Equity-Skills News & Views


Equity Skills News & Views
Volume 3, Issue 6, April 07, 2004
Registered as an electronic newspaper ISSN 1684-5722

In this edition:

1. Unfinished Business: Mastering HR Business Design

2. Smart Due Diligence: Beating the Odds in Mergers & Acquisitions
3. An Opposing View on Corporate Social Responsibility
4. The Real Laws of Attraction: Why Positive Affirmations Don’t Work!
5.  Complimentary HR Tools/Downloads: Is your organisation ready to implement e-HR
6. Using communications To Lead
7. Case Law & Legislation Review
8. Book Reviews
9. Unsubscribe

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# Following the enormously successful 2003 HR Salary Survey, Workinfo.com in association with The Graduate Institute of Management and Technology (GIMT) & Equity-Skills News & Views present the 2004 HUMAN RESOURCES SALARY SURVEY. The 2004 HR Salary Survey is now online. Join us in the exciting initiative to benchmark HR salaries. The survey is anonymous and FREE to all participants. To receive the results, you need to participate! Download the 2004 HR Survey today at http://www.workinfo.com/newsletter/survey/surveyhr.htm 

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1. Unfinished Business: Mastering HR Business Design*

By Mecer Human Resource Consulting who can be contacted

at www.mecerHRconsulting.com


1. Introduction: The trouble with success

Over the past 10 years, the HR function has made significant progress in gaining a strategic voice. Today, the most respected HR leaders are business executives first and HR specialists second.

These executives – from BP Amoco, DuPont, Home Depot, Pfizer, Siemens, and many more – are partners with and confidants of their CEOs and leadership teams. They often find themselves at the epicenter of corporate change, and many of them get credit for enabling the toughest of business transformations. It is a remarkable feat given today’s volatile markets and the maelstrom of increasing global competition. These premier HR leaders not only occupy coveted seats next to their CEOs, but progressive domestic and global boards of directors are also recruiting them.

Responding both to the intense focus on complying with new corporate governance legislation and increased investor scrutiny, boards are retooling to ensure they have the right mix of highly qualified specialists – including human resource experts.

The growing interest in HR’s contribution to business performance

is also evident in the prevalence of transformation efforts and companies’ increased investment in them.

Mercer recently released its suite of regional research on the state

of HR transformation around the world. The findings are clear: HR transformation has momentum. And it is increasingly recognized as an important factor in overall organizational performance.

Of the nearly 1,100 companies Mercer surveyed worldwide, at least 75 percent have already completed, are planning to complete, or are in the process of an HR transformation. In many regions, the figure is as high as 90 percent. Everywhere, the foremost objective for HR transformation is to align the function with the organization’s goals – making it a strategic contributor and more responsive to today’s dynamic business climate.

Despite this promising picture, there is evidence that key challenges still face the HR function in its quest to be aligned integrally with the organization’s strategic planning and leadership. Increasingly, signs point to a significant gap between what is expected of HR

leaders and what they deliver.

# In a recent CFO Research Services/ Mercer report, only 16 percent of 180 senior finance executives said they have anything more than a moderate understanding of the return they are getting on

human capital expenditures. The same body of research

also suggests that, while some progress has been made, nearly

60 percent of finance executives still view HR as more of a cost center than a strategic partner. Interestingly, though, data from many of Mercer’s regional HR transformation studies reveals that HR has a much different view.

# The CFO report also found that 38 percent of finance executives say they now have an "important" or a "leadership" role in human capital decisions, but 62 percent think they should have one in the future

While HR executives may perceive that they are spending more time on strategic partnering activities, the incremental gains – and demonstrated impact on business performance – do not reflect two decades of effort. Despite all efforts, nearly 30 percent of the HR function’s time is currently spent on administrative activities. Compliance and administration absorb nearly half of the function’s available time. Meanwhile, HR specialists are striving to invert time spent on administration and increase time spent on strategic activities from about 13 percent to nearly 30 percent globally.

The function remains driven to achieve a strategic focus, but our evidence suggests this has not yet been achieved. What has caused the apparent disconnect? Why have at least four out of five HR functions globally embarked on some form of transformation but have yet to be credited with driving business outcomes? The HR function cannot continue as it is. Until HR leaders complete the unfinished business of executing the strategic demands of the business, the function will continue to under deliver. A few true HR pioneers have shown that execution is the true performance differential.




2. Connecting strategy to execution

Dennis Donovan describes effective HR execution this way: "It is the difference between plans that become reality and those that go nowhere."3We couldn’t agree more.

Donovan is Home Depot’s HR chief and HR Executive magazine’s 2003 Executive of the Year. He and a coterie of other HR leaders have mastered how to connect HR strategy and execution. Donovan maintains that the "value added of any HR initiative is the result of the quality of the effort, the acceptance of stakeholders, and its execution."

This paper sets forth Mercer’s point of view on how to accomplish the level of business contribution that leading executives like Donovan have mastered. It reflects our experiences worldwide and describes an HR function business design.

Our regional transformational surveys demonstrate progress made and challenges ahead for the function around the world. Yet for each global conclusion we draw, there are corresponding issues of cultural fit, organizational context, and speed of change that factor significantly into the successful design and implementation of transformation efforts.

Our model for HR business design comprises four broad, yet interrelated, dimensions. When properly aligned, each dimension flows predictably to the next. More importantly, each dimension plays a critical role in formulating a comprehensive strategy – and by extension, in maximizing the function’s contribution to business performance.

3. First, it’s always a matter of context

Around the world, businesses must contend with vastly different social, political, and economic climates – from one region’s financial stability and local culture to another’s volatile politics and state of technological sophistication. Yet while operating within their unique regional environments, HR executives the world over face some common challenges:

# Globalization’s unrelenting pace has widespread impact on economic activity and labor markets.

# Ever-stronger shareholder demands for increasing returns

on investment have placed sustainable growth – and the human capital strategies needed to drive it – on the top of corporate agendas.

# Given the rapid pace of change, companies must shift focus from delivering current products and services with specific technologies, processes, and people skills to building capabilities to deliver new value to customers.

# Technology will continue to affect dramatically how and where work is done through teleconferencing, telecommuting, expert databases, and other shared data sources.

