Search is on for clean tech leaders

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Thursday, February 24, 2011

By Peter Beland

A program created by a Portland investment firm seeks to spearhead the development of hot new clean tech companies by identifying proven leaders and bringing them together.

Pivotal Leaders, a program of Portland-based Pivotal Investments, was born out the idea that while the Pacific Northwest is burgeoning with great clean tech ideas, the region does not have enough senior level executives with sufficient business acumen to realize them all.

“There isn’t a strong ecosystem of business leadership at this stage,” says Pivotal Investments co-founder Gregory T. Semler,  “Great companies are driven by great people.”

While San Francisco has a robust network of business leaders rooted in decades of tech companies spawning spin-offs and attracting investments, “Oregon just doesn’t have that,” says Semler.

Pivotal Leaders could help change this situation in three ways, Semler says:

* Leaders get recognition and credibility - because they were selected and elected by their peers.

* Election also brings access to networking events with key players in the clean tech world. “You’re in a room with 50 to 60 leaders in the field. It’s designed for leaders to meet other leaders,” says Semler

* The program and its accomplishments get promoted through social media and a column for Sustainable Industries Journal.

Now in its second year, Pivotal Leaders today started asking for nominations of a new round of leaders throughout the Pacific Northwest. The nomination process will run through March 22nd.

Last year’s leaders included Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist for Microsoft, State Rep. Jules Bailey (D-Portland) and Skip Rung, the executive director of ONAMI.

After nominees are selected, they will then peer-select 40 or so Pivotal Leaders to be announced in late May. The winners will then be invited to convene in a Boeing Dreamliner in Seattle to meet with Boeing executives and discuss clean tech initiatives in the region.

Peter Beland is an associate writer for Oregon Business.

 

More Articles

Leading with the right brain

News
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.


Read more...

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


Read more...

The Bookseller

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Everyone knows college is expensive, but a look at the numbers brings that into sharp — and painful — focus.


Read more...

Streetfight

News
Sunday, December 07, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.


Read more...

A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE & KIM MOORE

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


Read more...

The short list: 5 hot coffee shops for entrepreneurs

Contributed Blogs
Friday, November 14, 2014

CupojoeBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.


Read more...

Downtime

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Bob Dethlefs, CEO of Evanta, balances work and play.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS