The Alcott Group   Good for Your Business ~ Good for Your People
    •  Succession Planning
    •  HR Outsourcing
    •  C.O.B.R.A. Update
    •  Unsubscribe / Subscribe

Welcome to The Alcott Advisor's Year-end Business Bulletin. This special issue features an article contributed by Bruce Hammer, Ph.D. of Hammer Associates, Ltd., an organizational consulting firm, on the topic of succession planning -- a very important issue for all small and mid-sized businesses. If you would like to learn more about succession planning, Bruce will be speaking at the LISTnet HR SIG meeting on November 30th (see sidebar for details).

We also have included a reprint of an article published by the Bureau of National Affairs ( that discusses the trend in corporate HR departments toward outsourcing of non-strategic, highly transactional tasks. The concept applies to businesses, large and small, whether or not there is a formal Human Resources Department, since often transactional HR tasks distract management from the company's core mission.

Lastly, we have provided updated information on recent changes to C.O.B.R.A. regulations.

We hope you enjoy this issue of The Alcott Advisor and find the information useful and informative. If you have comments or suggestions, please address them to Al Anastasi at


  Succession Planning - A Critical Issue for ALL Businesses
By Bruce Hammer, Ph.D.

Succession planning establishes a process where high-potential employees are identified as prospective successors for key positions in a company and given appropriate training, preparing them to fill future management and leadership needs. Because the stability and continued success of a business rely on retaining quality people in key positions, most companies recognize that planning ahead for the inevitable turnovers in staffing is a worthwhile investment of time and resources.

In large companies, succession planning is often integrated with the company’s annual performance management process. The human resources staff collaborates with the business line managers to identify high potential candidates, define the exact skills they need to acquire, and provide development experiences and mentoring to ensure the candidates have what it takes to succeed in their next position.

Click here to read more

Bruce Hammer, Ph.D., is president of Hammer Associates Ltd. and a licensed psychologist. Hammer Associates is an organizational consulting firm providing coaching and development services to businesses of all sizes, including start-ups, small businesses, family-owned firms, and corporations. Services include executive coaching, team development, transition and succession management, and conflict resolution. Bruce can be reached at 516-496-0520 or via e-mail at


  HR Outsources to Reach Strategic Objectives
The following article has been reproduced with permission from Bulletin to Management, a weekly report of news and trends for HR managers, Vol. 55, No. 42, pp. 329-330 Oct. 14, 2004. Copyright 2004 by the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. ( Free trials and subscription info: (800) 732-1033 or

Taking a Leading Role in Company's Mission,
HR Outsources to Reach Strategic Objectives

Chicago – With a growing number of corporations expecting their human resources departments to operate at a strategic level, HR professionals must choose which of their activities are truly aligned with the strategic direction of their organizations and which are better left delegated to a third party, an HR executive said Sept. 29 at an outsourcing conference sponsored by the Conference Board.

Click here to read more


  C.O.B.R.A. Update
C.O.B.R.A. allows eligible employees and dependents to continue their health insurance through an employer’s plan once their coverage through the employer ends (usually due to a change in status or termination of employment). Effective January 2005, there are some changes to C.O.B.R.A. regulations that employers who sponsor health plans should know about. If you are an employer who uses a third-party to administer (“TPA”) your C.O.B.R.A. obligations, check with your TPA to make sure it is complying with the changes.

What plans are covered?
Group health plans with 20 or more full-time/part-time employees.

What are the current regulations regarding notices?

Click here to read more


  You have received this newsletter because we have met in the past or are members of one of the many business or charitable groups that Alcott is involved in.

If you do not wish to receive future issues of The Alcott Advisor, please click UNSUBSCRIBE and type "Unsubscribe" in the subject line.

If this newsletter has been forwarded to you and you would like to receive future issues, please click SUBSCRIBE and type "Subscribe" in the subject line.

Is a PEO Right for You?
Take Alcott's SELF EVALUATION to learn if your company is a candidate for HR Outsourcing.

Complimentary HR Strategy Evaluation:
Is your HR shop in order? Do you have a focused HR strategy or is it something you just can't seem to get to? Alcott's on-site evaluation will help you create an actionable plan for addressing one of your most critical business processes. Click here to learn more.

Out and About on Long Island:
LISTnet HR SIG Meeting
Presentation on Succession Planning by Bruce Hammer, Ph.D., Hammer Associates, Ltd.
Date: Tuesday, Nov 30, 2004
Time: 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Location: Addeco, 145 Broadhollow Rd. Melville, NY 11747
RSVP to: Pam Bauman at (631)420-0100 or

LISTnet Twenty Top Techies (T3) Holiday Party
Date: Thursday, Dec 2, 2004
Time: 4:30PM - 9:00PM
Location: LI Technology Center, Great River, NY
RSVP to: Martha DiMartino at (631) 224-4400 or

HIA Seminar: The Basics of
E-mail Marketing

Presentation by John DeMartino of and David Pinkowitz of DCP Marketing Services
Date: Thursday, Dec 2, 2004
Time: 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Location: Sheraton Long Island (LIE Exit 53)
RSVP at:

HIA Luncheon with Ed Lowe of Newsday
Date: Wednesday, Dec 15, 2004
Time: 11AM - 1:30PM
Location: Sheraton Long Island (LIE Exit 53)
RSVP at:

The Alcott Advisor

October 2004
June 2004
April 2004

Copyright © 2004, The Alcott Group, 71 Executive Blvd, Farmingdale NY 11735, All Rights Reserved

Who We Are | What We Can Do for You | Our Program | Prospective Client | Advisor / Consultant | News & Events | Contact