent two years as a visiting scientist with MIT’s Media Lab researching human networks and acted as a design thinking coach within the Stanford dSchool for three years. In 2020, he was nominated to the Thinkers50 Radar class for his work on network roles in creating adaptive organizations. His research on adaptation and networks also won the 2017 Walker Prize from People + Strategy and has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Sloan Management Review.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

I began my career as an Industrial Engineer. However, I quickly became captivated by the intricacies of human dynamics within organizations. Balancing between academia and corporate roles, I engaged in this core passion by leveraging network analysis to drive organizational growth and innovation.

As Chief Talent Officer at General Motors, I spearheaded transformative initiatives centered around organizational networks, including GM2020. Leveraging network analysis, I fostered cultural transformation and innovation within the company, positioning GM as an agile industry leader.

Transitioning to Amazon Web Services (AWS) as VP of Talent and Development, I immersed myself in the realm of AI and network analysis. Leading initiatives that integrated AI technologies with network insights, I drove employee growth and organizational innovation, solidifying AWS’s position at the forefront of talent management and development in the digital age.

From an academic perspective, I spent 2 years as a visiting scientist at MIT’s Media Lab, working within the Human Dynamics Lab. I also spent several years as a coach within Stanford University’s d.school, where I engaged in human-centric approaches to drive innovation. Finally, I have been teaching in the University of Pennsylvania’s Master in Organizational Dynamics program for nearly a decade.

Today, I work at the intersection of business and education as Dean of the Crowell School of Business at Biola University and Chief Science Officer of the Connected Commons, I continue to bridge academia and industry to develop and apply cutting-edge organizational network solutions, shaping the future of work by applying AI to better enable collaboration, innovation, and a deeper understanding of human networks.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

At Biola University, our unwavering commitment to Christian values isn’t just a slogan — it’s a way of life. Our academic programs aren’t just courses — they’re pathways to realizing your fullest potential. And our focus on practical preparation for careers isn’t just about landing a job — it’s about fulfilling your calling.

For me, Biola’s unique identity is deeply personal. It’s about finding a community where my faith is nurtured, where my intellect is challenged, and where my dreams are supported. It’s about being part of a family that values both spiritual growth and academic achievement.

That’s why Biola stands out to students who are seeking more than just an education. We’re seeking a transformational experience — one that shapes not only our minds but also our hearts and souls. And that’s what makes Biola University so special.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Throughout my career, I’ve wholeheartedly embraced the role of a catalyst for positive change, leveraging three key characteristics to create an environment where others can thrive and excel. Firstly, I have a penchant for challenging others, pushing individuals beyond their comfort zones and encouraging them to reach new heights, fostering growth. Secondly, I have built bridges across domains, connecting disparate fields and facilitating collaboration to enable the flow of fresh ideas and approaches. Lastly, I am deeply committed to catalyzing bottom-up positive change, empowering individuals to initiate and nurturing grassroots efforts where everyone has the opportunity to contribute to positive transformation. This commitment to fostering growth and innovation was exemplified in my involvement with the GM 2020 initiative at General Motors.

The GM 2020 initiative aimed to foster collaboration, excellence, and innovation at General Motors. One innovative strategy was the introduction of Tipping Forward sessions, designed to cultivate creativity and forward-thinking. These events brought together influential individuals to amplify local initiatives across the company. By leveraging Tipping Forward events as platforms for dynamic presentations and networking, GM facilitated the spread of innovative ideas. This led to increased collaboration, widespread adoption of new products, and enhanced support within the organization. Ultimately, Tipping Forward proved to be a powerful driver of innovation, adaptive space creation, and collaboration at General Motors.

These efforts are further detailed in the book “Adaptive Space: How GM and Other Companies Are Positively Disrupting Themselves and Transforming into Agile Organizations,” which emphasizes the importance of enhancing the flow of innovative ideas within and outside the organization for future success.

