Business & Economy
The ‘Moneyball’ Approach to Business Hiring PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 15:01
Expert Offers Tips for Creating Championship Teams

Great coaches take into consideration an athlete’s talent and heart when they’re building a team, but they consider group dynamics, too, says entrepreneur J. Allan McCarthy.

“It’s not just a matter of getting the fastest, strongest and smartest players on your side,” says McCarthy, an international scaling expert and author of Beyond Genius, Innovation & Luck: The ‘Rocket Science’ of Building High-Performance Corporations (

“If you’re building a championship team, you’re gauging how the individual athletes fit together; how their personalities, talents, drive and abilities will mesh to meet the team’s goals. It’s exactly what you need to do to build a winning corporate team. As Michael Jordan, put it, ‘Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.’ ”

In the 2011 film Moneyball, Coach Billy Beane picks his players based on analysis and evidence, says McCarthy, who has worked with hundreds of companies. He doesn’t ever just “go with his gut.”

McCarthy provides key points for building a successful, effective team:

• Lead with a team, not a group: A team of leaders behaves very differently than a group of leaders. Many companies don’t know the difference. “It comes down to clear goals, interdependencies and rules of engagement,” McCarthy says, Every corporation claims to hire only the best and the brightest but it is evident that getting the best and brightest to function as a team can be a challenge.

• Know your goals: McCarthy cites Bill Gates – “Teams should be able to act with the same unity of purpose and focus as a well-motivated individual.” Many big-name CEOs like to say their talent runs free with innovative ideas. “It makes for compelling literature,” McCarthy says. But would that work on the football field? Corporations need their personnel to think out-of-the-box but also act in a prescriptive culture – to work within a system in order to achieve common objectives.

• Not everyone can be the coach – or the quarterback: The problem with executives is that they all want to lead and none want to follow, McCarthy says. A team made up of executives is like a group of thoroughbred stallions confined to a small space called an organization -- plenty of kicking, biting and discord. Thoroughbreds don’t naturally work well as a team. Better to define responsibilities that build a “foxhole mentality,” wherein one person has the gun, the other the bullets, McCarthy says. It’s in the best interests of both for each to succeed.

• The strongest teams are adept at resolving conflict: Hiring the best and the brightest should create a diverse, competent group — but inevitably these stallions generate friction that can sabotage company progress. So, sensitize team members to the early warning signs: know-it-all attitudes, multi-tasking during team meetings, exhibiting dominant behavior, not responding in a timely fashion or engaging in avoidance. Agree, as a team, on how to mutually manage and minimize counterproductive behaviors as they surface.

• Create individual and team agreements: Here is where the “rubber meets the road” – it’s the final stage of planning who will do what for team objectives, as well as a collective agreement on team rules and interdependencies. Ask individuals to openly commit to what they will do, and how the team is to function. The public declaration stresses employee obligation and collaborative management.

“We live in a 21st-century economy where speed and efficiency is a top priority, and that often means a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ mentality,” McCarthy says. “But you get the team that you plan for, not necessarily what you pay for. If time is money, then I’d invest it in creating and building a championship team.”

About J. Allan McCarthy

J. Allan McCarthy, principal of J.A. McCarthy & Affiliates, has more than 20 years of experience across 15 industries and more than 200 companies. He is a scaling expert who helps organizations determine how to best align strategy, structure and workforce capabilities. He earned his master’s of management from Golden Gate University, a Stanford University AEA MBA refresher, and has worked with many international companies, including Cisco Systems, Raychem Corporation, SAP Inc., Redback Networks, BEA Systems and Ericsson.

Governor Quinn Vetoes SB 1849 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 15:00

We missed an opportunity today to add 20,000 new jobs and generate more than $1 billion in one-time licensing fees and more than $200 million in new annual revenue. Despite efforts that would have satisfied the Governor's call for tighter restrictions and additional oversight, fiscal relief for the state has now been further delayed. Our leaders in Springfield are committed to getting us back onto steady financial footing and providing more economic opportunity to Illinois residents. We're confident that they will do what is necessary so the state can benefit from sorely needed jobs and revenue.

Former State Representative Bill Black, Chairman, The Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance

Need Work? Tech Companies are Hiring PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 14:11
Business Offers Insights for Future IT Job Candidates

“Do what you love” has been the advice embedded in American commencement speeches for decades. Now, however, it’s “do STEM’’ -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

“We have the brains, we have the educational capability and I’m pretty sure students want a job when they graduate high school and college. We do not have to go overseas to find our talent,” says decorated Army Ranger and entrepreneur Matthew Brosious, co-founder of The third-party logistics company and freight software technology provider does for freight shipping what Expedia does for travel.

Brosious’ company is hiring and, for students and people interested in new careers, what it’s seeking in job candidates offers valuable insights.

“A formal STEM education is not necessarily crucial to obtaining a job in a STEM career,” says Doug Walls,’s chief information officer. Walls initially started as the company’s IT administrator and after seven years is now CIO. According to Walls:

• Often times, the best developers are the ones who have a natural aptitude and an ability to comprehend emerging technologies.

• Web development and IT offer stable careers with plenty of opportunity for placement straight out of college.

• Web technology is increasingly going more mobile as users access the Internet via smart phones and tablets, so it’s important to continue to learn about new techniques to reach this group of users.

• Following development or IT blogs and news is an excellent way to stay ahead in a progressive field.

• Having a well-designed and developed personal site offers employers like us an insight into your skill level and allows us to determine how job seekers apply the knowledge they’ve learned in school or on the job.

Located in Florida’s Tampa Bay area, does well attracting qualified professionals, Brosious says. But job creators in other parts of the country may not be so lucky.

