Nov/Dec 2012

Staying alive

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Articles - Nov/Dec 2012
Monday, November 05, 2012

1112 StayingAlive 01Post recession, Oregon's construction and building industry is a tentative mix of highs and lows.

 

The connection

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Articles - Nov/Dec 2012
Monday, November 05, 2012

1112 Tactics 02Feeney Wireless is one of the fastest-growing companies in the booming wireless mobile and “machine-to-machine” market.

 

Cheaper quake solution

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Articles - Nov/Dec 2012
Monday, November 05, 2012

1112 GamePlan CoreFirstCoreFirst has developed a seismic retrofit system involving steel-constructed, cartridge-style "safe zones" that can be installed in existing school buildings and cost 75% less than a full retrofit.

 

American-made plan in the bag

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Articles - Nov/Dec 2012
Monday, November 05, 2012

1112 GamePlan WiggysIf Doug Hoschek can’t get REI to consider carrying a line of sleeping bags, then probably no one can.

 

The party line

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Articles - Nov/Dec 2012
Monday, November 05, 2012

1112 ByTheNumbers MapOregonians who don’t want to join either the Democratic or Republican party have increased dramatically since the last presidential election.

 

Sean Robbins balances life, work, play

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Articles - Nov/Dec 2012
Monday, November 05, 2012

1112 LiveWorkPlay SeanRobbinsIn August 2011, Sean Robbins became chief executive of Greater Portland Inc., a public-private partnership focused on increasing the vitality of the Portland-Vancouver region.

 

Cooking clean

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Articles - Nov/Dec 2012
Monday, November 05, 2012

1112 Launch EcoZoomBen West was working for a trucking company in Tennessee, “getting good raises and good bonuses,” when he realized the work wasn’t making him feel good about what he was doing.

 
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Editor's Letter: Power Play

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


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