Here’s a pretty good article from Inc.’s latest Innovation Issue. The Innovation Factor: Inside the Idea Mill is about Augustine Medical, a small medical-devices producer in Minnesota. The article talks of how the company’s founder, Scott Augustine, has built a culture where constant tinkering and prototyping isn’t just encouraged but expected. Part of the success to this mantra has been in the hiring of theatre prop designers to complement the mechanical and biomedical engineers.
“Someone has a flash of inspiration about something they can do that’s different,” says Augustine, “but then a lot of the real innovation happens during prototyping, as the builder plays around with the specifics. We want people who can just start building whatever they can think of. A lot of engineers can’t go into a workshop and not cut their fingers off.”