Dominic Price: Experiment, Feel, Safety, Learning | Work 20XX Ep23

Jeff Frick
February 1, 2024
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Dominic Price has been a workplace futurist since before it was cool. Atlassian, founded by Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar in 2002, has always embraced a uniquely Australian approach. With its roots in Sydney and HQ in Silicon Valley, the company was profitable before being funded, displaced email with JIRA for internal communications, and built it’s distributed workplace culture on the back of 5 core values, including don’t ‘f” the customer.

Dominic is responsible for driving step-function learning to take Atlassian further and faster, enhancing how we work. Fortunately for us, Atlassian's open-source ethos is evident, and Dominic, along with his team, shares their insights generously. Dom will be the first to tell you that without context, knowledge is less impactful, and it's crucial to apply it as relevant.

Please join me in welcoming Dom Price to Work 20XX.

Dom is a deep thinker with a pragmatic flair. We delved into everything from 1%, adaptability, and bias for action, to context, culture, data, distributed teams, do-ocracy, evolution, experimentation, feel, foundation, how we work, open source, Personal Moral Inventory, portfolio, psychological safety, proxy, ROI, scale, situational leadership, team, TEDx, The Five Ls, The Modern Workplace Manifesto, trust, try, unlearning, values, walks... and more.

Episode Transcript

Cold Open:
So you ready to go, Dom?
Born ready.
Okay, great.
So I'll just count us down.
and we will go in...
three, two, one.

Jeff Frick:
Hey, welcome back everybody. Jeff Frick here coming to you from the home studio for another episode of Work 20XX, the first one of 2024. I cannot believe that we are already at 2024. So excited to welcome in someone who's actually even further into the future. He's actually already to tomorrow. So coming to us all the way from across the Pacific Ocean. He's Dominic Price, the Work Futurist for Atlassian. Dominic, great to see you.

Dom Price:
Great to be with you today, Jeff. And I'm coming to you from Friday, and it's your Thursday, so I literally am in the future. It's brilliant.

Jeff Frick:
So is it a good future?

Dom Price:
It's alright. It's a really hot day today. I'll let you know, Friday started with a really good stat I’m doing alright so far.

Jeff Frick:
Not only are you in the future, you're on the other side of the seasonality as well.

Dom Price:
It's a constant translation engine like in this modern environment. Time zones, seasons, like who am I talking to, Where in the world are they and what are they experiencing right now.

Jeff Frick:
So let's get into it. So one of the best things about doing a podcast is that in doing my homework for guests. I get to learn about a lot of different people and then I get to learn about the people that they learned about. And I came across you actually getting ready for my interview with Sophie Wade, and you had a great interview with her. And then it turns out you've been doing this for a very long time. I don't know if you know, I first got exposed to Atlassian like in 2012. I think I predated when you were there and I was doing nasty Bugzilla to JIRA transitions (migrations) my favorite one being the Sun Java nightmare where I had an out of body experience with some of these java bugs actually had their own identity, religious following, it was.

Dom Price:
No wonder you moved into podcasting.

Jeff Frick:
Exactly. I literally, I was like, This is crazy. But you know what's really cool about Atlassian is they were distributed early on, they were open source early on. You know, Scott (Farquhar) and Mike (Cannon-Brookes), I think we're probably profitable early on. I don't remember exactly, but, you know, when they took money from Accel I think it was 2014 (actually, July 14, 2010) It was kind of like eBay. They kind of took it because they had to, but they didn't really want to. But, you know, kind of to be in the Silicon Valley club. So pretty progressive company. You've been there for ten years. I just had a post the other day that you quoted you saying you hated it when you first joined.

Dom Price:
Genuinely, genuinely.

Jeff Frick:
coming from such a traditional thing.

Dom Price:
Yeah, genuinely detested it. Those first 90 days. I still have like a visceral memory of experiencing organ rejection. I wanted to be there, but no, no amount of my skill set seemed to gel with the Atlassian environment and the friction that that caused gave me great amounts of tension. I'm like, ‘I'm in the wrong place’ and actually got as far as looking for other jobs. Now, thankfully didn't take any of them because I had a great boss who sat me down and had a conversation. But that experience was a real experience of genuinely hating it.

Jeff Frick:
You’ve been the workplace futurist. I mean, you had that title early on, so how did you get that? I mean, this is pre-COVID. You guys were already distributed. But what's funny, I saw in an article getting ready for this that you said when COVID hit, you realized you guys had actually been doing it wrong, that you were that as probably the preeminent distributed company, you still weren't really ready and hadn't really made the full transition as someone like me might think looking from the outside looking in.

Dom Price:
So the interesting thing, the outside-in perspective is fascinating, right? So I think we tend to look either with a halo, right, or with the devil's view. When we look at an organization, Either that everyone in there is evil or everything's awesome, the reality is it's normally part of both, right. So at Atlassian, we take like a whole of steps forward and then we do some stuff and I'm like, Why did we do that? And we did it because we're constantly exploring and experimenting. And when you do that, you have to admit some stuff goes wrong.

It's just that people don't want to hear the ‘go wrong’ stories. I get on stage and tell them all the time and people are like ‘oh that’s cute’, tell us another story about how great you are. And I'm like, No, you need to understand the challenges that we overcame, the mistakes we made to understand how we got to where we got to. So the experience for me is more important than the destination, like You need to understand how we unravel that.

And throughout my career at Atlassian, we've constantly got stuff wrong, right? But we've learned from it. And we’ve gone, What do we get wrong? How can we do that differently? Is the problem still there? Like there's not that punish culture, no one's going to get fired for it. So therefore how do we learn from it and use that as an experience that we build upon?

And we did that through the pandemic. So I originally started as our head of program management. I was doing delivery and execution. One of our experiments three years in was Hang on, is this all about delivery or is this about scaling how we work? And me and my boss at the time, were like it feels like a bit of both. So we made it both. I spent half my time on how we work, half my time on delivery. And then I sat there one day and was like, I really don’t enjoy the delivery part. Like it's not, it's not giving me joy. I can do it and maybe I should do it, but it's not giving me joy and satisfaction and I don't think I'm thriving in it.

And as we got bigger, I found it less and less enjoyable. So we’ve hired someone to do that and we're like, let's just focus on the how, and the how was as we add twice as many people next year, as we have more customers, as we get more competitors, as there's more complexity. How do we go about thinking how we might work next week, next month, next year? So that's where the futurist part came in. And then the biggest realization we had seven years ago with the entire economy, our customers and people that weren’t our customers were struggling with the same thing. So instead of keeping it to ourselves, to your phrase before, how do we open source some of the stuff as part of our mindset of how do we share this with others so everyone else gets to benefit from our lessons learned. Which is what we did about seven years ago.

Jeff Frick:
Which is, which is great. And I think the open source ethos that comes from you, it comes from GitLab, it comes from Red Hat, You know, that's such an important piece of software culture. I think that has such a great benefit, especially for security and most recently how people work. But I want to get into you’ve said you kind of wrapped up ten,  ten years worth of work in 20 words or less with the Modern Work manifesto. So you've got about six items here of some specific things I just want to read them real quick so people have them

context over content,
evolution over transformation,
outcomes over outputs, will get deep into that one
adaptability over adherence, I love that one
team,over individual
and vocation over location.

