Business & Economy
Tips for Creating Championship Teams in Business PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 28 September 2012 15:36

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 Meets with Brazilian Transportation Minister and Education Leaders PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Erin Wilson   
Friday, 28 September 2012 13:59


For updates on Governor Quinn’s trip, visit or follow him on Twitter at @GovernorQuinn. More information about Illinois trade and business opportunities can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website at



Governor Quinn Announces Agreements to Strengthen Partnership, Investment Between Illinois and Brazil PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Erin Wilson   
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 13:39

Partnerships Reflect Joint Commitment to Boosting Manufacturing, Biotechnology, Education and Agriculture

RECIFE, BRAZIL – September 26, 2012. Continuing his economic trade mission in Brazil, Governor Pat Quinn today visited Recife where he announced major steps to build upon Illinois’ role as a leading competitor in the global marketplace. While in Recife, the Governor administered several economic development and education agreements that will help pave the way for continued trade and innovation between Illinois and Brazil.

“I am committed to ensuring that Illinois is a top competitor in today’s global marketplace,” Governor Quinn said. “The agreements and programs our two regions are announcing today build upon our effort to expand our economies, while also boosting innovation and growing technologies.”

The agreements signed today include a sister river agreement between the state of Illinois and Pernambuco, Brazil. Under the agreement, the regions will work together to share policies and innovative ideas to maintain and conserve the Illinois and Capibaribe Rivers, as well as the promotion of economic development for these two vital waterways through sustainable commercial and navigational uses and eco-friendly tourism and recreation activities.

Earlier this week during the trade mission, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) and the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo, Brazil (FIESP) signed an agreement to promote trade and investment between Illinois and Brazilian manufacturing companies. This agreement will pave the way for Illinois companies to gain improved access to FIESP member companies and ease their entry into the Brazilian market.  In particular, Governor Quinn's focus on the Doing Business with Illinois program and the IMA-FIESP agreement will help Illinois companies maximize business opportunities resulting from the billions of dollars Brazil’s government plans to invest in improving its transportation infrastructure across the country.

On Monday, the Governor also supervised a separate agreement between BIO- RIO, Brazil's leading biotechnology association, and the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition, a public-private organization that cultivates and attracts research and technology-based investment in the state.  Among other key activities covered in the agreement, BIO-RIO, which recently opened a Chicago office,  will coordinate Brazil’s pavilion and have a presence at the April 2013 BIO International Convention in Chicago.  The BIO Convention is the largest gathering of biotech firms in the world.  The agreement creates an important platform for communication and exchange between the organizations and their members to promote collaboration in research, talent and trade and investment opportunities across the life sciences sector.

During the mission, Governor Quinn also promoted Illinois' world class educational institutions and presided over agreements between several educational institutions in Illinois and Brazil that are designed to attract greater numbers of Brazilian students to the State. These agreements promote joint teaching and research opportunities, faculty and student exchanges and other educational opportunities to foster a collaborative relationship between the partner institutions. Partner institutions include:

  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Campinas, the premier university in São Paulo;
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Federal University of Pernambuco, one of Brazil’s top universities;
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and State University of Pernambuco, a public state university located in Recife;
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES), the federal agency that oversees graduate education in Brazil;
  • DePaul University and CAPES;
  • The Illinois Institute of Technology and CAPES;
  • The Illinois Institute of Technology and Northeast Center for Strategic Technologies, a research unit under the Brazilian government; and
  • Kendall College and the University of Anhembi Morumbi, one of three private universities in São Paulo.

At each of the three stops in São Paulo, Brasilia, and Recife, Governor Quinn is holding meetings with key private sector leaders, top government officials and potential trading partners in order to open up more markets to Illinois companies. Among the senior Brazilian officials meeting with Gov. Quinn are Geraldo Alckmin, Governor of the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s economic engine and most populous state.

Gov. Quinn’s schedule also includes meetings with Minister of Education Aloizio Mercadante Oliva; Minister of Transportation Paulo Sergio Passos; Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Fernando Pimentel; Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Marco Antonio Raupp; US Ambassador to Brazil Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.; and Governor of the Central Bank of Brazil Alexandre Antonio Tombini; as well as other Brazilian government and business leaders.

