Working Group Focuses on Human Resources in Globalization

Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS) at Cornell University’s School


Steven M. Darien leverages more than 30 years of experience in strategic planning and human resources to serve as the chairman and CEO of the Cabot Advisory Group in New Jersey. On top of his responsibilities with Cabot, Steven M. Darien has held leadership roles with several other organizations, including a seat on the Advisory Board of the Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS) at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

CAHRS recently issued a press release to discuss the results of a Working Group (WG) session led by CAHRS managing director Steve Miranda on March, 31, 2015, that focused on the role of human resources in globalization. During the session, group members agreed that despite a large variation in revenue growth among the attending partner companies, human resources organizations face the same increasing pressure to develop global expertise.

The group reflected that the accelerated pace at which organizations must become globally adept has been influenced by numerous factors, such as enhanced qualifications in foreign markets, global labor arbitrage, and growth of the global economy. Through the WG session, participants isolated four main areas for human resources professionals to focus on in relation to globalizing an enterprise’s human resources function. For the full report on these topics, please visit

Economist? Who Studies Economics? by Steven Darien

When I attended Rutgers University to major in economics, I had friends that wondered why I would want to study the stock market. They believed that was what economics was all about. Little did they know that the field of economics encompassed so much more than stocks. The American Economics Association defines it as the study of how people choose to use resources. More than that, economics is the study of people, and their well-being in regards to how they use resources.


I use my economics degree every day in human resource management. Though the Cabot Advisory Group, I help companies with organizational design, employee communication, and strategic planning. While working as the head of Human Resources for Merck & Co., I used my skills and understanding of how people thought, worked, interacted, and what made them motivated. Economics helped me to become a strategist in organizational planning and structuring.


A perfect example of the study of economics was a task force requested by President Reagan to search out government inefficiency and financial waste. The task force was called the Grace Commission, and after two years of digging around in government processes, we compiled a 47-volume report, totally more than 21,000 pages. The reports explained the inefficient process and offered more than 2,400 recommendations on how to fix them. What may be even more interesting than the reports themselves, was the fact that Congress largely ignored the warnings and recommendations presented in them.


Steven Darien is a guest lecturer at the Harvard, Columbia, and UCLA schools of business. Darien has also been featured in Fortune magazine and profiled by Harvard Business School.

A Brief Overview of Somerset Medical Center

A longtime resident of New Jersey, Steven Darien contributes to several nonprofit organizations and charitable causes in the region. Utilizing his vast knowledge of board relations and human resources, he currently participates on the Human Resource Board at the Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, New Jersey.

An affiliate of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Somerset Medical Center provides emergency and surgical care to residents in central New Jersey. Recognized as a leading medical facility in the area, the Somerset Medical Center holds national accreditation from the Joint Commission, licensure from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, and belongs to the American Hospital Association. The center offers a full array of patient-centered services, ranging from family medicine and diagnostic services to emergency care and surgical services.

Somerset Medical Center maintains more than 350 beds and a staff of 650 medical professionals in a wide variety of fields, including dentistry, cardiology, and oncology. The facility underwent a significant renovation in the mid 2000s, resulting in the creation of the Steeplechase Cancer Center, a $25 million addition to the Somerset Medical Center campus. This state-of-the-art facility features a new inpatient oncology center, an upgraded emergency department, and improved surgical suites.

As a leader in medical innovation, the facility also supports The Joint Surgery Institute and the Institute for Robotic Surgery. In addition, Somerset Medical Center recently invested $10 million in an effort to modernize its computer systems, earning the facility recognition by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine and Thomas Reuters.

Key Characteristics of a Happy Workplace by Steven Darien

1. Flexibility

Companies that give employees some flexibility in terms of hours, break time, or vacation will help foster a friendlier work environment. Often times, the result is greater honesty and fewer employees calling in “sick.” If employees know they can be honest without being reprimanded, they will generally work to retain the trusting relationship they have forged.

2. Appreciation

Praise and appreciation represent an important part of everyday morale. In addition to making employees feel good about their jobs, proper appreciation also enhances processes and contributes to better overall operations. Management and individuals in positions of authority should continually work to promote correct actions, practices, and behaviors through positive reinforcement.

3. Goals

Be clear about individual and company-wide goals. If employees remain unsure about what is expected of them, it can be incredibly difficult for them to know how to excel. Clear, definable goals serve to improve the entire company’s structure one employee at a time. Generally, these goals should be clear on a day-to-day basis, as well as on a big-picture scale.

4. Growth Opportunities

The possibility of upward mobility within a company consistently inspires increased productivity, creative thinking, and motivation. Many career experts rate growth opportunity as one of the most valuable factors in the job market. Career growth opportunities and continued education can also help to establish knowledgeable and qualified employees who will be fit for promotion, reducing or eliminating the need to hire outside the company.

About the Author: Steven Darien works as a consultant for The Cabot Advisory Group LLC, advising on topics of human resources technology, employee communications, strategic planning, and organizational design.

Establishing a Swimming Routine for Fitness, Part 1

By Steven Darien

In addition to being an enjoyable way to pass the time, swimming is an excellent means to lose weight and stay in shape. For those interested in using swimming for fitness, I have assembled various tips and pointers to use as you begin shaping your routine.

1. Invest in the Right Equipment

You will need a swimsuit; that much is obvious. But beyond a suit, the equipment you use depends on what you want to get out of your swimming sessions. Consider buying a pair of goggles to protect your eyes, whether you’re swimming in a chlorine pool or a lake. Fins are optional, but they do help boost your momentum and work your legs harder, giving them tone and strength. Kickboards can be used to work on your legs exclusively; hop into the water, float on your kickboard, and kick in place or move yourself around the pool.

2. Start Out Slowly

Swimming is a low-stress workout and is particularly easy on the joints in the legs; it is difficult to injure yourself while swimming provided you apply common sense and keep out of the water when you feel tired. However, that does not mean swimming will not work your body as hard as other exercise routines. As you put together your swimming sets and reps, start out slow and easy. Swim a few laps, rest for a few minutes, then swim again. Stop when you feel tired and make up the time later. The more often you swim, the longer you will be able to continue before needing a rest.

3. Swim Laps

Whether you swim in a large or small pool, laps are the easiest, most basic way to use to turn swimming into a workout. Just as lifting weights should be done in reps and sets, put together a schedule for your laps. Decide how many laps will make up your set, then meet that goal.

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.