Let’s now move to the main point of our discussion about AI. Can you explain how AI is disrupting your industry? Is this disruption hurting or helping your bottom line?

Having spent time as a VP at AWS, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the early stages of AI development, and it’s clear that we’re only just beginning. Presently, statistics reveal a substantial adoption of AI within businesses: according to PwC (2023), 73% of U.S. companies have embraced AI in some capacity, while Crunchbase (2023) notes that over a quarter of investments in American startups are directed towards AI-related ventures. McKinsey’s data indicates a remarkable 270% surge in AI adoption among businesses over the past four years. As a result, AI is only going to grow in prominence.

Operating at the nexus of business and education, it’s incumbent upon me to constantly contemplate the future of work to better equip the next generation of business leaders. AI is disrupting the future of work in three main ways: greater automation, increased augmentation, and a more distributed workforce. Firstly, AI facilitates greater automation by streamlining processes and tasks, leading to increased efficiency and reduced costs. Secondly, it augments human capabilities by providing valuable insights and automating repetitive tasks, enabling better decision-making and productivity. Lastly, AI enables a more distributed workforce by facilitating remote collaboration and communication, allowing businesses to tap into talent pools from around the world and operate more flexibly and cost-effectively. Overall, AI is revolutionizing the future of work by optimizing processes, enhancing productivity, and enabling greater workforce flexibility.

Which specific AI technology has had the most significant impact on your industry?

Machine Learning has undoubtedly left its mark on the business landscape, a truth I experienced firsthand at GM working alongside Cruise Automation, a self-driving vehicle company. Cruise Automation employed machine learning to forecast and interpret the behaviors of various road users — pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles — crucial for safe navigation. Through the analysis of sensor data from cameras and lidar, machine learning models decode subtle cues like body language and proximity to anticipate actions, such as a pedestrian preparing to cross the street. This capability empowers Cruise’s self-driving system to proactively adjust its trajectory or speed to maintain safety standards.

However, it’s the emergence of Large Language Models (LLMs) that promises to revolutionize business operations. These models offer an alluring blend of accessibility, affordability, and speed to AI-driven intellect. The potential of LLMs to comprehend and generate text akin to human language unlocks a plethora of opportunities for businesses. They can leverage these models to uncover valuable insights, automate repetitive tasks, and streamline data-driven decision-making processes. With their natural language processing capabilities, organizations can automate tedious and time-consuming chores, liberating resources to focus on more strategic endeavors.

Ultimately, this technological evolution is leveling the playing field for countless small organizations and individuals, providing access to advanced tools and insights previously reserved for industry giants. Just consider, in the field of customer service, LLMs can be employed to generate personalized responses to customer inquiries, improving efficiency and enhancing the customer experience. These models can understand the nuances of language and provide relevant and helpful responses, leading to more satisfied customers and reduced workload for support teams.

Can you share a pivotal moment when you recognized the profound impact AI would have on your sector?

In the nascent stages of ChatGPT’s ascent, higher education institutions hesitated to fully embrace these technological breakthroughs. Concerns arose that an overreliance on AI tools could overshadow students’ cultivation of critical thinking skills, prompting many professors to impose restrictions on their usage in the classroom. However, a transformative moment shattered all reluctance for me.

During an internship interview at a leading software company, a student faced a challenge that challenged this approach. Despite not having formal training in the coding language TypeScript, he was asked to solve a problem with it using ChatGPT. Despite prior discouragement from using ChatGPT in academic settings, he found himself in a situation where its application, coupled with critical thinking and creativity, was required. This encounter served as a poignant wake-up call, highlighting the evolving role of AI in the business realm. It underscored the imperative for educational institutions to adapt swiftly, ensuring that students possess versatile skill sets in today’s dynamic landscape. Far from stifling critical thinking, the integration of AI tools like ChatGPT can serve as catalysts for innovation and problem-solving, reshaping traditional paradigms and preparing students for the challenges of tomorrow.

