W Framework for Strategic Planning

Maggie Sun
5 min readMay 23, 2024

Drawing experiences from their work at Airbnb and Eventbrite, Lenny Rachitsky and Nels Gilbreth developed W Framework, a four-step process to effectively streamline the complicated planning process, empower leaders to construct cohesive strategic plans and enhance the chance of their successful implementation.

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Step 1. Context

Leadership shares the high-level strategy with teams, ensuring everyone understands the broader goals and context. This step delivers a draft strategic plan that includes:

- Mission: what the company aims to achieve.

- Vision: the desired outcome once the mission is accomplished.

- Goal: concrete criteria to measure success.

- Strategy: the path to achieving the goal.

- Strategic pillars: key bets the company needs to make.

Example: Airbnb’s Leadership shares a draft strategic plan emphasizing global expansion into the APAC market, with Japan as a likely focus.

Tips for developing the strategic plan:

  1. Start with listening: engage with…

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Maggie Sun

MBA, certified agile coach and experienced strategy analyst, specializing in business agility, agile leadership, Beyond Budgeting, and general management.