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So – “do you celebrate the misfits” or focus on a strong “team” ?

An interesting article about the culture of “Atlassian” – which sort of resonates with me ……
However, so does Steve Jobs” Apple philosophy on celebrating the misfits.


frank.chung@news.com.au wrote an interesting article on the cultural shift at Atlassian after interviewing Atlassian head of talent Bek Chee.

Atlassian want to more fairly measure people on how they bring their whole self to work, and they want to reward the right behaviours. 

The $47 billion Australian software company, Atlassian is completely overhauling how they conduct performance reviews, by de-biasing the performance system and taking into account an employee’s entire contribution to the company’s culture.

They says it will no longer tolerate “brilliant jerks” who deliver results for the company but make life hell for their co-workers.

The performance review will now have very little  to do with job skills. That is just a given and an opening hand to be at the table!

Two-thirds of every review will be given to how each of its 3000 employees impacts others on their team, and to how they live the company values. 

The Values of Team and Collaboration lead to high performance and this will be encouraged !!

3 Grading Levels in the performance review 

A crowdsourced idea from its employees, performance is  graded on one of three levels based on “growth mindset language” 

  • rather than a score, they either get an “exceptional year”, 
  • a “great year” or 
  • an “off year”.

Atlassian also encourages peer feedback. 

Does the person sap energy or create energy?

“Your teammate can say, ‘This person really did support the work I was trying to do or went above and beyond to help me’,”

“Or on the flip side you may have a colleague where (you think), ‘My gosh just working with them takes time away from me to make up for their work.’”

Social conscious is important to the millennial and gen Y and Z crowd  and is integral to their value system. The corporate culture needs to align with this. 

The company needs to walk the talk – no bullshit and all talk 

“Our top performers we know nail it in terms of living values and being part of the team and delivering in their role,” Bek said.

It’s interesting to how different the above approach is to the values of Apple –

The Apple Manifesto

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

— Steve Jobs, 1997”

A culture of team and encouraging misfits, genius and brilliant jerks …..

Is their a place for both? 

Posted on August 9, 2019

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