Here’s a company with a big heart and purse strings to match – ‘Conscious Capitalism’ in action

Atlassian Group PhotoAtlassian is an Australian software company that lives, works and plays by its noble cause and values. The people at Atlassian exist not only to provide quality software to corporate Australia and the rest of the world but also to help companies share information, be more collaborative and help people all over the world to live better, more purposeful lives with deeper and richer relationships. They are certainly on track to doing just that.

I would like to thank my colleague Anita Kropacsy of Leaders of Distinction who shared this wonderful story with me about Atlassian, a young and vibrant company that deserves highlighting for all of the right reasons. Together, in our work, Anita and I seek to showcase forward thinking organisations that add a huge dose of social awareness and action as a key part of their business model. We call it R.O.I. + I. (Return on Investment and Integrity). Not only are they great employers and successful businesses, but also their social consciousness is front and centre of their strategy, not an ‘add on.’ They and many other youthful companies like them are the new breed of business leaders of this new millennium who bring with them a wider global view than just the fortunes of their own company. Here’s their story.

Since 2010 Atlassian has donated more than $2.5 million to help women in developing countries to gain access to education through donating 100% of all income from a software tool that supports start-up businesses and not-for-profits (which they give licences to use the software for a mere $10). Talk about a win-win-win-win.  They have been heard to say that they try to aim for a ‘win’ to the power of six!

They have one of the most innovative teams around, and that doesn’t happen by accident.  Everything in their business exudes absolute transparency. Regardless of whether it is practical or impractical, all information both internal and external is made public.  They are not afraid of being honest with themselves; with their staff; with their customers and with the community at large.

It’s not just the transparency that helps to create an atmosphere of innovation and productivity though – they have structures and systems and they invest heavily into believing in their team’s ability to be creative.

Atlassian PeopleEvery quarter they have what they call ‘Shipit’ days, where everyone in the company is invited to come up with an idea and work on whatever they want to work on as long as it fits within Atlassian’s business scope. They back this up even further and offer the staff 20% time where anyone who wins backing from the team from their ‘Shipit’ presentation can spend 20% of their work week (and pick whomever they want on their team) to turn their idea into reality.  This has also helped them to develop some fantastic project management and collaboration software.  They have also just run their first ‘Shipit’ day for their customers who might have some great ideas on how to improve their products and services.  That’s smart!

Atlassian builds its business with heart and with balance.  While the company works incredibly hard at producing outstanding software that improves the lives of the people using it (making their life easier and less stressful/more free and transparent), each person within the 600 strong team situated over three continents volunteers five days per year to their favourite charity, supported by Atlassian. The company also runs programmes such as ‘matching donation month’ where it matches the donations that staff put into their charities out of their own pockets. Atlassian is always looking for ways that it can give back to the wider community in which it operates.

The leaders support their stakeholders in any way that they can – including engaging them in major company decisions; putting their large orders in to their suppliers where ever possible in the suppliers quiet periods; generally considering absolutely anyone whose life could be impacted in any way by their company with absolute compassion; and with everyone’s best interest at heart.

Atlassian Staff on TrikesIt’s not all just hard (yet fun and engaging) work at Atlassian either.  They have computer games, music, pool tables, Wii carts… they are even supplied with tricycles with which to ride around the office, fully equipped with a stubby cooler on the front and a basket on the back ready for 4pm Friday drinks.

The architecture at the Atlassian building hasn’t happened by accident either.  It is light, bright, spacious… all of the things that have been scientifically proven to enhance creative activity in the brain.  They are on to everything here.Atlassian Atrium

Atlassian is one of the fastest growing companies in Australia and has been acknowledged as being amongst the top ten best employers in Australia for the last three years running. Its founders are recognised by the BRW young rich list as being the two wealthiest individuals in Australia under the age of 40. In a recent interview, they were asked what is it that makes their company so successful. Their answer was that they have meaningful core values, they work hard to get the right people on board and they implement world best practices and business systems that support their core values and innovation (and they have also happen to have attracted the attention of industry greats such as Gary Hamel and Dan Pink).

Atlassian are a key driver in a new business concept called ‘Conscious Capitalism.’ Chances are we are going to hear a whole lot more about this in our world over the next few years, as more and more business leaders discover that there are more fulfilling ways to achieve business success where profitability, sustainability and ‘making a difference’ go hand in hand.

What are your thoughts on ‘Conscious Capitalism’? I’d love to read them.

Drop me an email to if you would like to discuss further how to create the environment that attracts and retains the young leaders of the future for your organisation.

Until then… Let’s seek to understand more and judge less. Have a great week – Brian

Precision ProfilingWhat Makes You Tick? Through ‘Motivational Fingerprinting’ we uncover what you do, how you do it and why you do it, and most importantly, the hidden patterns that lead to your success, and that of your team.

About Brian Clark

Brian Clark is the principal director of Precision Profiling®.

He is a renowned practitioner, writer and speaker on building total customer cultures; values driven leadership and world best practice strategy and implementation.

He has been a guest lecturer on world best practice for the executive management programme at Monash University’s business college (Mt Eliza campus); an adviser to and key note speaker for the Singapore Productivity Association and a consultant to many major Australian and overseas corporations and government departments.

Read more about Brian Clark Here


  1. Thank you!
    Yes, Love is in the business of opening the unused resources. resources are keeping labor of love. Utmost sincerity of creativity – the best pragmatism in your favorite business. Pragmatism makes a labor of love independent.

  2. Hi, Brian, I translated your interesting article to Russian and posted it on my web-site with full credits to you, if you don’t mind. I suppose it is a good idea to spread the word about new trands in business.


  1. […] Ca fait plaisir de voir des sociétés, des dirigeants, des employés mettre des valeurs humaines positive's dans leur travail… En voilà une, présentée plus en détail dans ce post de Brian Clark […]

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