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June 2009

Fields of few dreams

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Archives - June 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009

ATSWheatWhat will prices be at harvest this year? "That's literally the million dollar question," says Tammy Dennee, executive director of the Oregon Wheat Growers League.

 

Pay-by-the-mile insurance targets green drivers

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Archives - June 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009

ATSOdometerJeffrey Lang is hoping the time is finally right to change how drivers pay for car insurance. For years the president of Portland-based Gales Creek Insurance Services has lobbied lawmakers and insurance companies to make the shift to pay-by-the-mile auto insurance.

 

Greens washing

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Archives - June 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009

TacticsEnvironneSay you run a small company that sells a product you believe in passionately, something with enormous potential that has never quite been realized. How do you push it to the tipping point?

 

Dare to dream in a downturn

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Archives - June 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009

steve-BLOGDream or nightmare? It’s December 2007. The Dow hovers around 14,000, and although real estate prices are starting to stagnate, the biggest issue for most small businesses in Oregon is that gasoline is starting to top $3 a gallon.

 

Reader input: Green business practices

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Archives - June 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009
 

Anytime, anywhere

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Archives - June 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009

robin-medThere are lots of green awards out there. Seems like every newspaper, magazine, website, government agency, university and dogcatcher wants to honor a business' green product or green efforts.

 
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Growing a mobility cluster

News
Friday, October 31, 2014
0414 bikes bd2f6052BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland?  The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented.  But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.


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Shuffling the Deck

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JON BELL

Oregon tribes still bet on casinos.


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The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

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Thursday, November 20, 2014
kale-thumbnailBY OB STAFF

Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


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Leading with the right brain

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Tuesday, December 09, 2014
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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Tackling the CEO-worker pay gap

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY OREGON BUSINESS STAFF

An SEC rule targets the disparity between executive and employee compensation, reigniting a long-standing debate about corporate social responsibility.


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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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Election Season

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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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