Researchers Reveal Methods Used to Generate Organizational Strategies

 

Steven Darien

Steven Darien

Steven Darien previously served as the vice president of human resources at Merck. Currently the chairman and CEO of the Bridgewater, New Jersey-based Cabot Advisory Group, Steven Darien consults with companies regarding human resources issues such as business and strategic planning.

How different business executives come up with new strategies varies greatly. To find out the different methods used, a team of researchers from the Harvard Business Review interviewed 92 chief executives, founders, and senior managers on how they came up with their business strategies.

The researchers found four different strategic decision-making methods employed by organizations:

1) Unilateral

Up to 36 percent of participants used this method. Here, top leaders make decisions alone without the input of employees or stakeholders and without an outlined procedure to follow. While this process results in quicker decision making, it lacks checks and balances and often results in poor decision-making.

2) Ad Hoc

This was used by 18 percent of the polled leaders. Here, when a strategy needs to be developed, management pulls the team together and comes up with one. There is no set process. The people involved and the steps followed change each time. This approach is flexible and can be tailored for any need, but it is difficult to measure its success because its variables are used differently every time.

3) Administrative

Used by 15 percent of the executives polled, this method emphasizes process over input. There is a clear process or routine to develop strategy, often involving significant data collection, but the employees do not have a large role in the final decision. Top leaders collate data and subsequently develop strategies. Without input from stakeholders, the data collected stands to mislead.

4) Collaborative 

This method was used by 30 percent of the leaders polled. Here, there is a defined process for developing strategies and stakeholders are very involved in contributing to the final decision. Though inflexible and slow, the process elicits richer discussions and no important factors slip through the cracks.

While researchers could not determine a winner among the four, they were most skeptical of the unilateral decision-making method.

Four Skills for a Successful Human Resources Professional

 

Human Resources Professional pic

Human Resources Professional
Image: thebalance.com

Steven Darien brings more than 30 years of human resource management experience to his position as the chairman and CEO of The Cabot Advisory Group, LLC, in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Human resources professionals such as Steven Darien possess a number of skills that contribute to their success. The following list details some of these traits.

1. Communication. From interviewing applicants and discussing business needs with managers, HR professionals engage in a significant amount of communication on a daily basis. Effective communication skills enable them to navigate interactions with company personnel successfully and relay information in a clear, concise manner.

2. Discretion. HR professionals manage the personal information of every employee and manager within a company, giving them access to a considerable amount of sensitive information. Employees may also share personal and work-related problems with HR personnel, which makes discretion an essential skill for anyone in the HR field.

3. Conflict Management. Handling tension between employees and managers or disagreements among employees is a core responsibility within the HR profession. Resolving interpersonal conflicts and establishing compromises requires strong conflict management skills, particularly for serious infractions and complex issues.

4. Multitasking. The responsibilities of an HR professional may shift from day to day as the role requires them to perform a varied number of jobs, such as managing job advertisements, training new hires, reviewing compensations, and resolving grievances. Strong multitasking skills can help HR personnel stay calm under pressure and handle responsibilities in a timely fashion.

SHRM Names New President and CEO

 

Society for Human Resource Management pic

Society for Human Resource Management
Image: shrm.org

For more than two decades, Steven Darien has served as chairman and CEO of The Cabot Advisory Group, where he leverages his expertise in human resources management and executive leadership to help guide the company’s overall direction. In addition to his everyday work, Steven Darien is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Earlier this year, SHRM announced that Johnny C. Taylor Jr. will serve as the organization’s president and chief executive officer. He will assume his post in November, filling the shoes of Henry G. Jackson, who is retiring following a 12-year stint at the helm. Taylor comes to SHRM having served in the same role with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund since 2010.

In her comments, Coretha M. Rushing, the chair of SHRM, praised Taylor’s leadership skills and devotion to the human resources profession. She says that the SHRM board eagerly anticipates working in partnership with the new CEO and president to further the organization’s goals.