# Demand for leadership at all levels continues to increase particularly as supplies of top talent dwindle. We have found that managing through these challenges – particularly while accommodating regional differences – is made easier by adopting an explicit framework for evaluating strategic Context We believe it is the third and fourth dimensions of HR business design that represent the greatest opportunity for HR to address its unfinished business and fulfill its strategic promise.

# The third dimension, the HR (see complete report for al graphics and illustrations) function strategy, includes defining which overarching effectiveness and efficiency objectives must be met – and within what period – in order to deliver required business performance. Connecting this strategy to the HR operating model requires engaging business leaders in the development of an explicitly defined value proposition that clearly defines HR’s future priorities, roles, and deliverables.

# The fourth dimension, the HR operating model, articulates what is required to "finish the business" and deliver exceptional performance by translating strategy into actions.

4. HR function strategy

Most organizations believe they have established an HR strategy once they have created a "mission" or "vision" statement. These statements – often ambiguous and lofty, and sometimes empty – fall woefully short of specifying clearly what value the function will deliver and how it will deliver it.

As we view HR business design, strategic context leads to the development of an explicit HR strategy – an unambiguous definition

of functional priorities, the services that will be provided, key changes to be made or initiatives to be carried out to improve the delivery of services, key performance measures, and expected impact on business results.

The development of an effective HR strategy is accomplished by engaging business partners early. in the process to collect and validate strategic business context. These discussions often unearth opportunities for developing a richer, more nuanced human capital strategy that integrates the real drivers of workforce and economic performance – ultimately a critical component in shaping what the

HR function should be doing.

5. Finishing the business: Inside the details of execution

Change occurs at the point of execution. So say former AlliedSignal

CEO Larry Bossidy and management consultant Ram Charan in their popular book, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done. In Mercer’s view, the fourth dimension of HR business design, the HR operating model, is what puts strategy into action and enables HR to complete the job

The full text of this groundbreaking survey which includes extensive use of tables, graphs, and grphics can be found at http://www.workinfo.com/free/Downloads/180.htm

* Rprinted by permission of Mecer Human Resource Consulting who can be contacted at www.mercerHR.com




Do you know how to integrate/locate your company's EE/AA goals within an overall Strategic Workforce Plan? If your answer is ‘NO’ or ‘UNSURE’ this may indicate that you do not have a strategic workforce plan in place. Contact Jeff Sacht jeffs@worldonline.co.za

about implementinga a practical 10-step strategic workforce planning process linked directly to the organisation's strategic plan.


2. Smart Due Diligence: Beating the Odds in Mergers & Acquisitions*

By Marc Knez who can be contacted at Sibson Consulting at www.imakenews.com/sibson/index000037264.cfm


I. Introduction

There is widespread belief that the acquisition craze of the late '90s represents corporate strategies run amok. The "when in doubt, buy" mentality, couched under the guise of a grand vision of multi-business synergies (e.g. AOL-Time Warner), will face significant scrutiny by the markets. While such scrutiny may be an overreaction to some high-profile acquisition failures, study after study continues to find that acquisitions are as likely to fail as they are to succeed in terms of shareholder value.

The bottom line is that acquisitions are extremely risky. In most circumstances, the entire purchase price is paid up front, exposing existing shareholders to considerable downside risk if management is not able to generate the value required to support the purchase price. This reality shouts out for a comprehensive risk analysis prior to making the acquisition decision. Such analysis ranges from culture audits aimed at determining whether there is sufficient fit between the organizational cultures of the two companies, to more rigorous financial analyses aimed at quantifying the potential synergies underlying the acquisition. Unfortunately, the acquisition process does not always lend itself to these types of analyses. Between the confidential nature of the interactions and scarcity of time, the acquirer's attention is confined to financial due-diligence and some high-level strategy considerations. It doesn't help that the primary advisors in this context - the investment bankers, have little incentive to slow the process down by advising that their clients conduct a more comprehensive risk analysis. Given the limited information that is gathered and analyzed, it's not surprising that so many acquisitions turn out to be disappointments.

Of course, stockholders who are about to take on a significant amount of risk would prefer that management finds a way to do this analysis before committing to the deal. Here lies the fundamental issue: Given the information and knowledge possessed relatively early in the deal process, the acquirer needs to determine whether a more intensive due diligence process is warranted. Put differently, an intensive due diligence process is a risky investment, slowing down the deal and thus putting it in jeopardy. The potential return is insuring that the deal is worth doing. The acquirer must decide if this risky investment is warranted.

2. Smarter due diligence

One of the most common mistakes that decision-makers make is not leveraging the information and knowledge they have at the time they make a decision, resulting in the lament "We should have known this might happen." And while hindsight is 20-20, foresight makes all the difference. To improve their foresight, acquirers need to ask themselves the following question relatively early in the deal process:

Given the prevailing logic of the acquisition under consideration, and the information and knowledge that exists (or can be quickly obtained) early in the process, what are the significant risks to the success of the acquisition?

A due diligence process that answers this question is smart in that decision-makers are leveraging the information and knowledge to which they have access. Moreover, by answering this question the acquirer can determine whether a more comprehensive due diligence is warranted.

The remainder of this article introduces a framework that helps acquirers engage in smart due diligence. The framework is designed to force the acquirer to answer a series of questions that reveal critical information relevant to evaluating acquisition risk. Perhaps most notable is identifying human capital risk. In most circumstances, except for the most senior leadership of the target company, acquisition risks related to people are lumped into the broader culture category and left to the post-merger integration experts. This common practice represents a false belief that such risks can be easily mitigated once the deal is done and "these people" join "our" organization. The reality is that except for external market conditions, the most difficult risk to mitigate is the potential loss of critical talent on both sides of the prospective acquisition.

3. Smart Due Diligence—Four Steps

A. Clarify the Acquisition logic

The acquisition logic provides the answer to the following question: How will combining these two organizations create a level of economic value that is significantly greater than their combined stand-alone values? At the most basic level, the acquisition logic will be either scale-based or scope-based. Scale-based acquisitions seek to leverage economies through increases in the scale of a common line of business - doing more of the same activity. Acquisitions within consolidating industries are the traditional example of scale-based acquisition logic.

