How Vacasa scaled its global strategy

November 2019

Headquarters

Portland, OR

Industry

Hospitality

Employees

5000

Website

vacasa.com

“With Koan, we now have a single place to communicate and execute on our strategy. I can see the status of our top priorities — and more importantly, everyone else can, too.”

Eric Breon

CEO, Vacasa

From zero to number one

Vacasa needed less than ten years to become North America’s largest vacation rental company, but scaling the leadership practices behind its massive success wasn’t always straightforward.

Vacasa offices in Portland

“Early on it was easy. We were all relatively in the same location, which made it easier for everyone to be on the same page. Our leadership team was involved in most of the decision-making, and that just wasn’t scalable. As we grew, especially internationally, it became increasingly important to be clear about our goals and where we were headed, says Lisa Hovey, Vacasa’s chief of staff.

With the company’s objectives spread between emails, ad-hoc conversations, and each department’s preferred tools, Vacasa needed a better way to coordinate its global strategy. The Objective and Key Result (OKR) framework gave Vacasa employees a common strategic language, but at scale OKRs proved difficult to track, maintain, and discover across the organization. “From a change-management standpoint, we needed a solution that would fit our culture and infuse habits into our day-to-day behavior,” says Hovey. “It had to be easy to use and be something that people actually wanted to use by providing value in multiple ways.”

Discovering Koan

That’s when Vacasa found Koan. “We considered our options for platforms to help share and achieve our goals, but for ease-of-use, full OKR functionality, and customizability, there wasn’t another solution that could compare,” says Hovey. “ As we more clearly defined what we were seeking in a partner, Koan became a clear choice in fulfilling our needs.”

After an initial pilot with Vacasa’s leadership team, Hovey introduced Koan to a set of strategic early adopters. As excitement grew, Koan became a part of daily conversations. “You would walk around the building and hear, 'it's so nice to see the alignment, and see how I fit into the bigger picture',” says Hovey.

High output management at scale

In the days since Koan’s rollout, Vacasa employees have tracked hundreds of OKRs and shared tens of thousands of weekly reflections. The company is growing as fast as ever, but with more transparency and better alignment than ever before. “With 60% year-over-year growth, we’re running.” says Hovey. “Not walking; running. And we all need to be running in the same direction.”

These days, it's hard to imagine Vacasa running any other way. As Vacasa founder and CEO, Eric Breon puts it, “with Koan, we now have a single place to communicate and execute on our strategy. I can see the status of our top priorities—and more importantly, everyone else can, too.”

Koan users

750

Enagement

84%

Koan NPS

36 (among managers)

Reflections

22,607

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