The Program

The Leadership Dialogues speaker series is a fireside chat-style event featuring accomplished industry, political and non-profit leaders discussing the latest ideas in organizational research and ongoing practice with U-M faculty. Speakers share advice on topics including how to develop leadership skills, lead purpose-driven organizations, and manage crises. All dialogues are free and open to the entire U-M community.


How can business leaders take action to create a positive impact on the world? 

Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever and Co-author of Net Positive, joins Professor Andrew Hoffman to discuss how business can be a force for good, accelerating action to tackle climate change, inequality and other important issues facing society. To create what Paul calls a “net positive world,” Polman and Hoffman will discuss, not only how business practice is changing, but also how business education must change to bring about this important shift. Additionally, Hoffman and Polman will explore the responsibility of business and discuss the ways in which students, leaders, and educators can find purpose within management. Join us for an engaging talk from leaders in both industry and research.

The first 100 registrants for the event will receive Polman’s book, “Net Positive: how courageous companies thrive by giving more than they take.”

Program Type

Speaker Series

Key Dates

Leadership Dialogues: Paul Polman
Wednesday, June 29, 2022, 12:30-1:30 PM

Virtual via Zoom (RSVP required)

Participant Requirements

The Leadership Dialogue events are open to the entire community.


Mary Barra - Chair & CEO, General Motors

What does it take to inspire over 150,000 employees at a 100+ year old company to lean into an all-electric future?

On April 12, 2022, Mary Barra, General Motors Chair and CEO, joined Professor Lindy Greer to talk about leadership through radical change and her plans to have GM launch 30 new global electric vehicles by 2025. Barra described her leadership journey and the leader behaviors and practices that she views as most critical in helping her move her company toward this bold future. Professor Greer, an expert on how to lead adaptive teams and organizations, explored how insights on leadership scholarship relate to Barra’s vision and practice of leadership.