So those are six (6) lines, twelve (12) words some really important concepts. Which ones in your experience is the hardest for people to grok? Right now

Dom Price:
Context over content. And that's because of the technology boom. And certainly we're on the early side of the wave of AI. But AI used incorrectly will just develop more content and I don't think we're actually hungry for more content. Yeah, when, we have email and then we had Slack and Teams and chat, we didn't need more ways to communicate. We actually wanted less ways, but we have this weird human behavior creating more. And I think AI might do that right. I don't need more articles to read in the morning. I just want to consume the news. And if I have to go to ten sources and those sources are verbose, you've not given me context. You’ve given me content. And in the business sense, leaders that I work with are like, I really want to know what's the next action I should take? Is there a decision required? Is there an escalation I need to do? Like, what's the next best step I should do as a leader? So give me the context. And I'm like, what did you get? And they look at it like I got to hold the content. Essentially the three letters that kill me on any given day. F.Y.I. (for your information), right, the minute I get F.YI. a little bit of me dies, Jeff. And I'm like, what does that mean? Am I just reading it and going, ‘Cool, that's nice’ or am I meant to do something? And so context in business just means like, I know what to do next. It creates a do-ocracy. Whereas content like, nice, thanks, I know a bit more, so. When you said open source before, open source always triggers me as a phrase because I think we need to understand the philosophy behind it, which is knowledge isn't power. Application of knowledge is power. right. So if knowledge isn't power and therefore it's not value, I should share knowledge for free because I know it's only the application of that knowledge that creates value. Right, I think that's the open source ethos, right? And it's the same with context over content, right? You need to know what you're going to do with it. You need to have some application. Otherwise, you're just sat on reams and reams of content. You're not creating value because of that. You've just got a giant wiki and a huge database like who cares?

Jeff Frick:
Right Right. It's interesting. You know, I'm going to a birthday party later tonight and this person is turning 60 and I don't think they're super happy about it. But it’s kind of is 60 old or is it young? Well ask an 8-year old or ask an 80-year old. Yeah. You know without context it doesn't really matter. And the answer to the question is something completely different. I mean, my other favorite one is going 50 miles an hour. Well, are you on a bicycle or are you in a Corvette? You know, it makes a big difference.

Dom Price:
But Jeff, if you lay that into the business context, right so. So the way this modern work manifesto came about, I spend half my time outside Atlassian, right? With companies of all shapes and sizes, sometimes startups, scale ups, right? Whole lot of fun tech stuff and non-tech and biotech, whatever. And then a whole of lot established enterprise, the barnacles are welded to the bottom of that ship, right? They're 200 years old and they find it hard to change. But the thing is, every time I chat to them them, they're like, here's the thing we're trying to achieve. And you're like, cool, why are you looking at Spotify? If you're an insurance company? Why don't you want to be the best insurance company for your customers? And why don't you try to understand what they need? Because they're not looking to you for a music streaming service. I love Spotify, but if we put the same companies on the same pedestals, I think that's the wrong aspiration versus saying, What's the context of my industry, my environment, my success, my customers, and how do I delight them? I think you’re going to make way more valuable steps in that process. It might not be as sexy. You might not get a Harvard Business Review article written about you, but you’ll build a sustainable company that can thrive, right? Versus building a PR message of, ‘We were going to do Squads and be more like Spotify.’ And I'm like, But why? Right? That that's not the environment you're in, right? You're on a bike and I'm in a car, so I'm going to go faster. That doesn't mean you're not going fast. right, right.

Jeff Frick:
Well, let's look at number two, evolution versus transformation. And it's something you talk about a lot, which is kind of this 1% improvement every day compounded over time. And you can actually make pretty significant progress. And the other kind of verb you like to use all the time is experimentation. And I don't know if you know, but one of my favorite business leaders, Scott Cook from Intuit, I mean his foundation of that company, his quote is, ‘Build your company on the back of low-cost experimentation.’ Yes. Because that's the only way to discover. And you've already mentioned here kind of do-ocracy. Talk about how you managed with those types of values and how you encourage people on the team.

Dom Price:
Yeah, so the transformation comes out like, let's just acknowledge the reality we've been in for the last 10, 15 years, right? There's been culture transformation, agile transformation, digital transformation. Wonderful, right? There's some really good friends of mine, probably some friends of yours that have made some amazingly large amounts of money selling transformation. And then I go into the companies that have allegedly transformed and I say to them, you kind of smell and look and feel very similar to you did before you spent $60 million on transformation. Now you've got nicer posters on the wall. You've got more and more rituals. God forbid, there are thousands of rituals now, but I'm not sure you're actually more effective. And so sometimes the outside in, you know, the outside in value of consultants can be really high. Sometimes you need to be able to take the first step yourself. And that's why the exploration and experimentation becomes key. Like if you've hired the right people, how can you create an environment where they can safely explore, experiment at the edges, right? It's not a bet the company experiment, right? It's small micro experiments and exploration. And then how do we learn from that and how do we apply that learning? So my favorite thing for 2024 that I'm passionate about with my team is the method is experimentation. The outcome we want is learning velocity. So I've said to my team, ‘Our goal in 2024 is to learn faster than our competition and because we learn faster, we can get more value into our customers' hands quicker.’ That's our goal. What I call. Then we asked the question, ‘How do we measure that?’ Let’s deal with that later? Because that's really hard, right? But is it the right thing to do? Yes. So learning velocity is this, how tight can we get that cycle of learn a new insight. Now I can Google best practice, blah, blah, blah blah blah and I'll get an answer. Because a thought leader somewhere published a very generic answer that me and you know is not true. So I can Google that and apply that. It's not going to work for me because it's not got my context. I've got my context because I work in my company. Right? So if you've got staff who are smart and driven and intelligent, they've got the context already. Your job as a leader is now to give them space and permission to explore and experiment. And then your measure of success is how quickly are we learning and applying that learning that makes you a more nimble organization. Now, most leaders I chat to would pay huge amounts of money for that and don't realize that gold mine is in their organization. They set up the wrong environment, right? So they’re punishing it rather than recognizing and rewarding it.

Jeff Frick:
Right. That's interesting. You say, you know, you're trying to increase learning velocity. Another thing we hear often in organizations is decision velocity. People are trying to make better decisions, but also just make faster decisions because just by rule, making more decisions is good. And you can course correct. I wonder if you could talk a little bit about psychological safety and maybe a couple of experiments that have gone wrong because I think people miss psychological safety and that is really, in my book, the key to innovation. Because that enables people to make to make mistakes, because they experiment, because just by the portfolio rule, some of those experiments are going to go bad. So if they don't feel comfortable making a mistake, they're not going to make yeah. So I wonder if you could share some experiences of maybe some experiments that didn't go the way that you'd hoped and how, you know, you help people make it a learning moment and not a post mortem, something bad happened.

Dom Price:
Yeah. So let's just feel this let's just pause and take a moment there because there's a bit you've summarized very succinctly that I think is huge, right? If you haven't got psychological safety, please don't try experimentation or exploration. Please don't, because it's actually a waste of time, right? If you've not set up the environment so you're not going to get all you're going to get is some adherence. A little bit of splashy pretend play, but no one's going to feel comfortable playing and you're going to get really mediocre, safe ideas that deliver probably nothing, right? You're not going to get you're not going to have the the innate trust to put yourself out there. Right. Without that psychological safety.

And so I feel like with the current team I'm with quite fortunate. There's a lot of teams when I'm working with them where without that psychological safety you see them layering in more and more. And actually it diminishes the safety because they add in more and more process and you end up with a leader sat there going like I need you to innovate and you say and they say ‘know what?’ We need a sacrificial lamb. We're going to fire Jeff, Jeff’s the problem. We're going to fire Jeff. We're going to hire new Jeff for twice as much money, and we're going to tell them to innovate and we'll create innovation. And new Jeff comes in and goes, I don't feel safe either, but you're paying me twice as much. So I'm marginally happier. But I still don't feel safe. This weird coefficient of safety is not there, and so what we do now every time me and my team run an offsite Our first day is walks not work, not white boards Right, we're not in a square box, we've not got marker pens, we're not doing any weird We're sort of tech not I wouldn't even call it team building. We're going for a walk because we care about each of them, right?

