Ep 10: Scaling with Soul: Rapid7’s Christina Luconi on Balancing Growth and Culture in a Hybrid World

Wednesday, May 1, 2024
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  • Leading with values: Meeting business objectives and work flexibility
  • Navigating the Future of Work: Building company culture and adapting workspaces
  • Designing office neighborhoods to maintain transparency and connection
  • The importance of in-person collaboration and relationship building

I’m excited to kick off season 2 with our guest Christina Luconi, Chief People Officer at cybersecurity firm Rapid7. The Boston Globe calls her "a fixture on the Boston startup scene with two decades of experience advising CEOs, sitting on boards, and influencing the people side of corporate culture." For the past 13 years, Christina has been responsible for the entire employee life cycle of Rapid7 with a key focus on recruiting stellar talent, building and scaling culture, and making acquisition integration really work.

We’re excited to welcome Christina to discuss lessons learned from scaling a high-growth tech company through the pandemic. Having the opportunity to fail fast and try many things has helped develop a boldness and audacity in Christina from a young age. Now, she leverages her experience and daringness to scale a company with soul. 

“Why do they call it human resources? My printer’s a resource. A human isn’t.” - Christina Luconi, Chief People Officer at Rapid7

Scaling With Soul in a Hybrid World (from 75 to 2,500 employees!)

Christina's passion is understanding what the business is trying to accomplish first and then figuring out the right levers to inspire people to want to be on that journey. For her, that's "scaling with soul." It means running the business strategically but keeping culture at the center of it. It’s about figuring out how to balance a healthy business with a healthy workforce.

Historically, Rapid7 had been a very in-person office. Collaboration was and still is such a huge element of how they get stuff done and connect as people. Going offline and not being together for months was a challenge. Coming out of the pandemic, they had to decide how to adapt to this future of work as a company. Christina shared that Rapid7 took time to understand what was best for the business and customers and then created policies to support that. This meant bringing people together regularly while still providing location flexibility.

“Getting stuff done does not equal impactful work all the time.” - Christina Luconi, Chief People Officer at Rapid7

Christina noted that a common mantra with the rise of remote work has been “get your work done from anywhere.” However, she believes that simply being productive is insufficient. She emphasized the importance of in-person collaboration and relationship building, especially for younger employees, as they are the main drivers of business impact.

Christina pointed out that leaders should think holistically about how in-person interactions, mentorship, and unstructured time together foster innovation, problem-solving, trust-building, and career development. 

Designing Intentionally Around Core Values

Christina shared how Rapid7 designed office spaces and neighborhoods to maintain transparency and connection as the company scaled. The company designed its offices to break down silos and encourage connection points across teams and levels. For example, they cut a giant square through all floors so anyone standing in the lobby can see to the top to visually reinforce that they are one unified company.

While the physical office design lends itself to creating a culture of connection, Christina shared that Rapid7's core values around transparency, user focus, and bringing your authentic self to work truly unite its diverse workforce. These values manifest through consistent leadership communications, empathetic policies, camaraderie in the office, and a judgment-free environment.

“Trust and relationship building and collaboration—none of those things went away. They’re still really important to business success.” - Christina Luconi, Chief People Officer at Rapid7

Meeting People Where They Are

Christina shared that Rapid7 accommodates a spectrum of needs while balancing business priorities. Employees can flex their in-office schedules based on personal or team requirements. The company tries to accommodate these varying needs from a workplace perspective. For example, it’s invested in more private telephone booths to support employees who need a quiet space for private conversations.

“We try to create this sentiment that relationships are really important. We've gotta be in this together—whether it’s cameras on, time in the office, or spending time with your team. Those things become really important. Transactional can get stuff done, but it doesn't necessarily create the most impactful work.” - Christina Luconi, Chief People Officer at Rapid7

Even so, Christina emphasized regularly being together as a crucial part of their culture. She pointed out that they obviously want the business to thrive but also want people’s careers to thrive. Building relationships becomes really important for that. Some amount of in-person time is beneficial to many careers. 

Christina believes it will take companies some time to nail how to build a cultural foundation in a hybrid setting. She pointed to the drastic changes between going 100% remote and backtracking to fully in-person as the main factor that ruined company culture for many. To her, hybrid work is the best of both worlds for companies to navigate. Even if a company is 100% remote, budgeting for people to spend time physically together is still essential.

Trust, relationship building, and collaboration have never gone away—they’re still essential to business success. How companies execute these so they work for the business and the employees will be key. At Rapid7, employees appreciate the company’s clear vision and flexibility in execution.

Aligning Your Individual and Company Values

Lastly, Christina emphasized the importance of being clear on who you are and who you aspire to be as a company. She shared her own story to support this. She had joined Rapid7 when the company only had 75 people; now, they’re a global public company with 2,500 employees. Things have changed significantly, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is their value set. They weave it into everything they do in a strategic way that supports the business.

At Rapid7, they’re focused on doing incredible work for customers and want people who also believe in that value. The company makes tradeoffs to keep the business healthy while caring for employees holistically. Christina believes that relying on those value sets and all their hard work has allowed them to continue to "scale with soul."

“You have to be very clear about what you want to achieve as an individual in your career and try to find the right environment where you can thrive. Make sure they align. I think that’s probably the key to success, happiness, and pretty much anything.” - Christina Luconi, Chief People Officer at Rapid7


Rapid7 - Leading provider of security data analytics and automation with solutions for threat detection and response. Over 10,000 customers worldwide. Went public in 2015 and has over 2,500 employees globally.



Jenny Moebius

SVP @ Skedda | Angel Investor

Jenny is a top Go-To-Market (GTM) leader in the Greater Boston area, where she has a track record of building powerful brands and categories, generating demand (for both sales- and product-led orgs), and creating energizing mission-driven cultures of belonging in the B2B tech space.


Christina Luconi

Chief People Officer

People Strategy Executive for small and start up companies that have “scaled with soul,” including Symantec, Sapient, and now Rapid7. Recognized as a visionary in her field who truly believes a great company starts with the quality and leadership of people you have on the team—and the culture you build to scale the organization.

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