National statistics reveal a gap between STEM jobs and potential employees that will only grow wider if trends continue unchanged:

• Only about 6 percent of U.S. graduates leave college with a STEM-based degree, compared to 28 percent in Germany, 37 percent in South Korea and 47 percent in China, according to National Center for Education Statistics.

• STEM jobs are projected to grow twice as quickly as jobs in other fields in the next five years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics.

• Eighty percent of jobs in the next decade will require significant technical skills.

• Of the 20 fastest growing occupations projected in 2014, 15 will require considerable science and/or mathematics preparation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Brosious says getting young people interested in following a STEM track of education will require changes in the classroom beginning at an early age.

“Only one in five college students feel that their grade-school education prepared them very well for their STEM college courses,” he says, citing a recently published survey by Microsoft.

That study also indicates students who pursue STEM degrees do so because they’re inspired by a class or a teacher. And 16 percent more males than females are interested in those fields thanks to video games and clubs.

About is a third-party freight logistics company that uses web-based tools to help businesses and individuals with their shipping needs. It has garnered numerous awards, including Best Companies to Work For (2011, Florida Trend); Service Industry of the Year (2010, Pasco Economic Development Council) and Top 10 Websites (2010, BtoB marketing news magazine.) Matthew Brosious and his father, James, co-founded American Freight Cos. – the parent company of – in 1998 to facilitate freight shipping for household, business and enterprise shippers. The service enables customers to compare carriers’ rates, book LTL, truckload and specialized freight transportation and track shipments online.

Harkin, Wind Developer, Corn Farmers’ Statements on Romney and Republican’s Continued Obstruction of Wind Production Tax Credit PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Stephanie Palla   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 12:38

Newly-Released Romney Energy Plan Eliminates Wind PTC; Republicans Remove the Tax Credit from National Party Platform\

DES MOINES – U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, wind developer Rob Hach and corn farmer Bruce Rohwer released the following statements after learning that Governor Romney's energy plan unveiled today continues his call to eliminate the Production Tax Credit for wind. Earlier this week, GOP leaders decided to remove an extension of the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) from their draft party platform.

The GOP's decision to drop the wind PTC from its draft platform follows remarks by former Governor Mitt Romney saying he would allow the tax credit to lapse.  The wind PTC also would be allowed to expire under vice presidential candidate and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan's budget plan.

Statement from Senator Tom Harkin

“Given his supposed economic expertise and his claim to focus on job creation, it is puzzling that Governor Romney and Republican leaders advocate for the elimination of the wind production tax credit, which supports up to 7,000 jobs across Iowa and more than 75,000 jobs nationwide.  This is not a partisan issue.  The PTC helps create Made-in-America energy and supports American manufacturing.  That's why the vast majority of Iowans support the PTC. Governor Romney's stance on the PTC illustrates what is at stake in this election – an election where we can choose to go back or move forward with an economy built to last.”

Statement from Wind Developer Rob Hach (Alta, IA)

“Mitt Romney’s plan seems to be written by his big oil billionaire contributors as it continues to call for showering billions in subsidies and tax breaks for oil and gas companies, while seeing no real role for renewable energy. Corn and wind are strong sources of renewable energy, both of which are plentiful in Iowa.

“Thanks to the Obama Administration’s strong support for investing in the clean energy economy of the future, and specifically the wind production tax credit, wind energy is a national success story for Iowa. Romney’s Energy Plan, following his comments he would end the wind tax credit, does not see wind as capable of contributing meaningfully to our energy independence. I invite him to Western Iowa to see how the wind industry is supporting up to 7,000 jobs here, revitalizing many of our small towns and providing farmers suffering in this drought with a new source of reliable income.”

Statement from Corn Farmer Bruce Rohwer (Paullina, IA)

“As a farmer who has seen the promise of alternative fuels up close, I am deeply disappointed by Mitt Romney’s Energy Plan that just fuels our continuing addiction to oil instead of investing in the alternative fuels of the future. In fact, the words ‘ethanol’ and ‘biodiesel’ appear absolutely nowhere in his document. 83,000 jobs in Iowa are tied to the biofuels industry. President Obama’s sincere support for ethanol and biodiesel has given the nation a diversified energy portfolio. Imports of foreign oil are at their lowest levels in 16 years. Mitt Romney’s disastrous energy plan would halt all that progress in a flash. If he truly cared about achieving energy independence by 2020, he’d recognize and embrace the renewable energy sectors that Iowans, on a bipartisan basis, know have led to more uses of homegrown energy and less on imported foreign oil.”


New Building For Zimmerman Honda Set To Open Monday August 27, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Carol Slaughter   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 12:26
(Moline) – Zimmerman Honda will open the doors to the new Honda facility on Monday August 27, 2012. The $10 million completed
construction project is a state of the art building for today’s car buying and service needs.

The newly annexed property by the City of Moline is at 70th Street and John Deere Road in Moline. The building is 43,000 square feet that includes: Environmentally- friendly heating provided by waste-oil, Heated outside sidewalks, Modern waiting lounges with a computer center that has wifi access, 27 Service Bays, Three-lane “Express Lube” oil change stations, expanded hours in all departments and expanded shuttle services.

Honda has allocated additional inventory just for the celebration of the opening of the new dealership.

This year is also the 60th anniversary for Zimmerman Honda. The Moline dealership has vehicle sales, certified pre-owned sales, service and parts under one roof for the first time. The company has added 15 new employees to help staff the new building.

According to Mark Zimmerman, president of Zimmerman Honda, “this is exciting not only for our dealership and family but also for the community”.

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