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 ).

Atlassian’s presentation

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
more.

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:

Other presentations

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
  • Anna
    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’spresentation  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!