The John M. Olin Institute for Employment Practice and Policy

by Steven Darien

As Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Cabot Advisory Group LLC, I provide business-focused human resources management consulting. Throughout my three decades in the industry I have achieved significant industry recognition serving in various board and advisory capacities with organizations such as the Labor Policy Association, the New Jersey Commission on Employment and Training, and the Business Roundtable. I also serve as Chairman of the John M. Olin Institute for Employment Practice and Policy.

Founded in 1995, the Olin Institute takes its name from the inventor, industrialist, and philanthropist John M. Olin, who as head of the Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation pioneered many innovations in ammunition manufacturing and ballistics research. As a corporate leader, Olin took exceptional interest in building sustained positive employee relationships. The Olin Institute continues that work today researching topics that enhance our understanding of the complex interplay between public policy, changing markets, and consumer demographics, as well as in emergent trends in employee relationships.

Based at the Department of Economics of George Mason University, the Olin Institute oversees the Journal of Labor Research which has been published on a quarterly basis since 1979. Additionally, the Olin Institute has taken over the Labor Relations and Public Policies Series of books from the Wharton School Industrial Research Unit (now the Center for Human Resources). Volumes on employer-employee relations are currently being reedited, updated, and republished by the Olin Institute. The John M. Olin Foundation has recently made a substantial grant enabling the publication of entirely new books in the series as well.

Another separate function of the Olin Institute is promoting academic endeavors through sponsoring a wide range of conferences and seminars. These events examine labor issues through political and social prisms on the national and international stages. To learn more about the John M. Olin Institute for Employment Practice and Policy, visit online at

Business Strategy

By: Steven Darien

With many large corporations streamlining their company’s overhead, an increasing number of people are turning to entrepreneurship in an attempt to secure their futures. However, for many who have never had to consider creating their own business strategy, the prospect of deciding even such simple factors as product pricing can be daunting.

Obviously, the best business strategy involves pricing products at the highest cost to consumers that the market will bear. Dynamics to keep in mind in determining this component of your business strategy include how pricing will define your brand and what it means for your company’s long-term viability. A smart business strategy takes into account such issues as the pricing models used by existing competitors, the target market, and future growth potential. When developing a business strategy, it is a good idea to establish a complementary marketing strategy. While the marketing component determines how you will reach your customers, the business strategy shapes the prospect of earnings and new products, and it even addresses the possibility of your company being purchased by a larger competitor.

A popular new business strategy involves giving the product away, but advertising it heavily. Revenue generated through this business strategy comes from click-through advertising. With a well-developed business strategy, click-through advertising propels robust revenue. Another current business strategy charges nothing for the product but uses installation as a motivation for profit. Through this model, the product often stands in for marketing initiatives. Also utilized now is a business strategy in which basic services are offered for free. Once customers are hooked in this way, they are often primed to purchase so-called premium products that provide a greater range of services.