How Atlassian is transforming L&D to become more strategic

strategy2The role and function of Learning and Development (L&D) has evolved dramatically over the past couple of years. And as today’s workforce continues to demand learning that is engaging, personalised, mobile and immersive, L&D is only going to transform more in the future.

So how are Australian L&D leaders responding to such changes to ensure they have a fit-for-the future L&D capability through technology and innovation? And what steps can L&D leaders take now to align the L&D function with broader strategic business goals?

To answer these questions, ahead of the Chief Learning Officer Summit 2017 Lori Ghezzi, Executive Director, Learning & Organisational Development APAC at Atlassian, shared her insights into how technology is impacting learning at Atlassian and the strategies her team is using to harness new learning tools to appeal to the digital learner and elevate the role of L&D across the business.

Over the past year, Atlassian has recently restructured their L&D function to reflect the modern learner and business needs. At the centre of their L&D transformation has been the integration of L&D into the HRBP model, which has helped to bridge the gap in L&D capability to make informed, strategic decisions.

Below, Lori explores the lessons other L&D leaders can learn from Atlassian’s L&D transformation journey to date, and how greater workforce insights and engagement has presented the opportunity for L&D to rise to the Executive level and have more sway in broader business decisions.

Removing internal siloes to create an integrated L&D function

“Our core vision is to create an integrated talent team that holistically looks after the end-to-end employee experience. This ranges across talent acquisition through to onboarding, development, movement, succession, mobility through to employee experience.

At Atlassian we have created an integrated team that removes traditionally siloed functions. For example, Diversity and Inclusion in many organisations is siloed. At Atlassian, we have taken Diversity and Inclusion and embedded it squarely within our end-to-end strategy as an essential piece of our overall talent programme and aligned it strategically with the way we have reorganised the L&D function.

In the past, we might have had a Head of Diversity and Inclusion that sits outside of the L&D team, but we have now included that role into our integrated talent team. We have combined talent acquisition, our mobility strategy, Diversity Inclusion, onboarding, succession planning, traditional L&D and organisational design, all underneath one talent umbrella. This provides us a far more inclusive approach by including all of these functions together to work as a team.

As a result, siloes have been removed and our talent team is across all projects in the organisation. This provides us a powerful ebb and flow within all of the undercurrents that tie back into the values of our organisation.”


Bridging the gap in L&D capability

“There is so much that can be learned cross-functionally across the organisation, which can help to bridge the gap in L&D capability.

For example, one of the strategies we have enabled is cross-functional learning across the organisation. This has meant L&D has bolstered their knowledge around what is happening in terms of talent acquisition, as well as with mobility strategies, organisational design or other development strategies we have in place.

We’re also looking at ways to utlise technology platforms to increase collaboration and L&D capability, not only in the organisation but also internally as a team. For example, we are reorganising the way we work using our own flagship technology called Confluence.

We have been looking for ways to really push and lean into our own Confluence and our own sets of tools and leverage them across our own team. We are also looking to share information in ways that we wouldn’t have shared previously, which also up-skills or internal L&D team and the broader talent team as well.

It also comes back to having core values and ensuring all our values are embedded in not only the end product we produce for our employees across the organisation globally, but also embedded in the ways we work as a team.”

Redesigning L&D to appeal to the digital learner

“At Atlassian, we assume that everyone is a digital learner to some degree. But we also recognise that we have a wide span of employees with different diverse backgrounds.

Over the past few years we have seen an impact around the digital learner component at Atlassian and the ways in how everyone likes to learn. For example, there is a reason why if people are stuck on something or are looking for an answer, they Google it.

One of the areas we have focused on specific to digital learning is not trying to reinvent the wheel by bringing in outside sources and technology. We have been looking at how we leverage Confluence to deliver and manage a lot of our internal learning. We’re looking at ways to be able to leverage our own technology to support digital learning.

Atlassians also love to connect with other Atlassians in person or digitally. We have people visiting from different offices quite frequently because of cross-functional work. So we try and capitalise on that in-person time and either hold in-person sessions that the L&D team or talent teams are directly involved in. This provides the L&D function with the role of providing the wider business with support, facilitation or content.

For us, we have a keen idea around digital learning and how important it is, especially at the speed of business and how quickly we need to move. We also recognise the value in being able to incorporate new technologies like video chats or virtual learning environments that pull together the diversity across the organisation and project teams. But we also recognise the importance of having those in-person events.

Interested in learning more?

Join Lori at the first ever Chief Learning Officer Summit 2017 where she will further explore:

  • Integrating L&D into the HRBP model and nurturing those business relationships
  • Capable people in L&D who understand the “bigger picture” can make more informed decisions about business strategy, thus generating credibility and trust as a strategic business partner
  • How greater workforce insight gives you that edge and exposure to the bigger picture – the stepping stone to becoming a CLO and strengthening your relationship with leadership
  • Technology and the modern digital learner – how it impacts learning and the design of training

For more information visit or call +61 2 9229 1000 or email