How are you preparing your workforce for the integration of AI, and what skills do you believe will be most valuable in an AI-enhanced future?

The impact of artificial intelligence on the future of work and learning is undeniable, and business schools play a crucial role in preparing students for this evolving landscape. However, there seems to be a gap between the potential of AI-enabled learning and the cautious approach of many business schools. Our goal is to future proof business students by teaching skills that are relevant to the coming AI driven landscape. Beginning with Understanding AI & Technology, we provide a foundational grasp of AI’s applications and implications.

The rapid advancement of AI will expedite work processes, creating complex scenarios influenced by biases, ethical concerns, and data reliability. This necessitates Ethical Decision-Making, Centered Leadership, and Critical-Analytical Thinking to guide students in making morally sound decisions, leading confidently in dynamic environments, and proficiently evaluating data. Through these competencies, students are equipped to address dilemmas, uphold principled leadership, and navigate the evolving landscape of AI-driven work environments effectively.

As automation progresses, junior employees will assume more managerial duties, emphasizing the need for Emotional Intelligence in handling interpersonal dynamics, Adaptive Teaming for flexible collaboration, and Network Agility for effective navigation within organizations. Emotional Intelligence training enables students to manage emotions and foster collaboration, while Social Capital emphasizes networking and interpersonal communication for greater influence. Additionally, Team Management skills focus on building, leading, and collaborating with diverse teams, while fostering Innovation and Creativity mindset ensures adaptability to evolving business landscapes. Lastly, instilling an adaptability mindset prepares students to continuously learn and remain relevant in a dynamic business environment.

What are the biggest challenges in upskilling your workforce for an AI-centric future?

A recent study indicates that the majority of job consist of three primary task categories: administrative, technical (or domain expertise), and relational. It suggests that AI is increasingly poised to automate administrative duties, potentially taking on half of the technical tasks as well. Conversely, relational responsibilities are expected to see some augmentation, accompanied by a significant rise in importance. With AI assuming a larger share of routine tasks, human interactions and relationships are set to become even more crucial.

In the era of AI dominance, relational skills are paramount. As automation increases, qualities like communication and collaboration are vital for success. Yet, universities and young Americans struggle to cultivate these abilities, leaving a gap between academic preparation and employer expectations. To address this, we must shift focus from technical skills to relational ones, integrating them into academic programs, offering mentorship, and providing ongoing assessments. Recognizing and rewarding those who excel in relational skills is crucial. Additionally, practical experiences are essential for honing abilities. Activities like experimenting with AI tools and tackling real-world dilemmas develop skills like ethical decision-making and leadership, preparing individuals for dynamic workplaces. Collaborative projects further enhance adaptability and network agility, essential in AI-driven environments.

What ethical considerations does AI introduce into your industry, and how are you tackling these concerns?

As dean of a Christian business school and a previous business person, I am acutely aware of the ethical complexities associated with integrating AI into businesses. One major concern is the potential for biased algorithms to unfairly treat customers or employees, posing legal and reputational risks. Ensuring fairness in AI systems is paramount to maintaining trust, necessitating stringent measures to mitigate bias and uphold ethical standards. Another critical consideration is the safeguarding of privacy and data security. Mishandling customer data could lead to breaches, regulatory penalties, and loss of trust. Therefore, businesses must implement robust data security measures and adhere strictly to privacy regulations to protect sensitive information and maintain customer confidence.

Furthermore, I recognize the need to anticipate and mitigate unintended consequences of AI deployment. This includes the potential for automation-driven job displacement or reduced human-to-human interaction, which could impact employee morale and customer relationships. I am also mindful of the risk of AI algorithms reinforcing biases or echo chambers, which could alienate certain customer segments or perpetuate social divisions. Lastly, I am cognizant of the potential for automation-driven job displacement or reduced human-to-human interaction due to AI technologies. This could impact employee morale, productivity, and customer relationships.