Scope-based acquisitions are aimed at leveraging economies through the spread of common resources across related but distinct activities. For example, consider Lehman Brothers' recent acquisition of Neuberger Berman, an asset management company catering to affluent and institutional investors. Lehman is hoping to gain access to Neuberger's network of wealthy clients, while Neuberger benefits from having access to Lehman's vast international client base. Hence, a critical scope economy is the complementary customer bases of the two firms. In most large M&A transactions, both scale-based and scope-based economies are at play.

B. Identify high-impact operating activities

Once the acquisition logic is clarified, the acquirer should be able to identify the high-impact activities within the prospective operating model of the merger entity. Broadly defined, a company's operating model is a combination of how it organizes its core business processes and manages the resources required to support those processes. Figure 1 describes the impact of alternative acquisition logics on the prospective operating model of the merged entity.

On one extreme the acquired company remains a stand-alone and relatively autonomous business unit; on the other, the acquired company is completely absorbed in the acquiring company's existing organizational structure. Under highly scale-based acquisitions, a high degree of absorption is typically required. Alternatively, if the acquisition is more scope-based, only partial integration will be required and the operating structure of the acquired company will be left partially or almost completely intact. Given the long list of ingredients to an operating model, it's unrealistic for the acquirer to fully define it before the deal is closed. In fact, much of the post-merger integration process is about designing and implementing a new operating model.

From a smart due diligence perspective, only the high-impact operating activities within the prospective operating model need to be identified. These are the activities that require the greatest coordination and integration to generate the sought-after scale and scope economies of the acquisition. In the case of Lehman's acquisition of Neuberger, the formal coordination of the respective sales activities of the two companies is one of the high-impact operating activities underlying the success of the acquisition.

C. Identify Integration Risk Factors

Given a basic understanding of the post-acquisition organizational form and the high-impact operating activities, the acquirer can identify the factors that will impede performance. These risk factors are all created by the need for change. Changes tend to come in two forms - required changes in the underlying business processes and changes in the way decision rights of employees participating in these processes are allocated. Characterizing all of these changes requires identifying the details of the prospective operating model to a degree that is not consistent with smart due diligence.

Instead, the acquirer should draw upon its basic understanding of prospective changes in the operating model to identify two basic types of integration risk factors. First, there are factors that represent employee behaviors that impede successful integration. Second, there are factors that may lead to the turnover of critical talent. To be sure, there are other important risk factors that are less employee-driven, such as the difficulties in integrating distinct IT platforms. However, while these operational risks may require more attention, employee-driven risks are much more difficult to control and mitigate.

# Behavioral risk factors

Behavioral risks reside at two levels: Senior management responsible for each of the organizational activities, and more generally, critical talent within both organizations who have the greatest affect on high-impact activities. There are four fundamental behaviors that create the greatest risk within a partially integrated operating model:

>> Unwillingness to share tangible resources

>> Unwillingness to share information and knowledge

>> Unwillingness to adjust organizational processes

>> Unwillingness to allocate time and energy to critical integration activities

All four of these behaviors represent a general resistance to changes required under the prospective operating model. The acquisition logic will determine the degree to which a particular type of resistance generates significant performance risk.

The merging of sales activities is one of the most common and visible areas where resistance should be anticipated. This typically arises in the context of introducing a team-based sales model, where sales people from the merged companies are expected to coordinate their sales and account management to sell a broader portfolio of products. Standard industry examples include consumer goods, pharmaceutical and financial services.

For instance, consider an acquisition in any professional or financial services context that is predicated upon the cross selling of products and services across the two organizations' distinct clientele. Most successful cross selling in financial services requires formal mechanisms along the following lines. Relationship managers in each of the merged companies are expected to identify high-potential customers for cross selling and engage in fact-finding with these customers to assess sales potential. Customers judged as high potential are referred to a sales rep of the "sister" division. If actual sales follow, the original relationship manager receives some form of financial reward.

Unfortunately, the financial reward is typically not sufficient to overcome the perceived costs of engaging in the cross selling. Not only is the relationship manager expected to re-allocate a significant amount of her time away from the primary selling activity, she is expected to relinquish control over her most critical resource -client relationships. A successful relationship manager often views this type of cross-selling as very risky. Client relationships represent long-term investments that she needs to exercise some degree of control over to generate a sufficient return. The appearance of attempting to sell alternative products and services potentially tarnishes her existing "advisory relationship" with the client. Moreover, if clients do not receive high quality service from the sister division, the relationship manager's long-standing relationships could be at risk. Hence, despite the strategic rationale of sharing client relationships, relationship managers on both sides of the acquisition often will have a significant incentive to resist cross-selling.

Note that the question is not whether some level of employee resistance will takes place, but how severe will the resistance be? As in the cross-selling example, the acquirer should anticipate significant resistance when employees are expected to change the way they perform their jobs and/or are expected to relinquish control over resources they believe to be critical to their individual performance. In the extreme, this resistance leads to turnover, which is the second category of risk factors.

# Turnover risk factors

In Lehman Brothers $2.63 billion acquisition of Neuberger Berman, $120 million was set aside as a retention pool for key Neuberger employees. This huge sum reflects the significant turnover risk that exists in acquisitions, especially in human capital-intensive industries such as financial services. Viewing the employment relationship with this critical talent as a long-term exchange relationship between a buyer (employer) and seller (employee) is an effective way to assess the degree of this turnover risk. In the pre-acquisition environment, the existing benefits of the exchange are sufficiently high to prevent either party in the relationship from exercising their alternative options-that is, the employee will not seek employment elsewhere and the employer will not fire the employee. From the employee's perspective, the exchange relationship includes benefits outside of pure monetary exchange, such as affiliation to the organization and the quality of the work environment. These non-monetary factors are often associated with a long-term employment relationship and in many cases are as important, or more important than the monetary rewards. This more complete set of benefits has become known as the employee value proposition (EVP).

