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:  and wish us luck!

Bruce Harned is President and COO at Citadel Protectants LLC  -