And Sven will tell stories about his holiday and his daughter who’s now a teenager and he's worried that she's going to move out of home soon, and you know he's moved from Europe and then to the US and back to Europe and changed roles. And we're going to talk about that. Mark's going to talk about his kids right and the family and how much money he spent on Christmas decorations. We're just going to hang out together because we've got this layer of connection that means we care about each other as humans first. And so we are We now trust each other to have an argument. And so the reason I'm going to do that, walk is is January last year was the first time my team came together. We'd never physically being together and the very first thing we did when everyone landed was we put our trainers on and we did a big lap of Sydney and then we got in the meeting room and we had this argument about something in the meeting room that I think we've probably been submersively talking about for three months and done nothing about it. But suddenly in that room with the safety of that walk and knowing each other and know what and knowing that there was no recourse anymore, everyone brought their true self and I just sat back and I'm like, ‘Damn’ like we had the most brutal discussion and argument on the whiteboard. You're wrong, I'm right. And we really got into the nitty gritty of it and we got to an answer. But I’m sat there going, I think we’ve secretly been debating that for three months, but we didn't have the safety and we didn't have the trust in our environment. And this is where distributed’s hard, right? Doing that on Zoom would have been infinitely harder than doing it in person. That felt like a high fidelity, in-person conversation. Right? Again, we can't wait for in-person conversations to build psychological safety. So now it's almost like ingrained in my head. If I have a complex task, don't start with a task. Start with the safety. Make sure the room feels comfortable first and you've got to use your spidey senses There's not a thermometer we can shove in but the spidey senses and then do the task. But if you start with a task and you don't start with the safety, highly likely it's game over.

Jeff Frick:
Logistics wise, how frequently do you get together in person with your distributed team.

Dom Price:
It averages, we're probably, we're on a cadence of about three times a year. Yeah, I mean, we're spread around the world, we're very opportunistic. We have a customer event in April. We'll all be in that for that. Right. We had a random thing in Nashville last year. We all gathered in Nashville for a week, hung out, did some work, right, listened to music and did some good stuff. So we're averaging about three times a year. And you can see we can model it, you can see the connection get super high after that time in person and then bit by bit it diminishes and we've got little exercises we do as to how we connect as a team. It still diminishes. Right, that’s just human nature, but it never drops below a safe line before we meet again.

Jeff Frick:
Right. Okay, I want to shift gears a little bit. And you talked about it a little bit, but you’re from a data centric company, everyone's data centric and you lean on the ‘F’ word and I can say this because of my last name and that's ‘Feel’. Feel and ‘How does it feel?’ And I think it's really interesting to hear you mention that so many times in so many of your talks and presentations that you know that you're not necessarily trying to make incremental changes that are measured in X percentage improvement over Y. You're looking for foundational changes in learning. So yeah, there's data but as feel. How do you square that circle in a data centric world? In a data centric company.

Dom Price:
It's like, so I can get proxies right? And the proxies are okay. Right, I don't I've never lived in a world of exact science, and nor do I think the world we're in is one of the exact science. So I'm okay with the ambiguity. I work with a whole of engineers and scientists that are not okay with ambiguity, and that's fine, right. Our differences are what make us unique and brilliant. I love that. I don't want I don't want them to be better with ambiguity and I don't want to be as scientific as them, we're both happy being each other. It gets to the point where I'm like, at a macro level, Does this feel like the right thing? Right. And the reason I mention that is that tends to be the last conversation. Or the conversation that never happened. So it's like, here's the thing we need to do. How do we measure that? Or here's a measure, How do we do the thing? and the blinkers come in and all you're going to do in that world is what you did last year, but you're going to run it a little bit harder. And so I do I do a lot of coaching and mentoring, externally and all these leaders are like I need a 10% improvement in my business next year, otherwise I'm done. And I’m like ‘Cool, What are you doing?’ And they’re like So here's what we did last year and we're trying to like do that again, like a little bit faster and cheaper. And I'm like, That won't work because you've done it so many times. You're not cutting ham any more, you’re hitting bone And so there's nothing left to cut.

So instead, how can you do things differently and what does different look like? And so that's just a completely for them, a mindset shift, right in conversation about how you think about that. But it's an ongoing. Okay, If you were in a thriving business right now, what would it feel like? That's all I ask. What it feels like. And they can explain that, and you're like, cool, Do those things Now you still need to find a measure of proxy, but And the reason I use the word proxy is And I don't know if this is post-pandemic. Or whether you sense the same thing, it could be related to the economy. I feel like measures have become very short term and very like immediate gratification. Like if it doesn't pay back right now, it's never going to pay back. And my concern with that is I think of leadership, the role of leadership is to find fertile ground to plant a seed, to nurture a seed, to grow a forest. And when we talk about measures, we tend to say, Jeff, how many forests are you going to make? And you’re like I don't know. I honestly don't know. I think my job as Jeff is to find fertile ground. I can't guarantee when I find the ground that it's fertile and that that seed will work and nurture I can't guarantee the weather, I can't guarantee everything. Right. But I feel pretty confident that I have found fertile ground in this field. But you now need to give me time to invest in this ground to plant the seed, to nurture it, to grow the forest. Some of it will grow into giant forests, others won't, and we'll learn from that, but make the job finding fertile ground. And I think when we talk about data and measures, we go into forests and I'm like, it's not that the forest is bad, it's just a distraction from the actual job, which is to find fertile ground.

Jeff Frick:
Right, right. Just makes me think of I had Phil Simon on a little while ago and he talked about Goodhart’s Law, which is, you know, as soon as the as soon as the measure becomes the objective, it's no longer a valuable measure anymore. Because you know how you get this. You get distracted by this measuring. Jeff - You see it all the time in sports. Dom - Yeah Jeff - So many things. Dom - 100% They measure everything except who won and lost the game, which is really all that really matters at the end of the day. But I think it drives gambling and other things. One of the techniques you use I think is interesting. I want you to give us a little background. Is doing something completely different and off the grid and then just letting it, as you said, kind of stew and sit and boil and, you know, kind of like a like a sour mash. You know, just let it stew in there, and that that there will be a time where then it will surface and you'll say, ‘Ah, now I realize’. It's a really interesting way to try to get broader perspectives and really open yourself up for the opportunity to listen and see and hear new things. And it's really like.

Dom Price:
So you used the word portfolio before Jeff, Which I think anyone can use when they’re thinking about their career, when I think about portfolio, selfishly, I'm like, what percentage of my time am I willing to invest in random, seemingly random things that I can't tell you the payback this week, or this month But deep down it ‘feels’ Right, it feels like the right thing to do. There's no R.O.I. (return on investment) So years ago, I did an event with a mate of mine who’s a high performance leadership coach. I sat in a room with a neuroscientist talking about experiments that were running on elderly patients that had pain and pain management wasn't working. So they're using VR and AR (virtual reality and artificial or augmented reality) to retrain and remap their brain so they didn't feel pain anymore. And I'm like, that's random. That's completely weird. I'm with R.C. Buford, the CEO of San Antonio Spurs Talks about how they use values in hiring and not only the development team, but the entire basketball team and how he thinks about values and how he visits the family of every player before he signs a player. Right now, these seem completely orthogonal to what I'm doing. Tech, Collaboration, the future of work. But each one of them kind of fit somewhere at some point. So I carve out a good week, a year Where I'm like, It's just speculate. Their isn’t any, it’s purposefully no R.O.I. if there's an R.O.I., it goes in a different bucket, it's not ROI, it's there might be something there in the future. Let's go and speculate. Let's go and play together. And that playfulness means I get to explore other worlds Best case scenario ow worst case scenario, even all I do is get rid of my confirmation bias because my confirmation kick’s in because I chat to the same people all the time And my blinkers are like I go to these events, my blinkers come way out and that forcing function. I think we all need a shock to the system, to force us out of our environment and just go, ‘Hang on’ What if there was a different way? What if I could learn from nature? What if I could learn from a sports team? What if I could learn from a random other industry or environment or leader and just go out? And I think when we go out, we really give ourselves a chance of coming back in and doing great work.