If the success of the acquisition requires a significant change in important features of the EVP, then the employee has an incentive to reconsider his or her employment options. Most notable here are the non-monetary factors that are greatly diminished in the context of an acquisition. In the extreme, from the perspective of the critical talent of the acquired firm, the acquiring firm is on a level playing field with all potential alternative employers. The "clock" on the employment relationship has been reset to zero. Note that this reality does not go unnoticed by the competition. Consider the recent acquisition of Insignia Financial Group by CB Richard Ellis, creating the largest commercial real-estate brokerage company. Richard White, president of CB Richard Ellis stated "Our competitors have created a 2003 business plan for this year, which was 'Go steal CB Richard Ellis employees,' and they failed, and it's not for want of trying."1

The acquirer needs to assess the degree to which the prospective EVP will be sufficiently attractive to the critical talent to prevent significant turnover. Note that beyond the senior leadership of the target company, the focus is not on incremental turnover, which is inevitable. The focus is on the potential for a "turnover tipping point," where dissatisfaction with the new EVP accompanied by the departures of the senior leadership, leads to the turnover of a large group of critical talent. For example, in G.E.'s prospective acquisition of Vivendi Universal SA's entertainment assets, receiving buy-in from Universal Pictures chairman, Stacey Snider, is critical. However, the greatest risk is losing the entire executive team (and their direct reports), whose recent success has been attributed in part to their resistance to traditional, autocratic approaches to management.

4.Perform Integration Risk Assessment

The final step in the risk analysis is to assess the degree to which the identified risk factors are sufficiently severe to warrant a more comprehensive due-diligence exercise. This is determined by answering the following question:

With respect to the critical operating activities and the performance objectives associated with those activities, what is the potential magnitude and likelihood of bad outcomes created by the identified risk factors?

The answer to this question is more of a conceptual judgment than an analytical calculation. One way to be more rigorous in this judgment process is to use the risk factors to construct a reasonably plausible low-performance scenario, and then judge the likelihood of this scenario occurring. Note that while the low-performance scenario may appear to be a worse case scenario, it is not unlikely. Not only do cross-selling initiatives often end up as considerable disappointments, they can be the direct cause of considerable employee turnover.

Translating the risk factors into actual low-performance scenarios can be a powerful way of raising the importance of integration risks within the high-level strategic and financial discussions that tend to dominate the pre-deal process. First, it forces the acquirer to articulate how value will be created, or not created, by the acquisition. Second, traditional sensitivity analysis conducted on the valuation of the target tends to be a mechanical exercise in which various value drivers (e.g. sales) are adjusted up or down by some small percentage. Generating an explicit low-performance scenario that has clearly stated and plausible performance outcomes will provide a much more robust sensitivity analysis. Finally, it allows the senior leadership to answer the following question: "Why might this acquisition fail and how are you going to prevent that from happening?"

5. Summary

This acquisition risk analysis framework is designed to enable the leaders of the acquiring firm to assess the major integration risk they face prior to making the decision to invest in a comprehensive due diligence process. First, it requires understanding the prospective operating model and the critical operating activities that will be the primary source of the value creation. The next step is to identify the primary organizational and human capital risk factors that will impede the performance of these critical operating activities. Perhaps the most distinctive element of the smart due diligence framework is the emphasis on human capital risk. In most deal situations, only the risks surrounding the most senior leadership are considered. As many acquirers have found, this can be a profound mistake. A basic understanding of the prospective operating model should allow the acquirer to recognize significant human capital risks, and hence, avoid making this mistake.

* Reprinted by permission of Sibson Consulting




People Surveys & Renewal Resources provides online surveys to take stock of your organisation’s performance. Use the the results of a Transform Survey of Organisational Performance to engage your top team in the kind of decision-making that drives meaningful change. Contact Jeff Sacht at js1952@bigfoot.com about your survey guided change requirements. Visit Transform at



3. An Opposing View on Corporate Social Responsibility*

By By Manda Salls who can be contacted at


1. Introduction

In a day that celebrated social responsibility and corporate virtue, one speaker offered a counter view by calling such programs "a complete fig leaf" and saying they can do more harm than good.

Matthew Bishop, business editor of The Economist, said company social responsibility initiatives could diminish shareholder returns, distract business leaders from their focus, and often allow companies to continue bad behavior in the shadows.

"Are companies actually socially irresponsible? I think the overwhelming message is that they are not," said Bishop at the 5th Annual Social Enterprise Conference, held March 6 at Harvard Business School. "It has been the process of people seeking to make profit, and the expansion of an economic system where that pursuit of profit has been possible, that has made the world fantastically more wealthy than anyone thought possible, even thirty or forty years ago."

In the end, pressure put on businesses by non-governmental organizations and other advocates to create social as well as financial benefit may have the opposite effect of what is intended. Because of media attention, Bishop said, many companies are beginning to feel it is better to pull their factories out of countries where there is desperate poverty, rather than risk being seen operating at standards below what you might expect in, say, Massachusetts.

"It is troubling to see companies accused of treachery for trying to be economically efficient," he told the audience, which largely appeared to disagree with his comments.

Recalling his recent experience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in February, Bishop said that CSR proponents have terrified the CEOs of the world. Nestlé CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe was the only chief executive willing to say for the record that the primary role of the company is long- or medium-term profit maximization to benefit shareholders. "All of the other chief executives with whom I spoke said they thought he was completely mad to get up and say that in a public forum," Bishop said. But privately they agreed with him.

2. On the defensive

Companies are funding CSR initiatives not because they are in the best interest of the company or shareholders but to get NGOs off their backs, Bishop said. "Bad press has put everyone on the defensive."

In addition, there is no guarantee that cooperating with NGOs buys a company any long-term reputation protection, he said. Both Nestlé and Nike have spent millions to improve social conditions in their factories, yet get little credit in the press because they work outside of the CSR movement, Bishop said.


Bishop criticized the media for contributing to the problem. Media companies are out to make a profit, and many have cut back on foreign coverage. "You've got a group of people who are not well paid, who are not in the same mindset as people who work in companies, and who haven't really been exposed to the realities of what corporate life is like."

NGOs often feed journalists stories of supposed corporate malfeasance, which the reporters are happy to print without much on-the-scene checking. "They are desperate to get noticed because your main professional reward as a journalist… is to get your name in lights by saying something interesting. So there is a tremendous appetite for powerful stories."

