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of the letter of the month.

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would agree that HR is of central importance during mergers, as outlined in Tom
Lester’s article Merger Most Torrid, in the June issue of globalhr, but I would
challenge some of the traditional views on the sources of merger success and
failure and the contribution of HR.

rightly points out that HR directors need to be more closely aligned with the
strategic direction of the company. 
However, HR directors must be more proactive than they often are, by
getting involved in the decision-making process – not just managing the
integration process. It is often the case that the financial argument is
actually not to make an acquisition, but a management team can let their egos
get in the way. As an expert in human behaviour, the HR director must challenge
the strategic rationale behind such decisions. Should the merger go ahead at
all? What premium should be paid?

also agree that there are benefits to be had from externally conducted
"management audits" – not only in view of their findings but also
because they represent a visible, objective and fair process, which can allay
feelings of threat and uncertainty. In our experience of working with clients,
we would argue that the information derived from a management audit is a core
piece of management information and, as such, it should be available whether
the company is merging or not.

are always disruptive and the people problems, which are so often cited as the
cause of merger failure, are more usually the result of poor management rather
than culture clash. While management audits do add considerable value during
mergers, they only represent part of a much wider role for HR in the merger.

add value properly during a merger, HR first needs to act quickly to identify
its key people and hang on to them. It then needs to get involved in developing
a vision and strategy for the new company and facilitate opportunities for the
two halves of the organisation to meet and work together to align them both
with the new vision and strategy.

Senior M&A Consultant, Kiddy and Partners
London, UK


review by Davey Winder

you’ll excuse the mixed metaphors, we live in an ever-shrinking world and deal
in an increasingly global market – all thanks to the communications revolution.
But what has this meant for the average high-flying executive? Yep, you’ve
guessed it, more travel to far-flung destinations.

wager they are armed with a powerful notebook PC and built-in modem so they can
keep in touch and keep doing business from Atlanta to Zurich. Which brings me
nicely to the contents of my gadget bag this month, the TeleAdapt Executive
Travel Pak -Êtotal peace of mind in two attach‚-sized nappa leather zip cases.
Upon opening, you will find the complete solution for connecting your notebook
PC to telephone and power sockets around the globe: 35 telephone adaptors, 12
power plugs and a world cord kit that cover between them 250 countries!

addition, there’s a surge stop device to protect your expensive computer (and
it’s even more valuable data) from "dirty power" in developing
countries that can cause voltage spikes. A clever spooling device the size of a
credit card can extend the reach of your modem by an additional 2.5m. And the
"TeleTester" quickly and simply lets you know if the telephone line
itself is likely to damage the modem. It’s not all high-tech though, you get a
spare mains cable, which is handy, and an international travel guide that is
handier still. Use the pocket-sized guide to select the country you are in, and
then locate the relevant adaptors which are all keyed by number. It really is
that simple, yet that essential. If you are only travelling to a couple of
places, don’t take the whole kit, just pack the items you need for that journey.

British Airways has seen how TeleAdapt kit can help the business traveller
maintain his or her competitive edge through true global connectivity, and
sells the cut-down "International Laptop Connection Kit" from the
Duty Free Trolley on every flight. This doesn’t quite match the Executive
Travel Pak for comprehensiveness, but with adaptors for more than 150 countries
included, it could be a lifesaver if you are already on board, and without the
correct plugsÉ

              Total global connectivity
for your notebook PC and modem; well-packaged, won’t break in transit and easy
to locate parts; well-written guide removes any doubt from the connectivity
process; additional safety tools could be lifesavers if your data are important
to you.

              Price; overkill if you only
travel within Europe or to one or two regular destinations.

             Executive Travel Pak £299.99
+ VAT ($500); International Laptop Kit £79.99 + VAT ($140)

+44 (0) 20 8233 3000
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