Jeff Frick:
Pretty good segue there is really talking about teams. You mentioned the San Antonio Spurs and you've talked a lot about kind of thinking in terms of teams and then teams of teams. And really, you know there’s the great line, if you want to go fast, go by yourself. If you want to go far, go as a team. And you know, it's interesting how you've kind of organized it around this concentric concept of team and teams of teams and managing teams and making teams productive. I wonder if you could share some of the learnings. Where does that come from? Where were some of your philosophy derived from?

Dom Price:
Yeah, so let me share my mistake first, Jeff because it's only fair that we share mistakes. So I joined Atlassian Atlassian’s stock ticker symbol is ‘TEAM’. Our mission, ‘Unleash the potential in Teams’. I'm like, Everything's about teamwork. And then I sat there a few years ago, and I’m like It's not, is it? It's not all just teamwork. There's different layers. First of all, as an individual, How am I turning up in the team? How am I having space to do my own R&D work with my own innovation, my own incubation, get my own tasks done? So there are individuals in teams we need to cater for. So I've come down into individuals more recently and then I can be great as a team. But what about the network effect? Whose, who am I working with upstream and downstream? And if I've not got good health relationships with them, then I'm not effective anymore. There's no point be churning out five things per minute if downstream of me is one thing per minute and upstream it's one thing per minute. I've created a bottleneck. So essentially we've come up to team of teams and down of individuals With individuals, I do a lot of leadership exercises and there's one that we riffed on the other week that, the ‘5 L’s’ right? How do I become the best evolutionary, genuinely authentic, vulnerable leader in the modern environment? And then at a network of teams or a team of teams level, there's an exercise we launched last year that we open sourced through our team playbook called ‘Network of Teams’ basically asks the question, Who are the two teams upstream? Who are the two teams downstream that are in your circle of influence that without them you can't be successful? Who are they? And what's your relationship health with them? And my team did it as an exercise and we're like, ‘Holy Cow’ like we're doing decent work. But our success is predicated on these other stakeholders and our relationship health with them is poor So instead of us doing more work, more tasks off our backlog, off our roadmap, we need to come out of our bubble and go into their bubble and build that trusted connection, so A lot of people think about psychological safety as in a team. You need psychological safety between teams and that is a damn site harder because they’re are different function with a different language, with a different backlog, with a different boss, maybe with different goals or a different remit. But you're in the same organization and you're trying to ship the same value to a customer, so Network of teams for us has been a game changer. Certainly as Atlassian scaled to say, you can't be worried about every team. There's too many, just worry infinitely more about the ones in your flow, your flow of work, and kind of ignore the other ones. They're fine, they're good, they're getting on with their own stuff. And weirdly, when you take that selfish approach, If I map the two teams upstream and two teams downstream and those teams do the same thing eventually we’ve mapped the whole network, we never have we never map it that way. But if we all take that leap, we all improve each other's world, right? So it's kind of like a pay it forward. And for us it means that we start to operate way more horizontally. We create value that way across the organization, we are structured organizationally that way, right? We have a marketing function and a sales function and a finance and an engineering, and that vertical thing exists for an org chart. But the way work happens, the way value gets created horizontally. So that's where the network of teams, that team of teams concept becomes super important.

Jeff Frick:
It's such a force multiplier too, right? When you're when you spend your working time helping other workers be more efficient and helping other workers be better at getting their work done. As you said, it's a force multiplier for you and for them and then you stretch it across the organization. Yeah, that's a that's a pretty significant impact.

Dom Price:
Jeff, you said it before, right? There's that alternate environment, right. Where you've got your goal and your measure and you're like, ‘Oh no,’ everyone else, you push them away because they seem like a distraction. You don't want to deliver value to anyone else, nor do you want anyone else delivering value to you. You’re like go away. I want to create a wall around me and that means I can control 100% of my work, and you’re like that feels nice and cute. It's not the reality, but that happens in so many businesses where each individual team by themselves looks highly efficient and effective and you glue it together. And it's an absolutely cluster bomb Right, it doesn't work when you glue it together verses How do you innately get that as a first class citizen? It’s a very different mindset.

Jeff Frick:
So how do you think of I'll throw out some terms servant leadership, service leadership? You know, where basically the leader's job now, which is different from when you were at the Big 4 or Big 8 is really, you know, creating the conditions for people to do their best work and becoming, you know, almost more of a roadblock remover or a facilitator or a grease put-er-down’r or you know, whatever it is. How do you think of kind of formally, you know, kind of what leadership method do you prescribe or how do you define what you try to do?

Dom Price:
So I'm not a fan of any of the religions, but the one that probably aligns the most is situational leadership, because it’s the one that has for me the most amount of empathy that says, ‘Hang on’, like ‘Time- out’ before I deploy anything in my artillery that I think is going to work. What's the actual situation? Right? Because I've done it before Where I've plowed into a situation and gone 'I can solve this’ and they’re like ‘You can't’ because you've not understood the problem your ego got in the way and you just plow through, and I’m like ‘Okay, Guilty’ I've done that a few times. So it's like, pause. How do I understand the situation? Can I help or do I need to use my network of other leaders to help? So there's a whole lot of times recently where my team or teams I'm working with are struggling with something and I’m like I haven't got that IP, I've not got that intel, I'm not good at that thing you're try to solve. But I know someone who is and they're part of my network. I'm going to tell them and they’ll help and then I'll help them. And it's not like tit for tat, but it nets off that we all help each other because there's no one leader I know that's complete. And yet we play this game where we think we can be a complete leader, where any situation we can be presented with, we’re like ‘No, I'm good’ at it. No, no, don't be good at all situations. That's a stupid goal, right? Be really good at the ones you are really good at and please don't do the ones you’re mediocre at, let someone else do it, right. They're going to thrive and deliver that better, so. Situational leadership is the one that's the best for me.

The thing I'm struggling with right now with leaders is this desire for perfectionism and a desire to be to have answers. Right? Versus, ask questions. And I'm seeing it quite profoundly right now the the leaders I’m working with where their shoulders are up. They're looking forward to 2024. They don't know what's going to happen, but they're ready to take it on. They’re the situational leaders that ask good questions and they build an awareness of what's going on around them. And there's a whole of other leaders that we're really successful in 2018, and they're still deploying the same thing they had in 2018. And just hoping 2024 feels like 2018. And I'm like It might and you might get lucky, but it probably won't. So you need to tweak yourself. Don't expect others to tweak to you. And so My realization on this came about from these giant transformations that I mentioned before, the Agile transformation culture, right? I'd go into these large businesses, I'd be with the CTO or COO doing an Agile transformation? And I'd ask the question, I'm like, What are you doing to transform? And they’re like, ‘Oh, no, no, no, I'm fine, I'm fine’. The organization needs to transform everyone else here, but I'm good. And I'm like, I I'm not sure that leadership style is going to fly in the modern environment. I think you might lose people. And so I just implore any leader out there, whatever situation they're in, Are they actually leading? And leading has a very clear definition. Are they leading? Are they asking good questions? Are very inspiring, motivating, coaching, facilitating all the things you mentioned before. And are they doing that because it's the right thing to do or because it's the only thing they've got in their artillery and that's where I think leadership this year, and the next two years is going to be really challenging for a lot of people that people side, especially that human side as technology takes on more and more of a role, the humane side of leadership is going to need to step up. And I think we've got some leaders that are good at that. And I think the majority of leaders are technically very smart and emotionally struggle and that's going to really come about.

