About Us

We're innovation experts, with a difference

Hi, we’re Hargraves Institute, Australia’s first innovation consultancy founded on community and collaboration. But we’re innovation experts – with a difference. That difference is community, the understanding that collaboration is key to innovation, and innovation is essential to growth. 

We believe that people matter, and how they work together matters most. Our team of experts has a proven track record of delivering exceptional results, leveraging our unique combination of novel tools, proven processes and action-orientated learning. From culture and relationships to innovative outcomes and boosting performance and growth. We’re committed to helping you achieve your goals and drive lasting success.

We aim to create a lasting impact on organisations by placing people at the heart of transformative change, fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation that empowers leaders and teams to reach their full potential.

Our services include:

Facilitation: Project delivery and execution: We work with your teams to define problems, generate ideas and implement solutions. How: using our DECODE process, including interviews, surveys, pre-workshops, assessments, and perception mapping.

Team Coaching: We guide leaders and teams to develop skills to navigate complex situations and achieve. How: we embed tools, process, habits and behaviours for ongoing impact.

Program design and delivery: We research, develop and deliver programs in innovation, collaboration, gender diversity, facilitation and leadership. How: we research your needs and customise programs to ensure they are relevant and effective, developing your people through workshops, training, tools and soft skills.

Workshop facilitation: Developed through extensive research, collaboration and expertise, we have unique methods for structuring group conversations to explore issues, make decisions and achieve outcomes.

Our areas of expertise include: 

Team Coaching: innovation and collaboration.

Diversity: Women at Work and Inclusive Leadership.

Collaborative Leadership: leading teams in today’s environment.

Strategic Mindset: tools and techniques to help individuals effectively execute strategy.

Soft skills: people, tools and training to deliver ongoing impact.

Facilitation Training: accelerate outcomes through internal facilitation using existing tools to reduce time and cost.

Employee Recognition: capturing, analysing and recognising the stories of change, improvement and innovation.

Our ‘People-First’ (Innovation and Tools) Approach 

Rooted in insight and rigour, our ‘People-First’ Approach places people, processes, ideas, and collaboration at the core of our strategies while leveraging proven tools and processes.

  • Listening is important, but first, you must ask the right question. Our Better Questions Approach includes open questions, cards and canvases that focus on allowing people to raise issues safely, stimulate discussion and ideas, and agree on actions.
  • Our Collaboration Framework helps leaders and teams explore the habits and behaviours that underpin healthy collaboration.
  • Our Innovation Mindset Framework identifies your innovation strengths and role in helping innovation happen.
  • 123 Innovate (See Think Do) to see opportunities and think through ideas and challenges.
  • Storytelling to explore and capture how and where innovation is happening.
  • Our DECODE Process for problem-solving through creativity, collaboration and innovation. Including Sensemaking to unravel complex challenges and arrive at practicable actions and Perception Mapping to show how concepts are linked and illustrate inter-dependencies.

And Serious Fun, to enhance collaboration, productivity, and well-being. The ‘fun’ aspect entails engaging people in activities that foster stronger relationships, creativity, and innovation. Yet ‘serious’ as participants tackle real issues, develop outcomes, and commit to action and driving change.

Our Values

  • Impact: We want to see real impact with results that exceed expectations and delight our clients.
  • Integrity: We build relationships based on trust and transparency.
  • Inclusion: We focus on hearing all voices and people to make change happen.

Why are we called ‘Hargraves Institute’?

Our name recognises the Australian aviation pioneer Lawrence Hargrave, innovator and inventor of the box kite. Hargrave believed passionately in open communication. He refused to patent his inventions, instead allowing them to benefit anyone who wished to use them.

We take our name from the first commercially available aircraft built by Gabriel Voisin. Voisin called the box-wing cells’ Hargraves’. With our Charter reflecting that same “willingness to share experience for the benefit of others”.

Our HI Story

Our story began in 1999. Innovation wasn’t widely adopted — unless you were Apple and about to release the first iPod, or Microsoft launching their ‘new’ Windows 98. But for most leaders, innovation was considered too hard, expensive, and unproven. 

Allan Ryan was an experienced CEO with over 500 staff, a background in engineering, and a fascination with how things work. And he’d experienced firsthand how ideas and innovation could transform an organisation and its people.

Curious, he embarked on a quest to explore innovation success in large organisations. Landing at the Australian Graduate School of Management, he worked with the best local and global leaders of change and growth.

In 2002, armed with extensive research and a unique understanding of the drivers behind innovation and success, Allan started his first consultancy, Managed Innovation International.

Using his theories and hands-on experience, Allan delivered successful project outcomes for his many clients. At the same time, he found that even vastly different organisations faced similar challenges and learned why some companies were more successful than others.

Importantly, Allan could definitively link an organisation’s results and performance to its people and approach to innovation. 

Then, in 2005, Roche (a long-term client) asked:

“How do we learn – how do we excel – when we’re already very, very good?”

  • How can organisations continue to grow and improve?
  • Where does new knowledge come from?
  • How do we know if something works – or not?
  • How can we short-cut trial and error and fast-track success?

The answer they arrived at was to:

“have conversations with diverse companies that are very good and meet people who are different and who we can talk to about their experiences.”

So, in 2006, with the commitment of 12 Australian and global organisations, Hargraves was established as a collaborative member community underpinned by a Charter and shared purpose “to help Australia become more innovative through collaboration and collective wisdom.”

Over the years, we’ve transformed into an open, collaborative community of leaders, team members, individuals, global partners, and experts. We empower leaders and teams through our People-First Approach, with tools and resources that benefit everyone. 

Innovation is a 21st century skillset
Community, collaboration and innovation. It’s in our DNA.

Thanks to our Founding Members:

  • Roche Products
  • Cochlear
  • Jacobs Australia
  • Mars Food Australia
  • Westpac Banking Corporation
  • BlueScope Steel
  • Australian Wool Innovation
  • Boeing Australia
  • Caltex Australia Petroleum
  • Aristocrat Technologies Australia
  • George Weston Technologies
  • Cerebos (Australia)

And our Advisory Members: Dulux, Food Innovation Australia Limited, AMP, Australian Department of Health, BGIS, CSIRO Future Industries Sector, Selleys, CSR Building Products Limited.

Tess Julian discussing the diversity canvas

Need some ideas or a custom solution?

We’ve been helping leaders, teams and organisations for almost 20 years. We can help you too.

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