JACKSON COUNTY

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Archives - August 2007
Wednesday, August 01, 2007

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A new enterprise zone in Jackson County was established July 1. Portions of the square mile of land are scattered between Butte Falls and the city of Rogue River. To attract new companies and help existing ones grow in the region, new buildings and equipment will be exempt from taxes for the first three years. Ron Fox, director of Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc, says three existing zones have spurred the investment of $172.5 million and the creation of 2,123 new jobs, and he hopes the new zone will produce comparable results. Though confidentiality agreements prevent Fox from revealing names, he says both existing and new businesses are interested in the opportunity.

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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.

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