Jeff Frick:
It's interesting. I had Brian Elliott on and he talks about when he was at a big management consulting house and he said, you know, they taught us early on, Know the answer! You know the answer. If you don't know the answer, let everyone think you know the answer. You know, it is such a different world where the speed at which, and the complexity of the world today you can't know the answer and you're much better off trying to, you know, ask and get some help from the people that are a little bit closer.

I want to shift gears a little bit on because we talk about learning and talk about unlearning. You know, I had a post again quoting you and you talked about kind of unlearning old behaviors while retaining old lessons. And people struggled. You could see in the chat, I thought it was pretty funny. People thought unlearning meant like starting from zero. So there's a really fine nuance between, you know, unlearning behaviors and habits and keeping valuable knowledge versus unlearning everything. So when you talk about unlearning, you know, I think it's relative to what you just talked about. Leaders trying to unlearn the way that they led in 2018 to learn, to learn how to lead in 2024, because none of us really know.

Dom Price:
So the way it came out you mentioned safety before. I was in New York visiting Sophie Wade, who's now a good friend. I was in a real hole at the time in my career. I was busy, but not effective. I was trying to sprinkle stuff in. Nothing seemed to be working. I felt like I was in quicksand and I was doing lots of stuff, but I didn't feel like I was making any progress. Sat there, explained it to Sophie. She gave me an exercise. Awesome. I did it on the flight back and I'll share that in a minute. At the same time, I've met a neuroscientist who shared with me the experiment which you may have seen. They turn handlebars the wrong way round on a bike and they get a 40-year old guy to ride it and it takes him eight weeks to learn to ride the bike. Because when you turn the handlebar that way the wheel turns the other way, it takes eight weeks of falling off to learn to ride the bike. They give it to a six-year old and it takes him like three days. And they’re like it's not that the six-year old smarter. The 40 year old is hardwired that when you go that way, right? So it takes ages to rewire. Right. And it's the same for leaders If you've been a leader for 20 years. I'm 46 now, right? I started my career aged 21, so I've been working for 25 years. If I take that accumulated knowledge and just deploy it as accumulated knowledge, some of that was acquired in 2020 when if you wanted to use the Internet at a client site, you unplugged the fax machine. Right, now, thankfully I've unlearned the desire to unplug fax machines to plug a wire in to get my email. So we've all done unlearning with obvious stuff, right. The challenge of unlearning today is what are the things that worked for me as a leader in 2018 in that example that were great in 2018, and I should celebrate them and then have a wake for them because the environment in 2024 is different and they're irrelevant. So how do you leave that baggage in 2018 but create new baggage, right? Create new bags in 2024, but based on the environment you're in. So it comes back to the philosophy that we are all full, right. Cognitively we're full. Most of us are probably full hours wise right? Most leaders that I work with, like they get to Friday afternoon, it's like there's a wine social hour on Zoom, right? or you can go and chat to your cactus and they’re like. I'm done like I’m mentally, I'm frazzled. There's no like that's, that's the wrong time to try a new thing. And so what I'm saying is, if you're full and you want to get better at something, you have to remove first. The power of subtractions. So yeah, the amazing Huggy Rao and Bob Sutton have written a ‘Friction’ book about the power of removal. There’s a whole chapter on subtraction. When you remove, you give yourself space and time and freedom to do new stuff. Right, so when I remove a low dividend activity, I get to experiment with higher dividend activity. But I have to remove first. Otherwise I'm sprinkling it in. So I do the five ‘L’s. The five ‘L’s are loved, longed for, learned, sorry, loved, loathed, longed for, learned and laughed at. Right. So loved. Jeff you love podcasting mate, do more of it. You're great at it. Like don't be shy. You’re awesome at it. So the thing you love, do a little bit more of it. Find some way to bring happiness. The ‘longed for’ and the ‘loathed’ are an equation. You can only add in the ‘longed for’ if you remove the ‘loathed’ because you’re full. The ‘learned’ is what experiment did I run on myself for the last 90 days. What have I ‘learned’ from that and the ‘laughed at’ is innovation, exploration, experimentation, all those things require one ingredient... playfulness. Playfulness requires laughter. So if you look at the environments where you have play in work, they are infinitely more innovative than the ones where you have fear or compliance. So playfulness should bring laughter. So I ask myself, every 90 days I look back at myself as a leader and ask myself those five questions and then set actions against it. I'm going to do a little bit more of the thing that I love, I'm going to do less of the thing that I loathe, I’m going to try and sprinkle in a little bit of the thing that I long for, that evolution is up to me to drive right? So it's the adage, ‘put your own oxygen mask on first’. You used the phrase before, force multiplier. I reckon half the leaders I meet externally are martyrs, not force multipliers. Right? They arrive at the meeting, they're on the phone, they're in the last meeting, their heads everywhere, they're not present because they're too busy. Right, and I'm like, Get yourself in order first. Be selfish. Get yourself as a leader in the right space. Then you can be a force multiplier in your team. Otherwise you're the martyr, you're the anchor, you're slowing the team down.

Jeff Frick:
And trust. You got to trust people. Oh my goodness.

So let's shift gears a little bit and talk about the company and specifically in the context of that you just shared, which is change versus foundation. And you had a really interesting comment getting ready for this, talking about Atlassian values and there are five values: open company, no bullshit, build with heart and balance. Don't ‘f’ the customer, play as a team and be the change you seek. You speak to those often frequently and they and they come right out, and you can tell AWG is another company where the leadership speaks in their values. Like with every sentence that they say. What I thought was interesting is the value, the value relationship to culture and your specific statement that culture changes, culture changes over time. Culture changes based on team. Culture changes based on geography. But that's okay because it's the values that are the foundational thing. I think that's a really interesting take, and I think most people try to kind of force that force the culture thing to hang, because the best part of that is that you say to new people, you own the culture, you don't like it, change it. I mean, that is that is such a great attitude to take.

Dom Price:
It's funny. It's funny because you mentioned Brian Elliott before, which I know we both have a giant man crush on Brian Elliott, me and Brian share a similar history, right, working in the big four, or big eight consulting back in the day. And I remember like culture fit was a thing there and it was a thing because everyone kind of looked and smelt the same and it was almost uniform like, right. Now we were highly trained and highly efficient and effective at what we did, but there wasn't a huge amount of diversity of thought in that environment. And I compare that to the world I’m in now, now. It's fascinating, the world I’m in now, this doesn't get talked about enough when you hire for values and you allow people to change the culture, a new hire from a diverse background and you create psychological safety, and an inclusive environment, you add what feels like a huge tax. No one wants to talk about this, right? If you hire people that are the same as you, you all agree and work happens really quickly. It's just so nice. It's not effective. You don't create anything innovative. Cause you’re the same person, split into two, but it feels seamless, right? You sit me in a room with seven people that are different backgrounds to me and get us to solve a problem together, it's going to take us longer. We've got to build the safety we’ve got to build the trust. We got to understand each other, the rapport, the empathy. But I'm really confident the idea we’ll land on will be infinitely better than eight of me in the room. Right. But we never talk about the tax. We never talk about the investment. Now it delivers great value, but it means it's harder as a leader it’s infinitely harder to manage that team. Similarly, for us, when you hire for values fit, it's harder because we do values interviews. The values interviewer has veto rights. It means we say no to a whole lot of people that we don't think will add to our culture. But it means every time you hire a really smart person, you then have to give them permission. You have to give them that trust to make changes. And you're like, But we just settled on that thing and they’re like, I might want to change it. And you're like, ‘Ohhhh’. And so there is a side effect to not having sacred cows. Right, sacred cows are kind of really nice in an organization because no one challenges them. But in our environment, everyone challenges them, right. Now that comes with a value like it creates value of change, nimbleness, stuff, but it can be exhausting. And so what I say to people when they’re like comparing this I’m like, do this stuff on purpose, it's just like micromanagement. People ask me if micromanagement’s bad. It’s Not. If you're in an environment and you don't have values, and you want everyone to comply. Do micromanagement, it’s really cheap. But if you want an environment where people experiment, explore and innovate. Don't do micromanagement. Have values and give them freedom. It's not that one's better or worse. They're situationally different. And I think values for us are so paramount in how we work that I don't even think of them anymore. They're innate within me, after ten years, they're just part of how I think.