Proactively addressing these social and economic implications through workforce training and support programs is essential to maintaining a positive approach to AI adoption. In navigating these ethical challenges, prioritizing transparency, fairness, privacy, human oversight, and social responsibility will be key pillars of our AI deployment strategy.

What are your “Five Things You Need To Do, If AI Is Disrupting Your Industry”?

1. Embrace the reality of AI or become irrelevant: Organizations must confront the reality of AI disruption and adopt a proactive approach. My favorite AI quote is by Andrew Ng, “The key to a successful future with AI is not to fear it, but to understand it and shape its development in alignment with human values”. Even for those of us who are most concerned about the detrimental aspect of AI, we must focus on better understanding and shaping AI’s development in alignment with human values is essential for navigating its impact effectively. Embracing a mindset shift is crucial for organizations facing AI disruption.

Technology has already made us less human, as I observe young people, I can’t help but notice that social media isn’t as social as it claims to be. Despite the allure of constant connection, it seems to leave them feeling isolated and distant from one another. They’re so immersed in technology, seeking validation and self-promotion, that genuine human interaction takes a backseat. It’s disheartening to see them becoming slaves to their devices, constantly seeking approval and recognition online. This reliance on technology creates a world of confusion and disconnection, where real-life connections seem to be fading away. I worry that they’re missing out on the joys of outdoor play and face-to-face interaction that shaped my own childhood. AI will only make this worse if we are not thoughtful. We must face the reality, AI is here to stay, and the sooner we embrace it, the more likely we can cultivate human values from within it. If we hesitate, it will be too late. We have an opportunity to reshape our business or we can watch AI reshape it for us.

2. Experiment, Experiment, Experiment: Experimentation enables organizations to explore and understand AI’s potential applications within their industry. For example, a retail company could experiment with AI-powered customer service chatbots to enhance user experience and streamline operations. At Biola, we launched an Artificial Intelligence Lab to educate, engage, and experiment with AI in a way that reflects the Christian commitment to moral and ethical discernment, human dignity, and the unique capacities inherent in the image of God. The lab acts as a resource center, actively shaping the future of AI by providing education, fostering dialogue, and leading innovative AI projects.

Experiments include such things as the development of chatbots tailored to admissions, AI developed advising tools, and career planning sessions using AI tools. A chatbot could handle inquiries from prospective students, assist with application processes, and schedule campus visits for admissions. For advising, we are building tools to aid in course registration, degree planning, and accessing academic resources, while facilitating appointment bookings with advisors. In career planning, AI can be used for skills assessments, job search support, and information on internships. Each of these experiments aim to explore the feasibility and potential benefits of implementing AI solutions to enhance student experiences and support services.

3. Accelerate or get left behind: The rapid ascent of AI is powered by three essential elements: computing power, data abundance, and algorithmic advancement. Computing power, fueled by investments in accelerating chips like those from Nvidia, is doubling every six months. Secondly, the volume of available data for AI models is surging, with estimates projecting a 150% increase from 2023 to 2025, reaching 181 zettabytes. Finally, algorithmic progress is reducing the demand for compute power and data over time, exemplified by a drastic 16,500-fold decrease in computational requirements since 2012. The combination of these factors not only fuels the rapid pace of AI development but also underscores the urgency for businesses and industries to adapt and innovate to stay ahead in this dynamic landscape.

Imagine you’re on a high-speed treadmill, powered by artificial intelligence. You’re running as fast as you can just to maintain your position. This treadmill represents the rapidly evolving landscape of technology, business, and other fields, where AI plays a crucial role. Just like the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass” tells Alice, “it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” In this AI-powered world, the Red Queen Effect emphasizes the need for constant adaptation and improvement to keep up with AI advancements and avoid being outpaced by competitors. Just as organisms must evolve to survive in changing environments, businesses and industries must harness AI capabilities to innovate and iterate at an ever-increasing speed. Just like on the treadmill, where you must keep moving forward to avoid falling behind, on the AI landscape, continuous advancement and adaptation are essential to thrive. In the game of AI, speed matters disproportionately.

