The Guiding Principles – Exploring Atlassian’s Core Values for Success




Core values play a pivotal role in the success of any company. They provide a clear direction, guide decision-making, and shape the company’s culture. One company that has exemplified the power of core values is Atlassian. With its remarkable success story, Atlassian has become renowned for its strong core values and commitment to fostering a positive work environment. In this article, we will explore Atlassian’s core values and how they have contributed to their success.

Atlassian’s Core Values

Before delving into Atlassian’s specific core values, let’s gain a deeper understanding of what core values mean for a company. Core values are the guiding principles that define an organization’s identity and shape its culture. They serve as a compass, directing every decision and action taken by individuals within the company. At Atlassian, core values form the foundation of their operations, influencing everything from how they communicate with customers to how they collaborate internally.

Principle 1: Open Company, No Bullshit

One of the key core values that sets Atlassian apart is their commitment to being an open company, free from bureaucracy and hidden agendas. Atlassian believes in transparent communication, inside and outside of the organization. This commitment to openness fosters trust, encourages collaboration, and allows everyone to have a voice.

Examples of how Atlassian embodies this core value can be seen in their approach to decision-making. They involve employees at all levels in discussions and seek input from everyone, ensuring that decisions are made collectively. Atlassian also practices transparency with their customers, openly sharing information about their products, pricing, and even company initiatives.

Being an open company offers several benefits. It promotes a sense of ownership and accountability among employees, as everyone feels valued and involved in the decision-making process. It also eliminates unnecessary bureaucracy and encourages innovation by providing a platform for sharing ideas and constructive feedback.

To implement this principle in other organizations, it is crucial to foster an environment where transparency is encouraged. Leaders can promote open communication by actively listening to and valuing the opinions and ideas of every team member. Creating channels for feedback, like regular team meetings or anonymous suggestion boxes, can also facilitate open communication and reduce barriers within the organization.

Principle 2: Build with Heart and Balance

Atlassian believes in building products and solutions that are not only technically sound but also address the needs of their users on a deeper level. They strive for excellence while maintaining a healthy work-life balance, recognizing that happy and fulfilled employees are more likely to deliver high-quality work.

Examples of how Atlassian applies this core value can be seen in their emphasis on employee well-being. They encourage employees to take time off, have flexible schedules, and provide numerous resources for personal and professional growth. This balance between work and personal life ensures that employees can bring their best selves to work, fostering creativity and innovation.

The benefits of building with heart and balance are far-reaching. When employees feel supported and valued, they exhibit higher levels of satisfaction and productivity. This core value also attracts top talent, as people are drawn to organizations that prioritize the well-being of their employees.

To incorporate this principle in any organization, leaders should prioritize work-life balance and create an environment that supports employees’ personal growth and well-being. Offering flexible work schedules, providing opportunities for skill development, and recognizing achievements can all contribute to building with heart and balance.

Principle 3: Don’t Fuck the Customer

Atlassian’s dedication to customer-centricity is another core value that has contributed to their success. They recognize that the customer is at the center of everything they do, and prioritize delivering value and exceptional experiences.

Real-life examples of Atlassian’s commitment to this principle can be seen in their focus on customer feedback and continuous improvement. They actively engage with customers, seeking their input and using it to iterate and enhance their products and services. Atlassian believes that a loyal customer base is vital for long-term success, and they strive to exceed customer expectations every step of the way.

Putting the customer first offers numerous benefits. It leads to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, which in turn drives business growth. Customer-centric organizations also enjoy stronger brand reputation and increased word-of-mouth referrals.

To prioritize customer satisfaction in other businesses, it is essential to listen to customers’ needs and feedback. Creating channels for open communication, such as customer feedback surveys or regular check-ins, can provide invaluable insights. Acting on customer feedback promptly and continuously seeking ways to deliver value can help build strong and lasting relationships with customers.

Principle 4: Play, as a Team

At Atlassian, teamwork is not just a buzzword – it is a core value that permeates every aspect of their organization. They foster a collaborative work environment where employees are encouraged to work together, share knowledge, and support each other.

Illustrations of Atlassian’s emphasis on teamwork can be seen in their flat organizational structure, which eliminates hierarchical barriers. They prioritize cross-functional collaboration and encourage teams to not only achieve their own goals but also help other teams succeed. Atlassian’s products themselves, like Jira and Confluence, are designed to facilitate collaboration and teamwork.

Fostering a collaborative work environment offers several benefits. It enhances creativity, problem-solving, and innovation by harnessing the collective intelligence of the team. It also promotes a sense of belonging and camaraderie, leading to higher employee satisfaction and engagement.

To encourage teamwork in different organizations, leaders should create a culture that values and rewards collaboration. Establishing clear team goals and objectives, providing opportunities for cross-team collaboration, and recognizing and celebrating teamwork achievements can all contribute to fostering a collaborative work environment.

Principle 5: Be the Change You Seek

Atlassian’s final core value revolves around the importance of embracing change and innovation. They believe in questioning the status quo, challenging conventional thinking, and continuously seeking ways to improve.

Instances where Atlassian has been the change they sought can be observed in their disruptive approach to the software industry. They were pioneers in adopting agile development practices, which have since become industry standards. At Atlassian, innovation is celebrated and encouraged, empowering every employee to contribute their ideas and bring about positive change.

Embracing change and innovation offers numerous benefits. It allows organizations to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to rapidly evolving industries. A culture of change also attracts forward-thinking individuals and fosters a dynamic work environment.

To foster a culture of change in other companies, leaders should encourage experimentation, provide resources for innovation, and actively support employees’ ideas and initiatives. Creating a safe space for trying new approaches, learning from failures, and rewarding innovative thinking can contribute to a culture that embraces change.


Atlassian’s core values have played a crucial role in their success story. Their commitment to being an open company, building with heart and balance, prioritizing the customer, fostering teamwork, and embracing change has propelled Atlassian to become a leading player in the software industry.

These core values are not exclusive to Atlassian; they are principles that any organization can adopt to achieve success. By prioritizing core values, companies can create a strong foundation for their operations, align their teams, and foster a positive and empowering work environment.

As you embark on your own journey towards success, consider the core values that will guide your organization. By implementing and prioritizing your core values, you can create a culture that encourages transparency, collaboration, customer-centricity, teamwork, and innovation – ultimately shaping your path towards long-term success.


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