Jeff Frick:
Right. They come out, well they come out in your speech and you can tell, right, that it's real. It's not you know, you're not checking your cheat sheet, your Post-it note. Accenture just released their ‘Tech Vision’. They do it every year first of the year I think. Paul Daugherty just released it at the Consumer Electronics Show. And I've covered that. I've covered that thing for years. One of the concepts that came up a couple of years ago is when things move slower, you could operate in the way in which you just described because the markets weren't changing that fast and you're looking for find something that works and then efficiency the bejesus out of it, sell the bejesus out of it, scale, etc.. yeah. But Michael Biltz’ point was, you know, the business you're in might not exist tomorrow like on March 20th, 2020. You know, the travel industry wasn't really a great business to be in for a minute. So, you know, those methods, to your point, celebrate when they worked. But if you're not leveraging the full capacity of the people that you have in the building today, you really are going to have a hard time competing with the person down the street that is leveraging all that talent.

Dom Price:
Well, I think to build on that Jeff, the people in your building, your physical building, or work from home, wherever they work. Have probably got better proximity to your customers than you have as the leader. Right. And so if they're saying to you, Here’s something that needs to change, don't see them as a pain in the ass, that you need to shut up, see them as the canary in the coal mine that's about to save your life. Right. And I think a lot of those people have been weirdly painted as like the enemy like know this. Barbara! Barbara in Customer Service always going on about and you're like, ‘No, no, Barbara's got a really good point’. She's really close to the customers. She's seeing their pain. She's got empathy for it. And she's trying to help us be a better company. So it turns out that strategy isn't built at an off site. You know in the Napa Valley once a year where all the execs get together, It’s way more intuitive than that. And it needs this adaptability to what is the environment we're in. And like you say, travel industry changed in 2020. All of industries have changed recently in Sydney. We've got some people returning to office, quite a lot work from home. So the coffee shops, the bars, the cafes in Sydney changed but the ones that were in the cities, as central business district have changed. But the ones on the outskirts are booming. So again, there's a nimbleness there. So it's like, if you were able to adapt to that, you're still a winner. If you were sat there stoically going, no, I'm a city based coffee shop you're like, Good luck to you, mate, because the footfall isn't there so you can be stoic. It's going to be maybe a slow death or a fast death I'm not sure which. Or adapt, but that adaptability requires ears and eyes and a little bit of humility. Right? And I think we both know leaders that have that in bucketloads and some leaders need to go and discover it.

Jeff Frick:
Yeah. And a willingness to fall down. Right. And scrape your knees if not you, your team. And you talk about something interesting the ‘do-ocracy’.

Dom Price:
I mean, you mentioned AWS before they have ‘Bias for Action’. Right. Bias for Action. And ‘do-ocracy’s not dissimilar to that. And it comes about you talked about decisions before as well. Right. A lot of leaders I work with are like I want better decisions and faster decisions. And I’m like cool, which? Which of those do you want? Because if you want better decisions. Make them the very last minute. They’ll be great. You've lost the margin, right? You've lost the upside. But you made a great decision at the very, very last minute because the decision got made for you. If you make lots of fast decisions, some of them will be wrong, but you'll get to a great decision quicker, and they’re like Ohhh, this is like this is too hard. And it's the same right with do-ocracy. People are like I really want a bias for action. Here's all our policy, process and procedure, and you're like, Whoa, whoa, time out, hang on. The words you just said, were bias for action. And you gave me a 20-page compliance document. Right? Right. And so we say one thing, we deliver another. And I think right now, when you talk about that pace of change in the market, you look at the volatility in markets not just pace of change, but the violent swings in markets. How do I know that the policy that was written in 2018 is even applicable right now? Right. You know, the travel policy that says here's the average cost of a flight from A to B and your like that average cost changes every day based on supply and demand and so you're like, I need you Jeff to be in that country with that customer. So whatever it takes, get there and use your common sense because I trust you to make the right decision. Is different than going ‘the policy says. You can only spend $200’ so you don't go. And we miss out on a great deal with a customer. So this is where do-ocracy is. How do we get more of a bias for action? Not to diminish thinking, thinking work is really important, but a lot of the time we learn by doing right, I do so many strategy off-sites for companies where I'm sat that I'm like, on paper this looks lovely, but it just bears no resemblance to the actual business you’re in or the environment you're in, and at some point you need to stress test it not through role play or simulation, but just do it. And actually, as you said before, the small experiment, we could have learned more from spinning off three or four people going experimenting on it than sending 20 execs to an offsite for a week. So why don't we do the experiment instead and just see?

Jeff Frick:
Yeah, I love the experience that you recap. I can't remember where I saw it where somebody handed you back one of your consulting documents when you're on the other side of the chair. <laughter> And I'm sure it was beautiful and the graphics were lovely and the fonts were perfect and every color was matched, but a little different perspective. You talk about context.

Dom Price:
Yeah. It was 2010 and it was the best amount of heartburn I've ever had because it was a thud, right? As these reports just landed on my desk. I’d signed the contract and I’d accepted the job. I was super excited, had my parking space, had a little office. All good. I know where the coffee is there’s my tea, these reports and I look at them, and I'm like, ‘Oh no, I wrote those’. And I'd written them with such a utopian lens like, do this, do that, fix this, fix that. And I'm looking at it going, Ahhhh. And my boss walks in and he’s like, "They're yours now and not yours to rewrite. They're yours to deliver on." And I was like, ‘Ahhh’, the really utopian suggestion is now mine. And the reality of the environment was it was a lot harder. Now I'm glad I did it because that learning curve I could not have replaced anywhere else in the world. Like, there's a weird serendipity about inheriting your own B.S. and then having to fix it where it's like, this is wholly on me now. I've got to see this through. And so whilst painful, it was a very rewarding exercise.

Jeff Frick:
That's great. Like you said, there's. That's good learning right there.

So I want to shift gears as we're getting to the end of our time and talk about something I know that’s important to you and that's your personal moral inventory and your focus on happiness. And you know, you had a really unfortunate 2020, you know, with your own personal health issues and, you know, kind of facing your own mortality and rest in peace your sister, Trudy, who passed and, you know, it was pretty amazing. You did a TED talk about it so people can go in check it out. But it's, I love this thing that you came up with because you have productivity and profits are basically your financial health, your relationship with people, your relationship with the planet, your relationship with purpose. Okay, that's cool. But you can only score a -1, a 0, or a 1 you can't score a two. If you got your finances under control, you get the one, no matter how much you talk about it somewhere else, talk. Chasing the Nth degree fallacies, you know, get your one covered and then go focus where you're less than one. I wonder if you can share, you know, obviously a really personal thing but something that you know you talk about the darkness during your quarantine and really deciding to choose the light versus the dark. And if sounds like it was a pretty rough road there for a while.

