Adriano Pianesi

Adriano Pianesi, MBA

Adjunct Instructor
Academic AreaManagement & Organization
Areas of InterestLeading Organizational Change, Design Thinking, Leadership in Action

Adriano Pianesi has 22 years of leadership development, team coaching, and change management experience built on capacity development, possibility thinking, and sound strategy. 
Before founding ParticipAction Consulting, Adriano spent 15 years working as a Manager in four different countries and using the four languages he speaks for Procter and Gamble, Kraft-General Food, William Grant & Sons, and Deneba Software.

His international experience is reflected in the range of projects that have taken his practice across 15 countries in Europe, the United States, South America, and the Middle East.
Pianesi trained at Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, University of Milan, University of Rome, and the Art of Hosting, where he refined his repertoire of experiential and creative teaching practices.

His consulting practice helps leaders crack the complexity of adaptation and change by unleashing the power of co-design and large group collaboration for innovation and learning. 
Among his clients are Microsoft, Amazon, Splunk, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Pan-American Health Organization, Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Center for Talented Youth, Jhpiego, U.S. Department of State, NASA, U.S. Marine Corps.


  • MBA, Group Communication, University of Milan, Italy
  • BA, Economics, University of Rome, Italy - University of Santander, Spain


Selected publications



MBA Graduate courses

  • Power and Politics (in Organizations)

Executive Education

  • Leadership in Action
  • Leading Organizational Change
  • Designing Personal Change


MBA Graduate courses

  • Managing Conflict, a problem solving approach
  • Leadership in Organizations
  • Facilitating Organizational Change
  • Effective Teams

Honors and distinctions

  • 2016 Carey Business School Innovative Instructor Award for contribution/peer encouragement of adoption of more engaging and interactive learning techniques.
  • Received consistent average 4.8/5 student ratings as practical leadership educator that delivers sessions with relevant content for future career and personal growth.

Impact and engagement


  • He has lectured at Harvard Kennedy School with Professor Ron Heifetz. 
  • He has also taught at Miami Community College, Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Kuwait University, and Aoyama Gaukin University in Tokyo, Japan. 
  • He co-authored the e-book Teachable Moments of Leadership (iBook, 2016) which featured among the top 100 e-book sellers for two years in a row. He is fluent in Italian, Spanish and French. 


  • Adaptive Leadership Network, Founding member
  • Regular contributor to and Johns Hopkins Innovative Instructor Blog 

In the media