Nike brand president to retire

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Must Reads
Friday, June 21, 2013

Nike brand president Charlie Denson is retiring in January. Current executive of brand and category management Trevor Edwards will replace him.

 

Saboteurs destroy genetically modified beets

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Saboteurs destroyed two fields of genetically modified sugar beets in southern Oregon.

 

Portland home prices surge 12 percent

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Portland-area home prices are up 12% year-over-year.

 

PGE says bidding process was fair

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Portland General Electric responded to critics, saying its recent competitive bidding process for new resources was fair.

 

Fast food restaurants change with the times

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Must Reads
Friday, June 21, 2013

A Hillsboro McDonald's and Tigard Burgerville are among local quick service restaurants that are changing their looks.

 

Shared Housing program shuts down

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Must Reads
Friday, June 21, 2013

The Shared Housing program for Ecumenical Ministries is shutting down a service that helped people rent rooms at reduced prices, due to Portland city budget cuts.

 

GOP seeks $150M tax break for biz owners

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Must Reads
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Oregon Republicans are seeking a $150 million tax break for some business owners to protect them from the state's high income tax.

 
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Tackling the CEO-worker pay gap

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


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Water World

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Fred Ziari aims to feed the global population.


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Historically, when the leaves fall, so do the markets. This year, earnings, Europe, energy and Ebola have in common? Beyond alliteration, they are four factors that the investors are pointing to for this year’s seasonal volatility.


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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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A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy

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Oregon Business reports on the visa squeeze, the skills gap and foreign-born residents who are revitalizing rural Oregon.


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I Know How You Feel

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Most smartphones come equipped with speech recognition systems like Siri or Cortana that are capable of understanding the human voice and putting words into actions. But what if smartphones could do more? What if smartphones could register feeling?


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