Dom Price:
Yeah. So let me just give the context quickly. So start the pandemic. My sister had suffered with breast cancer for years. I then had my own diagnosis with bowel cancer. I had my operation managed to fly back to the UK and spend a bit of time with her before before she passed away and then returned to Sydney and this is in the pandemic. So I was in quarantine. I was locked in a hotel room for two weeks by myself, could not leave the room, the windows were locked and screwed shut just me in a room by myself going stir crazy after some pretty horrific sort of life-changing stuff. And I'm sat there and you just got too much time on your hands and too much time either sends you down or up and it sent me both. In times of despair and times of high. And I just had this moment where I was like, "I think this is on me. Like, I think I decide whether I can get happiness from this or whether I live in sadness the rest of life. I think most of that is on me. So what's my decision and whatever that decision is, how do I then work out my investments, my time investments to make myself happy?" And so the Personal Moral Inventory came about actually from the world of finance and the world of military, and so I fudged the two together based on the serendipity, right. I had done an event with this high-performance coach of military teams. I’d done some finance stuff. And I'm like, "What happens when we glue this together?" And that's where you can’t score higher than one came about because I was like, "I know lots of people that are wealthy. And on the productivity profit, they’d score a one and the things they're doing this year they're investing in are to be more wealthy but not more happy. They're not going to be happy because they're still not got tight friendships, and they're not looking after themselves. Nor, are they looking after their community, their people, right, their family, their friends. They've not got a purpose other than wealth and without doing anything with it. And they're killing the planet in the process. So I know they're not happy, but they're growing one thing more and at the dissent of the other." And that's where that constraint came in. And then it was kind of serendipity that I've been earmarked to do a TED talk for a few years and the topics hadn't quite landed and just as I was coming out of quarantine, Fenella (Kernebone), who curates TEDx Sydney called me. And she's like, ‘We were looking at you for this year. We know you talk about the future of work really well. The problem is, this year's topic is ‘Raw’ and it doesn't really fit with the future of work. And I was like, "I'm not going to talk about the future of work. I'm not, I talk about that seven days a week. I'm not going to get on a TEDx stage and talk about the future of work. I can do ‘Raw’ and I've got a topic for you," and I explained it to them and they’re like, "go for it." So it was this hugely cathartic moment for me personally, selfishly, just that moment was hugely cathartic in the sort of three or four years since then, the amount of joy that I felt from people pinging me on random socially, on LinkedIn, and Twitter or wherever, going, "Oh my God, I just stumbled across your talk. Here's my story, here's how it's helped me, how your talk helped me." That fills my cup every day Jeff because I didn't do the talk for me. I did. The talk for me was very cathartic. I'm not going to escape that, right. I'm not some selfless person. It was a wonderful experience to get to do that for my sister, for myself, and for a whole other sort of some personal goals. But the payback since has been huge, right? It's had over 3 million views. And I don't care about the number. I care about the people that ping me and go, "Here's how you positively impacted me." And they're all over the world and there’s probably a whole lot I don't hear from, so I still do that exercise probably once a year or if I'm feeling out of kilter. Yeah, every now and then the spidey sense goes off and you're like, "Something's not right." And you're like, "I'm chasing something that's already a one and I've got something here that's a minus one, and I want it to be a zero and is not going to do it itself. So how do I course correct." And so I use it to balance my mojo investment portfolio whatever you want to call it, each year just to do a rebalance.

Jeff Frick:
Yeah, I love it. I think it's a really valuable thing. The fact that you can't get more than one on any category, to really focus where it's worthwhile. And it also, you know, dovetails, you know, interestingly in Atlassian's philosophy being a 1% company, having their foundation both as a company as well as giving employees time to do other things and explore new things. I think I remember when I first got involved with them, they were doing something like it was like ten JIRA seats for $10 and the $10 went to charity to build schools in Africa.

Dom Price:
Oh exactly, the starter licenses. Yeah, we still do that.

Jeff Frick:
I'm like, "That is genius. I mean, who doesn’t want to throw down their credit card for that?" And I think, you know, the guys have really done a great job of incorporating their values into this company, even as it's grown, even as it's... How many people are at Atlassian now?

Dom Price:
It’s huge. We're over 10,000 people now and spread all over the world. But that ethos started when it was just Scott and Mike and 1% of profits was nothing because we weren't making it right. One percent of equity was like? It was 1% of nothing. And so as we've got bigger, that 1% is still 1%, but it's got substantially bigger. If you think about the employee time, we all get five days Foundation leave. You got 10,000 staff with five days a year to go and do charitable work. So I do mine. I do twenty not-for-profit events per year right where I do speaking. I normally charge silly amounts of money to do speaking engagements for corporates, for charities, I do it for free. So I do about half a million dollars worth of pro-bono work a year for charities where they want to do giant events. But they can't afford to pay for a speaker. I'm like, "I'll do it because I've got the foundational leave right, so I can." So I'm doing my first one next week. I'm flying up to Brisbane in Australia, a company called Orange Sky who help homeless people get access to laundry, showers, and personal care. Right? They service 50,000 people in the local community, right. Who they help. And right now with the cost of living crisis, I know it's the same in the US. We've got some storms in far north Queensland, so there's a lot of homelessness that as a charity helping people. Their senior leaders are having an offsite and I'm running it for the day, like, why wouldn't I? Right. Because I've, they've given me the five days leave. No one tells me how to use it, I choose how to use it and I want to deploy it on the highest value thing. And so when you see that almost like circular economy in play, you're like, it just makes sense.

Now, let's go full circle Jeff, what's the ROI on that? There isn’t one. Does it feel like the right thing to do here? Hell Yeah! Right. So, foundation 1% pledge. I can't give you the ROI on that, but it feels like the right thing to do for the betterment of the entire world. Well, just do it then. And so this is where metrics can get in our way. But common sense can always lead us to a better path. R

Jeff Frick:
Right. I love like think how you... the attitude of, you know, don't ask permission. Why haven't you done it yet? If it sounds good, go out and do it.

Well, Dom, we're at the end of our time. We're starting 2024. So I'll give you the last word. You know, personally and professionally, as you look forward as we flip the calendars, you know, what are you excited about coming up? What are some things that maybe we didn't cover that you think is important for the people to know?

Dom Price:
I'm really excited for us to finally unleash our potential. I think 2024 is going to be the year that humans realize that we should be human and the machines should be machines, and we can coexist. And the reason I mention that is I think we spent 20 years trying to compete with the machines. We don't need to compete with them; they’re good at high volume, efficient stuff. And we're good at vulnerability and empathy and compassion and care and a whole other stuff. And so I hope that the confluence of those together means that work gets more human, we get more enjoyment, satisfaction, engagement from it, and that actually leads to a better existence for us all. But we all actually... We get to achieve the happiness that we were all in pursuit of and that we don't ever get to our deathbed and wish that we’d done something different. So I think 2024 is the year that we grab our life and our career around the neck and go, "I own this and I influence it and I control it and I'm going to make positive changes for the better." And I don't know what it's going to look like, but we're going to we're all in it together, right. And if we do that and we treat humans as humans, I think we've got an amazing opportunity as a society, as a community, and as business leaders to build a better future than the past, not that the past was bad, but I think we can do a damn sight better.

Jeff Frick:
Yeah. Love it. Well, thank you. That is a great parting message and really appreciate the time Dom. Really been fun getting to know you and doing the research for this and going through some of your library. You've got a lot of great content out there.

