The Atlassian Talent team had been invited to present to HR professionals at the HRfutures conference in Melbourne. The key emphasis of this conference was to familiarise the HR audience with emerging Web2.0 technology and it’s effect on the industry.
I was very excited to receive an invitation from Michael Specht
as I was keen to share my own experiences after joining Atlassian and
being confronted with the power and opportunities of this technology.
For me it was a lot fun to use the 50 minutes I was allocated to present to describe the ‘before Atlassian and after Atlassian’ shot of how I lived as an employee and HR professional.
Although many HR folks hear or read about the technology and its
advantages, they don’t always see what all the fuss is about. Terms
like a Wiki and Web2.0 still sound like ‘something to do with IT’. (I
know, because I used to be one of them ).
For the first part of the presentation I focused on my personal experiences.
That was easy, as all I had to do was to talk about my frustrations
with recruitment and induction in my time before Atlassian. I
explained how difficult it was for me as candidate to get a real
insight in the company’s culture before deciding to get on board.
Information on the company website and in the annual report had been
designed by the marketing and HR teams, and were more aimed at selling
the company to prospective employees. Once I was hired, I also found it
challenging to find the right information or feedback about existing
processes that I was given the task of being responsible for going forward.
Information was missing or hadn’t been recorded in a smart way. Also, the
way in which I was introduced to my new colleagues could have been improved.
Atlassian’s open culture and their use of Web2.0 technology has
resolved many of these issues. Since joining Atlassian I have learned
that things can be done so much simpler and more efficiently. For me,
Web2.0 is not only a technology platform but something that has allowed
me to rethink traditional HR methodologies, such as induction,
communication of complex HR processes, objectives setting and
displaying, engaging staff in HR decision making, recruitment and much
In the second part I really wanted to show some examples on how our team puts Web2.0 into practice
and how it helps us to manage and deliver better HR initiatives.
Without visuals, the concepts and advantages are harder to explain to
people who have never seen a Wiki. So, I asked for the expertise of Matt Hodges , who miraculously converted my script into some cool videos. Together we
set to the conference to present to an Atlassian lov’n crowd . See Matt’s great videos below:
There were also a number of other very interesting presentations that were
well worth listening to. Just some highlights from my personal notes:
- Stephen Collins gave a presentation on his TED
experiences. Stimulating talk. I liked his references to the power of
good leadership and the way Web2.0 has helped us to rethink existing
ways of doing things. I think we are on the right track
- Great presentation by Anne Bartlett-Bragg
about new ways of learning through using Web2.0 technology. I liked
Anna’s reference to learning how to play tennis; you learn faster by
playing with someone who is just a bit better then you, not necesarrily
by playing Federer. The style of traditional ‘teachers’/'experts’ will
need to change. Instead of simply transferring information, they more
facilitate the process and act as a trusted resource who guide and provide advice, or help to establish learners’ networks
also explained how learning can be much more effective when people are
encouraged to participate; getting a new staff member to create funny
videos about potential OHS risks is much more fun and memorable then
learning OHS rules using a boring e-learning platform. Added bonus is
that the information is more likely to resonate, especially if you
share your creations with other learners. It’s all about making the
learning process personalised, informal, collaborative, and engaging.
- IBM was represented by Jasmin Tragas who presented
on how people traditionaly create barriers to learning by putting
themselves in a box. Web2.0 helps people free themselves and interact
with different people or access different information. I liked their
use of Second Life to get people from different continents together. I
was a bit surprised to hear that only a relatively low percentage of
IBM staff regularly use their own internal Wikis. That’s a bit
different from Atlassian’s 100% uptake, but I guess it may be a bit
easier for a smaller business like ours.
- Thomas Shaw’s presentation was more focussed on recruitment. He suggested some interesting Websites to check out, such as: Wink People Search for background checks and JobMachine searches quick resume searches via Google.
- Michael Park from Deacons talked about legal implications regarding Wikis.
- Sean Lew from Bearingpoint explained the concepts of enterprise Wikis. Interestingly, just before the conference was about to start, Sean
expressed his congratulations for our CEO Mike who had just been
elected as one of the Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum. I think Sean knows more about Atlassian than I do! At least he knows more about Confluence!