By Bruce Harned, PDMA Carolinas Board Member
The most important people in your life show you who you really are. I’ve had many, but two stand out – Clayton Christensen (disruptive innovation) and M.J. Kirton (Kirton Adaption-Innovation or KAI). They are definers of the difference between adapting and innovating and they helped me understand that the market really needs two kinds of developers – ones who improve things and ones who break the mold.
I’ve spent most of my work life with companies with a focus on improving; on adjusting existing products and markets – Chevron Oil, Owens Corning, US GreenFiber. I learned the disciplines of product development well. But I lean toward mold breaking – not always of course - but if I see a breakthrough it’s the moth and streetlight thing. I enjoyed working in big corporations – but I was never encouraged to break any molds.
One thing about mold breaking: you’d better be comfortable managing risk, motivating and removing obstacles without much help. Developing that comfort was my biggest challenge when I left the safer corporate womb and took leadership roles in several mold breaking ventures. As it turns out, it’s where I fit.
In my latest venture at Citadel Protectants, we’re breaking the mold in the biotechnological control of insects with a new compound called VUAA1 (better branding on the way). As it turns out, our best promotion isn’t from us – it’s from Bill Gates. Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/BillGates?fref=nf and wish us luck!
Bruce Harned is President and COO at Citadel Protectants LLC - www.linkedin.com/pub/bruce-harned/5/4a5/343