Nourishing Growth for an Ambitious Team

Nourish’s CTO is committed to a growth mindset and mission-driven focus for the company’s growing team as they work to make lives healthier through food.

Written by Brigid Hogan
Published on Feb. 07, 2024
Nourishing Growth for an Ambitious Team
Nourish
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“We’re a mission-oriented company — all of our work goes to making people’s lives healthier through food,” Nourish’s Chief Technology Officer Stephanie Liu told Built In.

Just as Nourish’s dietitians craft balanced clinical-grade nutrition plans for patients, Liu is crafting a workplace where each element supports a thriving team as they contribute to the collective mission of improving public health.

Liu emphasizes a personalized approach to leadership at Nourish, recognizing that each person and team is unique. The common thread, however, is the goal of enabling every team member to excel.

“At the core, our leadership team wants to empower everyone on the team to grow into their full potential,” she said. “It looks different for every person and every team, but fundamentally, our job is to make sure each of these talented and driven individuals can do their best work.”
 

“Fundamentally, our job is to make sure each of these talented and driven individuals can do their best work.”

 

In Liu’s vision, that full potential isn’t bound by an individual’s time at Nourish or even the company’s bold goal of transforming health through nutrition. Instead, she sees much of the team as “future founders” whom she can support as they grow to develop the abilities they will need to eventually take on their own visionary work.

“We’re a team of ambitious people who don’t shy away from hard work,” she said.

That commitment and dedication isn’t limited to any one group or level at Nourish, according to Liu. From her perspective, the entire team is able to see how the hours they spend at work genuinely contribute to improving people’s health.

“The healthcare system in the United States is broken, and we’re on a mission to fix it,” she said. “If you’re looking for a mission-driven company, Nourish is for you.”

Built In heard more about how Liu and Nourish’s leaders are building a supportive culture rooted in the company’s shared mission.

 

How do you build team culture? What does that look like at Nourish?

Stephanie Liu
Chief Technology Officer • Nourish

A lot of our culture revolves around reminding ourselves of our mission,  whether that’s through our all-hands meetings where our dietitians will talk through their work and best practices, or through Slack channels where we celebrate patient wins. It’s important to stay rooted in why we’re doing what we’re doing, so we can lean on that when times inevitably get tough.

Our office is another important part of our culture. One interesting thing we learned from Max Mullen from Instacart was the importance of designing your physical space to reflect culture. Our new space in New York is very playful, fun, bright and homey, and that carries through in our team culture. For our remote team, we try to have in-person off-site meetings and dedicated time for team fun at the start of meetings.

Lastly, we try our best to foster a culture of transparency. We’re open with our KPIs and numbers, and we encourage open communication as well as feedback — we believe these things set the tone for a culture of collaboration.
 

“Our new space in New York is very playful, fun, bright and homey, and that carries through in our team culture.”

 

How do you help your team grow their careers?

We’re big believers in the growth mindset, so it’s especially important for us to provide all our team with a combination of internal and external tools they need to keep growing. 

Externally, we connect our teams to people from other companies who have been in their position before and who they can learn from. That could look like someone on our engineering team trying to find the best way to build something leading to connecting them to someone in my network who’s done the exact same thing a few years ago. 

On the internal front, being part of a fast-growing startup naturally means opportunities to grow alongside it. We proactively flag projects that may be interesting to folks and check in periodically with each person to see what they want to learn.

 

What is something exciting that you are currently working on with your team?

I’m really excited to keep improving the ways we match patients and providers. It’s a fundamental part of what we do, and there’s so much that goes into it — everything from provider availability and specialties to preferred communication styles to insurance coverage. As we’ve scaled, we’ve gotten a lot of data and signals on what truly matters the most to patients,  so I’m excited to leverage that and double down here.

 

Why should others want to join your team?

There’s a lot of opportunities to build zero to one with a product that has product-market fit. At the same time, there’s also a ton of opportunities to scale our core features that already have traction and take them from one to 100. It’s quite rare to have such a wide playing field and learning opportunity combined with a company that’s growing so quickly. If you enjoy building and want to see from the inside how a startup evolves through different growth stages, you should join.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Nourish.

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