Another worrying issue, he said, is that the climate for open debate about free trade and the business pursuit of profit is being destroyed.

As a remedy, Bishop said the media and the public should start putting pressure back on governments to improve labor and social issues. In effect, we are letting government and politicians off the hook by pressuring the companies we work for and invest in to take on additional financial and social burdens.

Bishop compared using company money to further socially responsible causes with a CEO deciding to buy a corporate jet. The executives shouldn't be spending shareholder money on things that aren't directly related to the bottom line, Bishop said.

* By permission of HBS Working Knowledge: http://signup4.c.topica.com/maab4W0aa5rX4aaaaaab/

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4. The Real Laws of Attraction: Why Positive Affirmations Don’t Work!*

By Ken Keis who san be contacted at nfo@crgleader.com


1. Introduction

Overall Your Life is a Reflection of What You Really Think and Feel You Deserve — No More, No Less!

In the past couple of years, several books on the subject of Attraction have been published. But recently, some new thinking has been put forth to refute some of the past motivational dogma.

Do you know individuals who don’t achieve the levels they would like to or every time they take a step forward, they seem to take a step back? I will outline a couple reasons why that might be happening.

2. Life Is Energy

Science has proven that everything in life is made up of energy; our personal lives are no different. Have you ever walked into a room with tension so thick, someone said later, "you could have cut it with a knife"? Or when one of your friends has met the love of their life and you say, "you look so happy, you are glowing?" How can we not only see the emotion but FEEL it, too? Welcome to the science and Law of Attraction.

Each of us is like a magnet; we are either giving off positive or negative energy/attraction. There are no neutral magnets. What we are attracting into our lives is reflective of which end of the magnet we are activating.

You attract to your life whatever you give your attention to. If you focus on the fact that you have little money, poor health, or few meaningful relationships, the Law of Attraction will respond by giving you more of what you are focusing on. Of course, most people don’t really want more of the things they lack, but because they are putting focus and energy toward the negative, more negativity happens.

You can not not think of something. At this very moment, I ask you not to think of a black bear. Please don’t picture a black bear, black bear, black bear, or a black bear. Almost everyone reading this has visualized a black bear. Your thoughts, in this case, black bear, are your focus. Let me explain.

Your language, words, and most important — the feelings (energy) — behind the words are, critical to you intentionally improving your condition. Remember, like a magnet, you are always attracting energy. The question is: are you being a positive or negative magnet?

The research is clear, our conscious and unconscious mind filters out the words don’t, not, and no. Just like the black bear example, the statements don’t be late, don’t forget, or don’t panic result in your mind focusing on the wrong things. Whatever you give your attention or focus to, you attract into your life, whether you want them to or not.

Rephrasing the way we think and what we say (the words) are critical to moving forward. For example, you might go from "It’s hard to find a partner" to "In the past, it was hard to find a partner" or "It is easy to find a partner."

Life is about duality; there is an opposite to everything. Poor is the opposite of wealthy, healthy the opposite to unhealthy, and so on. To take advantage of the Law of Attraction, first you must be clear about what you want. The best way to determine what you want is to identify those things in your life that you no longer want and then make a list of what you do want. Clarity is a very important part to this process, so the sharper your thoughts and statements, the better your future.

The next step is to be aware how each of your actions and choices is making you feel. It is not enough to have the right words; it is essential to understand the emotions that your words and thoughts cause you to have. The energy created by the emotions fulfills the Law of Attraction. If something on your list irritates you, remove it or keep modifying it until you identify what energizes you toward a positive way of thinking.

Why do most affirmations not work? In the past we have been taught to make statements in the positive and in the present tense to move us toward a new goal or objective, such as "I am a millionaire" or "I have a healthy body weight of ______."

Most of us, me included, have not had a high level of success with this process. Why?

If attraction works equally on the emotional energy level as with the spoken word, what do you think your emotional energy would be around affirmation statements you feel might be unattainable or even untrue?

Your internal feelings/vibrations of doubt will come through in your affirmation process. This information contradicts most teachings in the area of affirmations and explains why many affirmations have not worked. Your mind identifies the affirmation as a lie and your energy and attraction process supports the fact that the statement is a lie.




3. The Law Of Attraction

There is, however, a break-through alternative. Credit for this breakthrough concept goes to Michael J. Losier, an expert in the field the Law of Attraction. His process is to get us to create desire statements that acknowledge we are in the process of becoming a millionaire.

So rather than saying "I am a millionaire," try a new format of process and projection: "I am in the process of attracting an ideal financial situation that allows me to do and enjoy all the things that bring joy into my life."

That is just an example, but already I suspect you are experiencing how your mind and energy would be more accepting and positive to the latter statement. As you progress, update your statements to reflect your new emotional response to each of your "going forward" statements. This single concept significantly improved my personal energy and attraction success.

There is a final part to the Law of Attraction process: remove any limiting beliefs that would hinder your success. The first steps will work when this next element of allowing is deployed.

Allowing is the absence of doubt and doubt is often created from limiting beliefs. A limiting belief is a repetitive thought that prevents you from attracting your desire.

Of course, much more can be written about the Law of Attraction. Start by implementing what you have learned. If you are already using this technology, make sure you are teaching others.

4. Action Steps

To attract more into your life of what you want and less of what you don’t want, follow these action steps.

Acknowledge that your emotions are part of the Law of Attraction.

Remember that what you focus on, you will attract — wanted or unwanted.

Be aware of the energy in which you are living: positive or negative.

Avoid the words don’t, not and no. Today, pay attention to your language; become conscious of don’t, not and no. Then make a conscious effort to eliminate them from your word choices. (Note: Of course, you will still use these words such as no more coffee, no thank you, etc.)

Be clear about what you want and desire. Simply list on one page your desires. This is not a goal list but your desires in the major areas of your life.

Words are not enough; you must also feel good about the words. Rephrase your positive affirmations to I desire or I am in the process statements.

You must remove doubt before you will experience your desires. Question your doubts using the process of creating allowing statements. Most of our doubt is false.

Stay focused on what you want, not what you don’t want. No black bears, right?