Before departing on Friday, Governor Quinn and the Illinois trade mission delegation will also meet with more than 60 business leaders from the State of Pernambuco, including Gov. Eduardo Henrique Accioly Campos, as guests of the American Chamber of Commerce in Recife. He will also tour infrastructure projects at the Port of Suape and view Illinois-based Ingredion Inc's facility in Pernambuco, Brazil.

For updates on Governor Quinn’s trip, visit or follow him on Twitter at @GovernorQuinn. More information about Illinois trade and business opportunities can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website at


Secretary Vilsack Announces Soybean Board Appointments PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 09:16

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2012 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the appointment of 16 members to the United Soybean Board.

"These appointees represent a cross section of the soybean industry and I am confident that they will serve the soybean producers well," said Vilsack.

Appointed Soybean Board members are as follows: James H. Carroll, III, Arkansas; Walter L. Godwin, Georgia; David P. Hartke, Illinois; Mark A. Seib, Indiana; Laura L. Foell, Iowa; Dennis R. Clark, Kentucky; Raymond S. Schexnayder, Jr., Louisiana; James A. Call, Minnesota; Todd A. Gibson, Missouri; Mark Caspers, Nebraska; Morris L. Shambley, North Carolina; Jay M. Myers, North Dakota; John B. Motter, Ohio; Jim Musser, Pennsylvania; David G. Iverson, South Dakota; and Robert W. White, Jr., Virginia.

The 69-member board is authorized by the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act. The Secretary selected the appointees from soybean producers nominated by Qualified State Soybean Boards. All appointees will serve 3-year terms beginning December 2012.

Research and promotion programs are industry-funded, authorized by Congress, and date back to 1966, when Congress passed the Cotton Research and Promotion Act. Since then, Congress has authorized the establishment of 20 research and promotion boards. They empower farmers and ranchers to leverage their own resources to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which ensures fiscal responsibility, program efficiency and fair treatment of participating stakeholders.


Braley Applauds Senate Bill Passage, Protecting Marshalltown Manufacturing Jobs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Amanda Bowman   
Monday, 24 September 2012 14:55

Braley-authored language reverses regulation threatening Marshalltown refrigeration manufacturer

Waterloo, IA – In the early morning of Saturday, September 22nd, the United States Senate passed language that is nearly identical to the Better Use of Refrigerator Regulations (BURR) Act introduced by Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03). This bill removes burdensome government regulations that threatened the future of manufacturing of refrigerated deli-style display cases in the United States.

Lennox Industries, Inc., which makes the deli-style display cases covered by the regulation, has a manufacturing facility in Marshalltown, Iowa, that employs about 1,000 people.  The adoption of this bill will help protect Iowa manufacturing jobs.

“I’m proud to continue working across the aisle in the House and Senate to remove these regulations that are putting Iowa jobs at risk,” said Braley. “The Department of Energy had effectively outlawed refrigerated display cases found in grocery stores and delis and that was completely unfair to manufacturing in Iowa. We’re making progress to fix this misguided regulation. Passing this language is an example of getting results by putting politics aside, and coming together to fight for common sense solutions that save jobs in Iowa.”

The problem remedied by this language stems from the federal government’s interpretation of a 2005 law that increases energy efficiency standards for appliances.  The Department of Energy believed it was required by law to include refrigerated deli display cases in the same category as standard refrigerators.  However, the inherent design of such display cases makes it impossible for the equipment to reach the minimum efficiency standards set forth for refrigerators in the 2005 law, effectively outlawing their manufacture in the United States.

Braley and Westmoreland’s Better Use of Refrigerator Regulations Act creates a new energy efficiency category for refrigerated deli-style display cases, effectively reversing the regulation and safeguarding the product’s continued manufacture in Marshalltown and other locations in the US.  This language passed the Senate as an amendment to H.R. 4850, the Enabling Energy Saving Innovations Act. It previously passed the House with overwhelming support on June 21, 2012, as an amendment to HR 4480, the Strategic Energy Production Act of 2012.

A copy of the Better Use of Refrigerator Regulations Amendment can be downloaded at the following link:

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