March 2013

Tactics: Brammo

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Articles - March 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013

0313 Tactics 01In retrospect, it seems almost inevitable that a supremely innovative, self-confessed “gearhead” like Craig Bramscher would eventually conceive the idea of building the world’s most advanced electric-powered motorcycle.

 

Rank and file: sick leave

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Articles - March 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013

0313 FOB RankAndFile SickLeavePortland may soon mandate that all businesses with more than six employees provide paid sick leave, joining Seattle, San Francisco and Washington D.C., as one of the few cities to offer the benefit.

 

Getaround expands in Portland

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Articles - March 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013

0313 FOB Dispatches CarSharing 02Getaround, a personal car-sharing startup, kicked off a three-month Portland ad campaign last month, with print, online, radio and TriMet bus ads aimed at raising the company’s profile in the city’s expanding but increasingly crowded car-sharing market.

 

Lighting the way

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Articles - March 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013

0313 FOB Dispatches LightFixtures"How may I light your world?” asks Kay Newell as a potential customer walks through her door. Newell, also known as the Light Bulb Lady, is the founder and owner of Sunlan Lighting.

 

Food for thought

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Articles - March 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013

0313 FOB GamePlan CulinarySchoolFor many people around the country, Portland sounds like a place where the streets are paved with bacon-maple doughnuts, meticulously roasted coffee and artisan charcuterie. Yes, the city has a vibrant culinary scene, but it also is a hub of food banks, stores and eateries touting local- food sourcing, farmers markets and community gardens.

 

Building urban community: Living Room Realtors

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Articles - March 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013

0313 FOB GamePlan LivingRoomRealtorsOn a recent Tuesday morning, the Southeast Portland office of Living Room Realtors feels more like a Pearl District art gallery than, well, a real estate company. About 30 people are milling about a warehouse-style space featuring an open-cubicle environment, exposed brick walls and a collage series made of recycled packaging labels resembling brightly colored flowers.

 

State prisons by the numbers

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Articles - March 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013

0313 FOB ByTheNumbers StatePrisonsIn December a 12-member public safety commission convened by Gov. Kitzhaber delivered its final report, which is expected to impact budget decisions in the current legislative session. The report zeroed in on the Department of Corrections and recommended sentence reductions and cost-effective alternatives to incarceration. The goal is to reduce the state’s rising prison population and prevent an estimated $600 million increase in costs over the next 10 years.

 
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Political Clout

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Businesses spend billions of dollars each year trying to influence political decision makers by piling money into campaigns.


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Election Season

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We didn’t intend this issue to have an election season theme. But politics has a way of seeping into the cracks and fissures.


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Justice for All

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Corner Office: Sheree Arntson

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Checking in with the managing director of Arnerich Massena.


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Everyone knows college is expensive, but a look at the numbers brings that into sharp — and painful — focus.


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Leading with the right brain

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120914-manderson-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

On the eve of the Portland Ad Federation's Rosey Awards, Matt Anderson, CEO of Struck, talks about the transition from creative director to CEO, the Portland talent pool and whether data is the new black in the creative services sector.


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Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
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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