Dom Price:
Mate. Jeff, carry on doing what you're doing cause the people that you interview and the messages you get to share. Each of these gets a drip feed, right? And I think this is this collective wisdom of inspiring people to just be comfortable trying something different. So carry on doing what you're doing. I really appreciate it.

Jeff Frick:
Thank you. Appreciate that.
All right. He's Dom. I'm Jeff. You're watching Work 20XX.
Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening on the podcast. We'll see you next time. Take care.

Cold Close:
Thank you.
That was great, Dom.
Jeff, that was so much fun.
It was so much fun.

Dominic Price

Work Futurist, Atlassian

LinkedIn Profile

Dom Price dot me

Dom’s TEDx Talk Four ways to live a better and happier life | Dominic Price TEDx Talks YouTube Channel 2021-Jan-01

Dom’s Personal Moral Inventory - Happiness


Modern Work Manifesto

Context over content
Evolution over transformation
Outcomes over outputs
Adaptability over adherence
Team over individual
Vocation over location  

Open Source - Atlassian Resources available for all to use

Async Collaboration for Distributed Teams

Atlassian Team Anywhere

Atlassian Team Playbook

Atlassian University course

Network of Teams

Putting teams at the center of modern work with our new Ways of Working offering

Roles and Responsibilities

Running Effective Meetings

The State of Teams research

Team Poster

Team Shaping

Teamwork Lab space on Atlassian Community

Working Agreements

Atlassian Values  

Open Company, no Bullshit
Build with Heart and Balance (measure twice, cut once)
Don’t ‘F’ the Customer
Play, as a team
Be the Change you Seek

Atlassian Foundation

Pledge 1% -  percent dot org

Don’s 5 ‘L’s

Longed For
Laughed At

—--- Select Episodes and Articles and Books and Publications ---

The Power of Subtraction - Shedding for Greater Well-Being & Personal Growth
By Maria-Stella Contera, Braninz 2024-Jan-11

The Friction Project: How Smart Leaders Make the Right Things Easier and the Wrong Things Harder by Robert I. Sutton and Huggy Rao, St. Martin’s Press, 2024-Jan-30

Sophie Wade:  Sophie Wade: Transforming, Skills, Change, Truth | Work 20XX podcast

Silos are NOT bad, by Dominic Price, LinkedIn Post

The Future of Work | Scaling Enterprise Agility | Atlassian, Atlassian YouTube Channel

Nick Bloom: Profitability, Performance, Retention | Work 20XX podcast

Brian Elliott: Connected, Effective, Workplace Future | Work 20XX

047 Dominic Price, Keep Rolling with Jake Briggs, YouTube Channel

The 5Ls The Gift of a Balanced Life: Your Pathway To Personal And Professional Success By Sal Lagreca and Mike Mannix, Unparalleled Performance, 2022-Oct-05

Dom Price Q&A with Jay Shetty | Team '22 | Atlassian, Atlassian YouTube, Dom hosting

Darren Murph: Remote-First, Async Communications, Operating Manual | Work 20XX podcast

The Kickass Career: Virtual book launch, Dr Ben Hamer YouTube,

Dominic Price Head of R&D & Work Futurist, Atlassian, Sydney, NSW

Four ways to live a better and happier life | Dominic Price | TEDxSydney

The future of work: Atlassian's Dom Price On Canteen Australia YouTube

What’s your happiness score? - TEDxSydney,

Inclusivity, Team Building During COVID-19 Bloomberg TV

‘Create disruptions’: Why Atlassian’s Dom Price has no work routine By Jessica Yun, Yahoo Finance

Australia’s post-COVID workforce: Shaping the path to recovery By LinkedIn Staff, The Sydney Morning Herald

An Atlassian Work Futurist And An AI Expert Discuss The Future of Work | GQ Big Ideas, Facebook GQ Australia

Has the future of the office changed forever? By Jewel Topfield, The Sydney Morning Herald

The Rise of Work Anywhere: New Atlassian Research Uncovers the Everyday Trust of Employees during the Pandemic Business Wire

Watch An Atlassian Work Futurist And An AI Expert Discuss The Future Of WorkBy GQ Staff, GQ

Easy Agile Podcast Ep.1 - Dominic Price, Work Futurist At Atlassian with Nick Muldoo, Easy Agile YouTube Channel,

the Evolution of Work: Will Robots Run the Workplace? | PAUSE FEST 2020, Pause Fest YouTube Channel

Dom Price on Leadership during COVID-19, and what Atlassian got wrong By Stephanie Palmer-Derrien, Smart Company

Coronavirus recession, not robots, set to take jobs from future workforce, By Andy Park, Amy Donaldson, and Laura Kewley, ABC News

2020-July-01 The Future of Work with Dom Price, Futurists World YouTube Channel

Adapting to new ways of working, Macquarie Group YouTube

Dominic Price - Future of Work @ Atlassian Cloud Connect 2020,  Amrut Software YouTube Channel

Employees want their employers to take action on social issues, cost of living and the environment By Jack Gramenz, News.Com. AU

Atlassian business software giant pushes out free Chrome extension to help fix bad workplace habits By Jack Gramenz,

2019-Oct-23 Dom Price: The Future of Work in Tech - Futurist of Atlassian. Vee Globell Ep6, Vee Globell YouTube Channel,

2019-Jun-24 AWS Executive Forum 2019 - Be a Better Innovation Leader Today and Tomorrow, Amazon Web Services YouTube,

2019-Jun-14Future of Work: The Power of Remote Teams - Dom Price, Startup Grind YouTube Channel

Atlassian's Global Head of R&D and Work Futurist, Dom Price on Working into the Future, Roll-Right-In Podcast YouTube Channel


2019-Jan-23 WorldWebForum 2019 Keynote Dom Price, Roll-Right-In Podcast YouTube Channel

2018-Sept-25 Atlassian’s Dom Price on how he uses Imposter Syndrome to his advantage, How I Work Podcast

2018-July-09 Dominic Price, Head of R&D and Work Futurist at Atlassian,  Build it : The Rebel Playbook for Employee Engagement posted a video to playlist The Rebel Interviews. - Facebook

2018-July-18 ADAPT INSIGHTS | Dom Price, Head of R&D and Work Futurist at Atlassian, Adapt YouTube Channel

2018-July-15 THE FUTURE OF WORK IN A DISTRIBUTED WORLD. DOMINIC PRICE, WORK FUTURIST, ATLASSIAN -Running Remote YouTube Channel Opens with Mama Mia Dancing

2018-July-10Dominic Price, Head of R&D and Work Futurist at Atlassian talks to Debra Corey, Rebel Playbook for Employee Engagement YouTube

2018-July-09Dominic Price, Head of R&D and Work Futurist at Atlassian, Build it: The Rebel Playbook for Employee Engagement, The Rebel Interviews, Facebook  

2018-May-28“No bullshit”: Atlassian’s Dom Price shares four key ingredients for scaling a startup By Stephanie Palmer-Derrien, Smart Company

2018-Apr-15#8. Dom Price on Multi-Generational Workforce,Future Proof with Penny Locaso YouTube Channel

2015-Sept-15The Five “Ls” of Leadership By Dr Greg Morriss, LinkedIn Article, 2015-Sept-15

2012-Sept-05The Power of Subtraction By Anthony Tjan, Harvard Business Review, 2012-Sept-05

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Jeff Frick
Founder and Principal,
Menlo Creek Media

Jeff Frick has helped literally tens of thousands of executives share their stories. In his latest show, Work 20XX, Jeff is sharpening the focus on the future of work, and all that it entails.