4. Elevate humans, not AI: If we are thoughtful about deploying AI, it will make us more human, not less. In his book, Humans are Underrated, Geoff Colvin argues that as technology advances, certain human skills — such as empathy, creativity, emotional intelligence, and social interaction — become increasingly important. He goes on to say, thinking about how technologies will replace humans is not the core question, we should be thinking about what humans will allow technology to do. Based on this logic, organizations need to make deliberate and informed decisions about how to integrate AI into their operations. Identifying which tasks are suitable for AI automation and ensuring a human-centric approach to decision-making are essential.

Understanding the unique aspects of humans is becoming an existential reality. This is where faith can help us, the concept of humanity being made in the image of God can indeed provide valuable insights into shaping the outer dimensions of AI from a faith-based perspective. We are to reflect mental, moral and social aspects of His image.

5. Mental Reflection: Human rationality and volition enable reasoning and choice-making, mirroring God’s intellect and freedom. Our creativity, problem-solving abilities, and expression through art or invention are uniquely human, showcasing our autonomy. While AI can replicate human cognitive processes like reasoning, problem-solving, and creativity, we need to uphold our autonomy.

Moral Reflection: Understanding that humans were originally created in righteousness and innocence, reflecting God’s holiness, underscores the importance of incorporating moral considerations into AI development. AI systems should be programmed with ethical guidelines and principles to guide their behavior and decision-making processes.Social Reflection: Recognizing that humanity was created for fellowship, mirroring God’s triune nature and love, suggests that AI should be developed with a focus on promoting positive social interactions and relationships. AI systems can be designed to facilitate communication, collaboration, and community-building among users.

Building AI for Good: Redirecting AI efforts toward addressing societal challenges will yield significant positive impacts. Initiatives like employing AI-powered analytics to optimize energy usage in cities offer tangible benefits, contributing to sustainability efforts and ultimately benefiting communities. By prioritizing AI for good, technological advancements become aligned with broader positive impacts, ensuring that innovation serves not only economic interests but also the well-being of society as a whole. This approach underscores the potential of AI to tackle pressing social and environmental issues, demonstrating its capacity to be a force for positive change in the world.

Biola is in the process of building out an AI studio separate to the AI Lab to act as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, enabling students, faculty, partners, and small firms to collaborate on AI-driven ventures. Students will form teams to develop startup ideas, faculty lead research projects, and partnerships with industry facilitate joint initiatives. Entrepreneurship programs and access to AI tools support rapid prototyping, while networking events foster collaboration. In essence, the AI studio will act as an accelerator to cultivate innovation and collaboration of AI activities for good.

What are the most common misconceptions about AI within your industry, and how do you address them?

When considering common misconceptions about AI within the business sphere, two major ones come to mind. Firstly, there’s the widespread belief that AI serves as a panacea for all problems. While undoubtedly a powerful tool, AI is no magic wand. Its implementation demands meticulous scrutiny of the specific problems it aims to address, alongside a deep dive into the ethical and societal ramifications to ensure its deployment is both responsible and effective. Let’s not forget that AI operates within the confines of existing data, and its ability to envision future-oriented solutions in uncharted territories remains constrained.

Secondly, there’s the misconception that AI will completely supplant human jobs. While AI does possess the potential to automate certain tasks and roles, the idea of wholesale job replacement is overstated. Instead, AI is more likely to augment human capabilities, paving the way for the creation of new job roles and opportunities that leverage human creativity, empathy, and critical thinking in tandem with AI’s computational prowess. Ultimately, it’s crucial to consider what defines us as uniquely human and delineate what tasks we’re willing to delegate to AI and what remains within the realm of human endeavor.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

For me, the phrase “the easiest way out, usually leads back in” encapsulates a common human tendency: the inclination toward shortcuts and quick fixes when faced with challenges. In life’s journey, we inevitably encounter hurdles that tempt us to opt for the path of least resistance. This temptation is akin to patching a leaky boat with duct tape — a seemingly simple solution that offers temporary relief. Initially, the duct tape holds firm, allowing us to sail smoothly. However, over time the adhesive weakens and the problems we attempted to circumvent resurfaces.