5. Complimentary HR Tools/Downloads: Questionnaire: Is your organisation ready to implement e-HR


# Readiness Assessment: Leveraging Technology To Reposition Human Resources


This tool is a first step toward leveraging technology to reposition and transform HR as a business partner. Your responses will provide an understanding of how well positioned you are to capitalise on the promise of digital HR for the New Economy, and whether any gaps should be narrowed, or closed to maximise your opportunity for success. They will also provide an indication of how you should prioritise your digital HR investments.

Click on http://www.workinfo.com/free/Downloads/183.htm download a copy of the assessment questionnaire.


6. Using Communications to Lead*

By John Baldoni who can be contacted at jbaldoni@LC21.com


1. Introduction

When Mother Teresa gave her acceptance speech for the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize she commented that when people asked her if there was a heaven, she replied that she certainly hoped so -- especially since she spent so much time generating publicity for her missions.

Mother Teresa gave credence to a fundamental truth about leadership: If you want to get something done, you better tell somebody. She built her missions in India and around the world, in order to take care of, as she put it: "the poorest of the poor." But Mother knew, as do others in the social service, that if you want to reach the poor, you need to tap the richest of the rich (or at least those better off than the indigent).

So Mother took to giving interviews with the media and opened her missions to film and television journalists. Only by raising awareness was she able to get her message out that her people needed help and that donations in dollars or in personal service were welcome.

2. Purpose of Leadership Communications

The way leaders communicate says a great deal about they way they lead. If they give directions that are clear and direct, their people will understand what they are supposed to do. At the same time, if leaders are patient and take time to listen, people will feel more involved and take a greater sense of pride in their work. Why? Because they will feel their contributions matter and they have a stake in the enterprise.

There are many types of leadership communications. Each of them emerges from a leadership action that is communicated from the point of view of the leader - i.e., doing what is beneficial for the organization and the people in it. Leadership communications are designed to engage the listener, gain commitment, and ultimately create a bond of trust between leader and follower. They also does something more: drive results, enabling leader and follower to work together more efficiently because they understand the issues and know what is to be done to accomplish their goals.

Specifically, leadership messages do one or more of the following:

# Affirm organizational vision and mission. Lets people know where the organization is headed and what it stands for. General George C. Marshall lived and breathed the core values of the U.S. Army. His penchant for preparation prepared the nation for fighting the conflict it did not want to fight - World War II. By giving detailed briefings to Congress, developing a cadre of superior officers, revamping military training, and supporting President Franklin Roosevelt, Marshall mobilized the armed forces to go overseas and defeat the tyrannous powers of the Axis. And later, as Secretary of Defense, he helped Europe recover economically, socially and politically through a comprehensive aid program that eventually bore his name, the Marshall Plan.

# Drive transformational initiatives, e.g. change! Gets people prepared to do things differently and gives the reasons why. Rich Teerlink, former CEO of Harley Davidson, spent much of his years at the helm enkindling a passion for the company among dealers, owners, and employees. Part of this passion was rooted in the need to transform Harley from an old line manufacturer into a modern enterprise where employees share in the voice and vision.

# Issues a call to action Galvanize people to rally behind an initiative. It tells people what to do and how to do it. Rudy Guiliani, as mayor of New York City, inherited a city whose citizenry accepted as fact that high crime, social service failures, and city hall ineptitude were part of the social contract. Through a combination of daily meetings with city agencies, public proclamations, and holding people accountable, Giuliani reduced crime, reinvigorated social agencies, and raised citizen expectations for public servant performance. Giuliani also prepared himself and his government for prompt response to the horrible events of September 11, in which New York City served as a proud example of civic and individual and collective heroism, stoicism, and eventual healing.

# Reinforces organizational capability. Underscores the company's strengths and is designed to make people feel good about the organization for whom they work. Katharine Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, relied upon the people in her organization to build a world class news organization. Her public comments -- in the face of the publication of the Pentagon Papers, the Watergate investigations, and nasty labor struggles at the paper -- demonstrated her undying commitment to the paper.

# Creates an environment where motivation can flourish. Provides reasons why things are done and creates a path of success for people to follow. It also describes the benefits of success, e.g. a more competitive organization, more opportunities for promotion, increased compensation. Joe Torre, manager of the New York Yankees and winner of four World Series in his tenure, believes that everyone on the team has a role to play. His quiet demeanor, coupled with supportive words and actions, creates an environment where players feel they can achieve and strive to do so.

# Promote a product or service -- and affirm its link to the organization's vision, mission and values. Places what the organization produces within the mission, culture and values of the organization; e.g. we create products to improve people's lives. Shelly Lazarus, as CEO of a leading advertising agency, makes her living using communications to promote the virtues of internationally known brands like IBM and Ford Motor Company. She applies the same commitment to promoting her agency's (Oglivy & Mather) brand as a place where exceptionally talented people can succeed.

* Reprinted by permission of the author; originally printed in Link & Learn Newsletter by Linkage Inc www.linkage.com

Workplace Communications Workshop
# WORKPLACE COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP FOR COMMUNICATION AND HUMAN RESOURCE PROFESSIONALS: The overall aim of this workshop is to enhance the success of your communication by providing you with practical skills, knowledge and tools needed by communicators within an organisation. This workshop and the accompanying manual have been designed to suit the needs of the HR practitioner who is required to communicate important issues within their organisation. To read more about this and other available workshop, visit


7. Case Law & Legislation Review:

By Gary Watkins who can be contacted at www.caselaw.co.za or www.workinfo.com


Department of Justice v CCMA & others (Labour Appeal Court)

Source: Published by Siber Ink CC Subscriptions: subs@siberink.co.za or fax (+27) – 021 – 701 3947

In 1997 the then Chief State Law Advisor announced that he was due to retire. The Department of Justice advertised for applications for his post both internally and externally. The advert attracted about 100 applications. Four candidates, including the then Deputy Chief State Law Advisor, Mr Bruwer, were short-listed by a committee appointed by the Minister of Justice. The Minister told this selection committee that he wanted the department’s top management structure to be "diverse, representative of the South African communities, objective, efficient and effective".

