Port electricians resume work

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Must Reads
Thursday, August 16, 2012

Longshoremen at the Port of Portland stood aside as union electricians resumed disputed work.

 

Portland home sales start seasonal slowdown

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Must Reads
Thursday, August 16, 2012

Seasonal sales in the Portland-area real estate market began cooling in July, but prices continued to climb.

 

Geothermal heats up in Oregon

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Must Reads
Thursday, August 16, 2012

Momentum is picking up in Oregon for geothermal projects, with 330 megawatts of new projects in development.

 

Wind makes 10.5% of Oregon electricity

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Must Reads
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

10.5% of the electricity generated in Oregon comes from wind farms, the sixth highest rate in the nation.

 

Facebook plans third data center

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Must Reads
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Facebook has filed plans for a third data center in Prineville, a smaller facility of about 62,000 square feet.

 

Boeing benefits Gresham

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Must Reads
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Boeing's new chemical processing plant cements the company as the largest manufacturing employer in Gresham.

 

Portland home affordability slips

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Must Reads
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Price gains hurt the ability of Portland-area families to buy a home.

 
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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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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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The short list: Holiday habits of six Oregon CEOs

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Corner Office: Sheree Arntson

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