C.S. Lewis insightfully remarked that “experience is a brutal teacher,” underscoring the enduring impact of the lessons it teaches. Unlike the temporary fixes provided by duct tape, the insights gleaned from our experiences possess a remarkable adhesive quality, shaping our consciousness and guiding our actions long after the initial challenges have faded. By directly confronting obstacles and embracing the full spectrum of experience, we gain invaluable wisdom. These lessons become woven into the fabric of who we are, shaping our perspectives, beliefs, and behaviors in profound ways. The insights derived from our trials anchor us to a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

Off-topic, but I’m curious. As someone steering the ship, what thoughts or concerns often keep you awake at night? How do those thoughts influence your daily decision-making process?

I harbor a deep fear of falling into the trap of leadership malpractice, where my focus on my own need’s eclipses the growth and development of those I lead. I am committed to ensuring that my leadership style remains conducive to the flourishing of others. Howard Thurman’s quote resonates deeply with me: “I want to be me, without making it difficult for you to be you.” It encapsulates my hope to maintain authenticity while simultaneously fostering an environment where others feel empowered to express their true selves and reach their full potential.

As a leader, I’ve learned to shift my focus from simply meeting people’s wants to addressing their genuine needs. This often means stepping back and allowing others to take the lead when necessary. I believe the true mark of leadership lies in nurturing greater capacity within both individuals and the organization as a whole. This entails providing the space for others to engage, struggle, and learn, rather than monopolizing control or attention.

I’ve observed a stark contrast between ineffective leaders, who believe leadership is about them and tend to dominate discussions, and great leaders, who empower others to thrive independently. In my view, genuine leadership isn’t about selfishness or selflessness; it’s about being “self-full” — leveraging my own strengths in harmony with those of others. Through this collaborative approach, everyone can reach their maximum potential.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If I were to lead a movement, it would be to reclaim the hearts and minds of our youth. I chose to step forward as a dean, guided by this conviction rather than staying idle in my discontent. Our society has become fractured, distant, and overly critical, with young people increasingly disconnected from their own lives, consumed instead by the virtual world on their phones. This detachment has led to widespread feelings of depression and loneliness.

In Derek Thompson’s analysis for The Atlantic titled “Why Americans Suddenly Stopped Hanging Out,” he examines the decline in face-to-face social interaction across diverse demographics. Of particular concern is the significant decline in socialization among teenagers since 2010. Nearly every aspect of their social lives, from dating to participating in sports and forming friendships, has experienced a noticeable decrease in face-to-face interaction.

As a result, loneliness has emerged as a pervasive issue, particularly among young adults aged 16 to 24, surpassing even older age groups in reported feelings of isolation. Shockingly, 73% of Generation Z individuals admit to feeling lonely at times, if not consistently. Research underscores the severe health consequences of loneliness, equating its impact to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and elevating the risk of early mortality by 32%.

Recognizing the fundamental need for human connection, it is incumbent upon us to build bridges to one another through active listening, increased engagement, and deepened empathy. By nurturing authentic connections, we can aspire to rebuild a society where genuine human interaction flourishes, inspired by Christian principles of love, compassion, and community, offering hope for a brighter future.

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Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

About the Interviewer: Cynthia Corsetti is an esteemed executive coach with over two decades in corporate leadership and 11 years in executive coaching. Author of the upcoming book, “Dark Drivers,” she guides high-performing professionals and Fortune 500 firms to recognize and manage underlying influences affecting their leadership. Beyond individual coaching, Cynthia offers a 6-month executive transition program and partners with organizations to nurture the next wave of leadership excellence.