The selection committee interviewed the short-listed candidates, and decided not to recommend any. The post was re-advertised. This time, there were only 10 applications. Among these was an application from Mr W, a black attorney. The committee did not recommend any of these applicants either.

The department then decided that W had the requisite "profile" for the post, except that he did not possess an LLB degree and he was not an admitted advocate, then statutory requirements for the post of Chief State Law Advisor. However, the Minister agreed that the formal requirements for the post should be relaxed because attorneys now have a right of appearance in the High Court. W, who had BA Law and B Proc degrees, was appointed on a fixed term contract for 12 months.

Bruwer, who had in the meantime acted as Chief State Law advisor, was unhappy. He first applied for "protective promotion" on the ground that he had complied with the requirements for the post and had a "legitimate expectation" to be appointed. This request was refused. Bruwer referred a dispute to the CCMA. The post was subsequently re-advertised, with the formal requirement now given as an "appropriate legal degree or equivalent practice or a right of appearance in the High Court or appropriate experience". Bruwer informed the department that he was still interested in the post, but Mr W was ultimately appointed permanently.

The CCMA decided that the department had committed an unfair labour practice against Bruwer and ordered it to pay him R50 000 in damages. On review, the Labour Court declined to set aside the award, but it did set aside the order of damages; the court also declined to grant Bruwer’s cross-application for an order declaring that he was entitled to "protective promotion" or to financial compensation.

The department appealed against the order dismissing the review application. Bruwer’s union cross-appealed against the court’s decision to dismiss his application for an order granting him "protective promotion". In Department of Justice v CCMA & others (Labour Appeal Court case no. CA2/2002 dated 18 February 2004, unreported) the department argued that for three reasons the CCMA should not have arbitrated the matter: first, the dispute was not about promotion; second, it was a dispute of interest; third, the department had raised the defence of affirmative action.

None of these points has anything to do with the law relating to affirmative action appointments. But each point has been crying out for a final ruling by the Labour Appeal Court.

The first point arises from the wording of item 2(1)(b) of the Schedule 7 to the LRA (now section 186(2)(a)). This provided that disputes concerning "unfair conduct relating to promotion" were to be arbitrated by the CCMA. The department argued that Bruwer was a candidate for a vacant post, not for promotion. As such, Bruwer’s only remedy lay in the then item 2(1)(a) (now section 6 of the Employment Equity Act), which deals with disputes in which discrimination is alleged, and which are reserved for the Labour Court.

The court conceded that the fact that applicants for employment were deemed employees only for the purposes of item 2(1)(a) was an indication that they were not "employees" for purposes of item 2(2)(b). Furthermore, if disputes such as that between Bruwer and the department were about promotion, it would mean that aggrieved "internal" applicants would be able to refer the matter to the CCMA, while aggrieved "external" applicants would have to approach the High Court. While this was "unsatisfactory", it did not mean that the CCMA lacked jurisdiction.

Even if internal candidates were in such cases not, strictly speaking, seeking promotion, employees applying for posts advertised by their own employers would be denied a remedy if too strict a construction were placed on the statutory definition of unfair labour practice. The CCMA accordingly has jurisdiction to arbitrate disputes by employees applying for vacancies advertised by their own employers, even if they are competing with external applicants.

The second jurisdictional point raised by the department rested on this proposition: disappointed candidates for promotion cannot refer disputes to either arbitration or adjudication unless they can prove that the rejection of their application breached one of their rights. The court gave this argument short shrift. While such people may not be able to prove a contractual right to promotion, the LRA gives candidates for promotion a right to be treated fairly. This is the right at issue in promotion disputes.

What, then, of the department’s claim that the CCMA lacked jurisdiction because Bruwer had been overlooked in order to further affirmative action in the department? This claim flowed, once again, from the division between discrimination matters, reserved for the Labour Court, and promotion matters, reserved for the CCMA. If, said the department, the CCMA could review its affirmative action claim, the commissioner would have to decide constitutional issues beyond his competence. Not so, said the LAC. If an employer raises a constitutional issue in a matter otherwise falling within its jurisdiction, the CCMA is quite entitled to decide that issue.

The Department of Justice judgment accordingly resolves four important jurisdictional issues:

* Employees applying for higher posts advertised by their own employers can refer disputes to arbitration under the LRA, even if they are competing against outside applicants.

* Outside applicants cannot refer promotion disputes for arbitration under the LRA; they can only refer disputes concerning discrimination to the Labour Court if they claim to have been discriminated against, or, perhaps, to the High Court.

* The CCMA may arbitrate promotion disputes even if the employees concerned cannot prove a breach of their contractual or other statutory rights.

* The CCMA can decide discrimination claims if they are referred as, and are intertwined with, disputes concerning promotion.

Bruwer was less successful on the merits. Much of the evidence placed before the commissioner related to the propriety of the department’s decision to appoint W on a fixed term contract. However, the court divided over the significance of this fact. The majority held that because the dispute concerned the department’s decision to appoint W permanently, that evidence was irrelevant to the issue before the commissioner.

At the time of the arbitration, the post of Chief State Law Advisor had not been permanently filled. Indeed, this was part of the department’s defence; Bruwer had conducted his case on the assumption that he might still be appointed. He had not produced a shred of evidence relating to the fairness or otherwise of the department’s ultimate decision to appoint W permanently to the post. This was a fatal omission; the commissioner had recognised that the dispute before him entailed the decision not to appoint one of the short listed candidates, thereby confirming that the dispute before him concerned the interim appointment, not the final appointment. By dealing with the matter as if it concerned the final decision, the commissioner had misconstrued the issue upon which he was called to decide. The award was reviewable on that ground alone.

The majority went further. Two judges held that if the commissioner had been called upon to decide the fairness of the decision to fill the post on a permanent basis, the award would still have been reviewable. The commissioner had expressly stated in his award that no evidence had been placed before him concerning the reasons why the Minister had decided not to fill the post by appointing one of the candidates on the original short list. Even so, the commissioner had concluded that the Minister had unquestioningly accepted the selection committee’s recommendation that the post be re-advertised.

Furthermore, the department’s evidence that the decision not to fill the post had been made because it wished to promote employment equity had not been challenged. When asked what rendered that decision unfair, Bruwer had been unable to supply any reason. The commissioner had also failed to provide any reason in his award.

