Innovation is a lot like obscenity: hard to define, but you know it when you see it. It doesn’t always manifest as a massive, mind-blowing, net-new project. It might not even be something your customers can see. Innovation can be as simple as a process improvement that paves the way for customer-facing ideas to get out the door faster.

Essential ingredients for innovation

That said, innovation doesn’t “just happen.” The seeds of new ideas need a fertile environment in order to grow. So when we talk about creating a culture of innovation, we’re talking about ingredients like:

  • A clear mission that gives innovation a strategic focus.
  • Free-flowing information so everyone has visibility into what’s already been tried, what’s a priority, and what’s not.
  • Autonomy so people can thoroughly explore a problem space and solve for it in whatever way they see fit.
  • An inclusive workforce that brings diverse perspectives to bear on a problem and creates space for everyone to contribute to the solution.

Inside this guide

None of this is easy. And to be fair, Atlassian hasn’t entirely cracked the code on all of it. But we’re far enough along to share some valuable lessons learned. That’s why we created this guide. Inside, you’ll find:

  • Essays on creating a fertile environment where fresh ideas can grow. We’re sharing what we’ve learned through trial and error at Atlassian, as well as wisdom from some of our customers like Slack, Amazon, Hubspot, and ANZ Bank.
  • How-to articles that walk you through the rituals Atlassian and other companies have adopted to encourage innovation – from all-company hackathons to programs that bring customers in as collaborators.
  • A toolkit of thought exercises, templates, and worksheets that will give you and your teams “just enough” structure as you put the ideas in this guide into practice.

Ready? Let’s do this!

What does a culture of innovation really mean?