Building Authentic Start-up Cultures

Written by
Ryan McGrory
August 4, 2022

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with 🦩 Claudia Barriga-Larriviere, a seasoned pro in culture strategy and the startup space. In our chat, Claudia shared her unique insights on the importance of authentic startup cultures and their impact on wellbeing and success. Here are some key takeaways from our conversation:

1. Embracing Creativity and Discomfort

Claudia emphasised the interesting aspects of working in an environment that thrives on discomfort. Startup cultures appear to attract intriguing individuals who possess a creative mindset. Having grown up in a family of creatives, Claudia developed a deep appreciation for the fusion of building and design, where functionality takes precedence over appearance. She believes that this ethos is particularly intriguing in the startup world, where limited resources and time fuel the need for innovative problem-solving:

"The type of people that environment attracts are really interesting people. I love the spirit of building and design, focusing on how something works rather than how it looks. That, to me, is eternally intriguing"

2. Cultivating a Culture of Action

Drawing from her experience in both startup and corporate environments, Claudia talked about the stark differences in cultures. While startups thrive on incomplete information and encourage starting projects with limited resources, corporate environments often value predictability and consensus. Claudia stressed the importance of understanding that there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to culture. The right culture depends on the company's type, stage, and the work being done:

"It's about what is the right culture for not only what type of company you have but also the stage your company is at. Every company is different."

3. Codifying Culture at the Right Time

Claudia spoke of the importance of codifying culture once a startup reaches a point where direct contact with the founder becomes limited. This stage is often marked by the need for more clarity in decision-making and direction. While the timing may vary for each company, having defined cultural values and principles ensures that everyone is aligned and can make informed decisions even when immediate access to the founder isn't possible.

"Once you're at a spot where you can't just turn to your right or left and get an answer, that's when you need to start codifying things."

Building an authentic startup culture involves embracing creativity, valuing discomfort, and adapting to the unique needs of the company and its employees. It's a continuous process that requires introspection, open communication, and a focus on well-being.

To gain further insights into the captivating conversation with Claudia Barriga-Larriviere, check out the full Let's Talk About EX podcast episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or my website (links below) and discover how her experiences and expertise can shed light on the pivotal role of culture in driving startup success.

🎧 Listen to the full episode on Spotify - Click Here

🍏 Tune in on Apple Podcasts - Click Here

💻 Visit my website to access the episode - Click Here