We’re innovation experts, with a passion for collaboration and sharing knowledge – just like our namesake.

With over 16 years of expertise under our belt, we know that collaboration is key to innovation. Indeed, they are 2 sides of the same coin. Innovation leaders focus on innovation and growth and ideas-first. In contrast, people leaders focus on collaboration and people-first. But you can’t have ideas without people, and do you really want people without ideas?

Hargraves Institute started in 2006 with the commitment of 12 Founding Member organisations. Each supported Allan Ryan’s vision of a diverse community of practice for innovation and collaboration, built around sharing knowledge, wisdom and experience in a non-competitive environment. Today, we’ve grown into a vibrant, collaborative community of practice.

We take our name from the Australian aviation pioneer, innovator and inventor, Lawrence Hargrave, who believed passionately in open communication and collaboration. Co-created by our Founding Members, our Charter reflects Hargrave’s “willingness to share experience for the benefit of others”.

Our vision is to seek out new ways of working that inspire individuals to be their best, embracing collaboration and innovation in everything they do.

At Hargraves, we’re passionate about sharing your innovation journey and helping create opportunities for leaders and teams to make change happen.

With a mission to deliver tools and techniques for better ideas, better people and better performance, we’re committed to building diverse and innovative organisations every day. Our ‘People-First’ innovation and tools approach puts people at the core of innovation rather than ideas. That is, creating healthy collaboration habits in and across teams, exploring practical tools and techniques to boost performance and growth, and understanding your role in making innovation happen.

Draw on our unique experience to deliver an innovative approach with real benefits – for you, your team, and your organisation.

Our Team

Hargraves is led by founder Allan Ryan, a practical innovator and highly respected and experienced thought-leader, educator, facilitator and innovation coach.

Our team includes experts with hands-on experience in corporate and public sectors, with backgrounds in innovation, people and culture, training, process and idea development. In addition, to support our diverse agenda, we partner with experts to collaborate and share specific knowledge.

Hargraves Team Allan Ryan Tess Julian Sandra Loader Leisl Kimber

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 emulate his philosophy through innovation, collaboration, and community and take our name from the first commercially available aircraft built by Gabriel Voisin. Voisin called the box-wing cells’ Hargraves’.

Our HI Story

Our story began in 1999 when innovation wasn’t widely adopted. Many leaders were sceptical, branding it too hard, expensive and unproven. But Allan Ryan, as a CEO with 500+ staff, had experienced first-hand the success of inquiry and innovation. And with a background in engineering and an enquiring mind, he was curious.

Allan’s quest to understand innovation took him to the Australian Graduate School of Management to research innovation success in large organisations. He worked with the best local and global leaders of change and growth.

In 2002, combining his unique understanding of innovation, extensive experience and successful research, Allan started his consultancy, Managed Innovation International. His inquisitive mind and skill in asking different questions led to many successful projects with various organisations. And as a result, Allan learned what made some companies more successful. Moreover, he could definitively link an organisation’s results and performance to its approach to innovation. Further, he found that organisations faced similar challenges despite their differences.

Then in 2005, a conversation with a client, Roche, sparked a new and different idea. Roche asked:

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

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

Their answer 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.”

In 2006, with the commitment of 12 founding organisations, Hargraves commenced. An open, collaborative community underpinned by a Charter. Their objective, to enhance the international competitiveness and financial performance of Australian businesses through innovation, identify and exchange best practices, and network outside current industries to broaden business outlook.

Our Founding and Advisory Members and Alumni

We recognise these leading organisations who dreamt big alongside us to co-create our vision and Charter.
Roche Products, Cochlear, Jacobs Australia, Mars Food Australia, Selleys, Westpac Banking Corporation, BlueScope Steel, Australian Wool Innovation, Boeing Australia, Caltex Australia Petroleum, George Weston Technologies, Cerebos (Australia), Dulux, FIAL, Aristocrat Technologies Australia, AMP, Australian Department of Health, BGIS, CSIRO Future Industries Sector, CSR Building Products Limited

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