The appeal was accordingly upheld with costs, and Mr Bruwer’s cross-appeal was dismissed.

Source: Published by Siber Ink CC Subscriptions: subs@siberink.co.za or fax (+27) – 021 – 701 3947



8. Book Reviews

# The Internet In the Workplace: How New Technology is Transforming Work

By Patricia Wallace, Cambridge University Press, 2004

To order this book click on: http://www.kalahari.net/e-trader/referral.asp?toolbar=mweb&linkid=5&partnerid=293&sku=27578136

While having Internet access at work arguably has created efficiencies for businesses and organizations, the author explores complications that the Web brings for employees and employers. For example, how have round-the-clock e-mail and wireless devices affected employees’ ability to separate work and family life? What are the productivity and psychological effects of workplace surveillance tools? A psychologist, Patricia Wallace is the senior director of information technology and distance programs at the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University. Wallace’s thorough examination of the issues triggered by this pervasive technology, combined with her insightful analysis, make this an important contribution to the literature of the effects of technology on society. Readers in nearly every industry or profession will find this book useful as they reflect on their jobs and careers.



# Leading the Way : Three Truths from the Top Companies for Leaders

By by Robert Gandossy, Marc Effron. John Wiley & Sons, 2004

To order his book click on: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/047148301X/workinfo

Over the next decade, businesses will suffer from a lack of leadership. This drought of top talent is based on the simple law of supply and demand: the population of key leaders between the ages of 35 - 44 will drop 15% by 2015. Moreover, the past few years have not been kind to CEOs -- the person most responsible for leadership development in an organization. In 2001, a record 555 CEO departures were recorded and nearly 100 CEOs were removed in 2002 for performance reasons.

Despite this seemingly dismal state of affairs, there are companies that have risen to the top excelling at leadership development while delivering superior financial results. Many of these organizations have been recognized the last two years in Hewitt Associates' groundbreaking Top Companies for Leaders study. Hewitt's book, Leading the Way: Three Truths from the Top Companies for Leaders builds on this research and provides fact-based, tested methods, and guidance on how to build a diverse, highly qualified leadership team. Authored by Hewitt business leaders Robert Gandossy and Marc Effron, the book offers HR and business professionals with new ideas and approaches for becoming a Top Company for Leaders and realizing the financial benefits that Top Companies enjoy.


Generic HR Policy Manuals Are For Generic Companies!

By Jeff Sacht & Gary Watkins who can be contacted at jeffs@worldonline.co.za; radwat@global.co.za


It is becoming increasingly difficult to run a business in South Africa today in a highly regulated business environment without company specific HR policies and the most valuable communication tool between yourself and emaployees – an employee handbook.

An employee handbook is the first impression new employees have of your company. It is a document that communicates your mission, what is expected from your employees and, in turn, what your employees can expect from you, the employer.

There are a few "must haves" that should be included in a handbook. These include:

1. THE COMPANY VISION, AND KEY STRATEGIC BUSINESS GOALS OF WHERE YOU EXPECT TO BE IN THE FUTURE. This includes your mission as well as the behaviours you expect in serving your customers as well as fellow employees.

2. A POLICY STATEMENT ON EMPLOYMENT EQUITY, HARASSMENT AND BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT. This policy should include a mechanism whereby employees who feel that they are being discriminated against or harassed by a co-worker can lodge a complaint that will be investigated promptly and as confidentially as possible. This is your first line of defence in the event that a charge of discrimination is filed against your organisation.

3. AN ELECTRONICS COMMUNICATIONS POLICY stating that the computers, telephone systems, e-mail, voice mail, company issued PDA’s and cellular telephones are the property of the company and subject to search and monitoring.

4. A VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE POLICY. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires this. It is also a great idea to spell out your safety rules and accident reporting procedures.

5. TIME OFF POLICIES INCLUDING VACATION, HOLIDAYS, SICK OR PERSONAL TIME are important. A Family and Medical Leave Policy as well as a personal leave of absence policy should be included. What about a death in the family?

6. HOURS OF WORK, NORMAL STARTING AND ENDING TIMES, WHEN PAYDAY IS, A DEFINITION OF EXCESSIVE ABSENCES AND TARDINESS – and how they are coordinated with workman's compensation and family and medical leave.

7. A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE BENEFITS offered by your company.

8. A SIGNATURE PAGE where the employee acknowledges receipt of the handbook.

If you have developed a customised handbook – congratulate yourself.

A generic handbook cannot possibly cover all of the important points about your company that should be included. Your company is not generic, so why settle for a generic Policy Manual and handbook?


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# DOES YOUR EMPLOYMENT EQUITY COMMITTEE DELIVER RESULTS? The DoL is on the warpath for non-compliance! Train an entire committee for the price of 1 electronic manual with full reproduction rights. http://www.workinfo.com/mall/escmt.htm


# Download the updated HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES &

PROCEDURES MANUAL. Contains pro-forma policies and procedures. Save today and buy both downloads. Available in MS Word for easy customization. http://www.workinfo.com/mall/hrm.htm

# MANAGING FOR DIVERSITY WORKSHOP. New and improved version of this workshop for supervisors & managers now available! Comprehensive facilitator's guide and participant workbook is now available as a download. Train as many groups as you like for the price of 1 download! http://www.workinfo.com/mall/diversity.htm

# Use the 600 page electronic manual with detailed action plans and guide notes for IMPLEMENTING EMPLOYMENT EQUITY. This is a companion piece to the EQUITY-SKILL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE TRAINING COURSE; http://www.workinfo.com/mall/eeim.htm


Opinions expressed by contributors DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT the standpoint of the publisher-editor of Equity-Skills News & Views. Information published here is for general information, and is not intended as legal advice. The authors, editors, and publishers do not accept responsibility for any act, omission, loss, or damage occasioned by any reliance upon the contents hereof.

This message is sent in compliance with ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS AND TRANSACTIONS ACT. 2002, Act No. 25, 2002 [South Africa] passed on 20 May 2003.

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© 2002 Equity Skills New & Views.  All Rights Reserved.                            ISSN 1684-5714