August 2009

Gathering wool

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Archives - August 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tactics_Pendleton_1Set against the dry blue sky and bleached hills on the outskirts of town, the 100-year-old Pendleton Woolen Mills is an icon to the town and a brand that is the essence of Americana. But to its president, it’s also something more visceral.

 

Give yourself permission to play

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Archives - August 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009

This wonderful time of year is when we remember that a small business can be both a blessing and a curse.

 

 

Reader input: Planes, trains and cutbacks

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Archives - August 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
 

Grazie, all you geeks

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Archives - August 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
 
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Free Falling

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The implosion of the energy complex: The best thing for low oil prices is low oil prices.


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Behind the curtain: What students should know about accreditation and rankings

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How important are institutional and/or program evaluations provided by third parties in selecting a college or university program?


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2014 was a year of wild contradictions, fast-paced growth and unexpected revelations.


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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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Legislative Preview: A Shifting Balance

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Democratic gains pave the way for a revival of environment and labor bills as revenue reform languishes.


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Each month for Oregon Business, we assess factors that are shaping current capital market activity—and what they mean to investors. Here we take a look at two major developments regarding possible rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


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Growing a mobility cluster

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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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