HRM Professionals Must Address the Skills Gap

Skills Gap pic

Skills Gap
Image: shrm.com

A principal in The Cabot Advisory Group, LLC, in New Jersey, Steven Darien draws on more than three decades of experience in human resources consulting. Steven Darien most recently served as the head of human resources at Merck & Co., Inc., where he played a central role in all HR activities at the company.

In today’s workplace, human resources departments consistently struggle to find high school and college graduates who are fully prepared for the workplace. Business and technology tend to transform rapidly, making it difficult to find candidates whose skills match the exact needs of the company.

To address the so-called “skills gap,” companies can work closely with learning institutions to develop specific skills. Companies can perform community outreach to younger students and their parents, teaching them about the importance of technical and middle-skill jobs. Coalitions of employers can work together to introduce groups of students to the workplace and explain what it means to work there.

From a talent development perspective, many companies offer internship or apprenticeship programs prior to making an offer of full employment. Workforce development initiatives such as participating in a local development board may also have a considerable impact.

The SHRM Virtual Events

 

SHRM Virtual Events pic

SHRM Virtual Events
Image: store.shrm.org

A veteran business executive with extensive experience in human resources management, Steven Darien draws on over three decades in the field to lead Cabot Advisory Group, LLC, as the firm’s chairman and chief executive officer. To further his professional activities, Steven Darien retains membership to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s leading association of human resources (HR) professionals.

Each year, the SHRM holds a number of events offering HR professionals the opportunity to hear from industry thought leaders and network with their peers. Unfortunately, many professionals are not be able to attend such events, which led to SHRM creating its Live Virtual Events.

Accessible via a computer from the comfort of an office, the virtual events provide access to some of the most important moments of the SHRM annual conferences. Users can watch keynote speeches and even raise questions during a speech for the speaker to answer. Additionally, professionals may interact with others via the online platform and access its collection of online resources, in addition to reviewing past events for a limited time.

The SHRM Foundation’s Advisor of the Year Award

Society for Human Resource Management pic

Society for Human Resource Management
Image: shrm.org

A Rutgers University graduate and veteran human resources professional, Steven Darien currently oversees operations at the Cabot Advisory Group, LLC, functioning as the firm’s CEO and chairman. Further, Steven Darien retains membership to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the largest human resources society in the world.

Beyond representing its 285,000 members, the SHRM operates the SHRM Foundation, a charitable arm through which it sponsors the Advisor of the Year Award. To attain eligibility for the award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the human resources profession, members must have served an SHRM student chapter for an appropriate length of time while making considerable efforts to develop student leaders. Further, contributions to innovative projects and involvement in other SHRM activities is taken into account.

The winner receives a $1,000 cash prize and a commemorative plaque, in addition to a free invitation to the SHRM’s Annual Conference & Exposition, with up to $1,000 to cover the costs of any travel related to attending the event.

How to Tread Water Effectively

Tread Water pic

Tread Water
Image: livestrong.com

As the CEO and chairman of the Cabot Advisory Group, LLC, Steven M. Darien offers human resources management advice to businesses of all sizes. A fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources, Steven M. Darien brings more than 30 years of experience to his position. In his time away from work, Mr. Darien enjoys staying active by swimming.

One of the first things novice swimmers learn is how to tread water. Treading water can help swimmers conserve energy if something occurs that prevents them from swimming, such as exhaustion or an injury.

To tread water, your body should be vertical, with your head above water. Your torso should remain as still as possible as your arms and legs do the work that keeps you afloat. Maintain a slow and steady breathing rate to conserve energy.

Spread your arms out to the side and move them backward and forward, with your palms pointing in the direction of movement each time. Moving your arms up and down wastes energy and causes you to bob up and down in the water.

Instead of kicking your legs, rotate them in opposite directions like an eggbeater. As one leg rotates outward, the other should be rotating inward. Mastering this technique takes practice but will save a great deal of energy.