WOW OF THE WEEK: Alamo Drafthouse

Share this post


“Our success is driven from our culture. As we grow and move into new markets, we want our culture to be seen and felt consistently everywhere. DH helped us to clearly identify who we are today and who we want to be tomorrow." 

— Nick Vega, Director of Training

This week's WOW is Alamo Drafthouse, a cinema chain founded in Austin, TX with a passion to preserve authentic cinephile culture. Kicking people out of the theater for texting is as high a priority as serving a hand-crafted cocktail from their bars called "Half Full" (kindred spirits, are we).

With a vision to expand from 20 to 30 cinemas within two years, Alamo's challenge was less about creating culture and more about clearly defining and maintaining a strong culture as they grow.

Alamo's Goals: 

  • Integrate Alamo’s culture and brand even further into the customer experience
  • Define a unifying, consistent culture across the entire organization, including new markets in Denver, San Francisco, and New York City
  • Maintain Alamo’s identity as they double in size in the next 2-3 years
  • Improve leadership development to sustain culture and promote 80% from within
  • Reduce employee stress for more balanced people and a more balanced operation

DH Approach:

INSPIRE: Executive Alignment Session

  • Through the Executive Alignment Session, Alamo leaders gained the clarity to define their ideal culture vision, craft a meaningful purpose and set of core values. From there they worked with DH to develop a Communications, Reinforcement, and Roll Out Strategy.

ASSESS: MAP Assessment for 130+ Employees

  • The Happiness at Work Survey identified gaps in operations, communication, work/life balance, and career development. DH coaches guided the Alamo leaders in building out initiatives for improvement.

DEFINE: Customized Happy Me Workshop

  • Happier workplaces start with happy employees. DH coaches guided Alamo leaders in building the strategies, skills, and an ideal mindset to align personal and organizational well-being.

Outcomes included:

  • Defined Alamo's Higher Purpose, Mission and Core Value
  • Aligned Core Value "Do the Right Thing" with key, well-defined Behaviors!
  • Integrated foundational elements into organizational systems including Hiring and Team Performance
  • Increased employee's experience at work and decreased stress levels
  • Implemented metrics to measure culture as the company grows

Click to see the full Alamo Case Study and to learn more about how happiness at work can help to start, scale, or sustain your company's culture. 

Download the Alamo Case Study Here


Kelsey is passionately curious about social global movements. Her purpose is to inspire a world where people are awakened to who they truly are and aligned to the work they are meant to do. Kelsey thrives at the intersection of: community and culture design, social innovation and entrepreneurship, and people and leadership development. Kelsey found her workplace tribe at Delivering Happiness, where she serves as both the Community Captain & Support Coach. As Community Captain, Kelsey leads DH’s global engagement through relationship building and marketing strategy. As a Support Coach, Kelsey co-facilitates and presents on the science of happiness applied to work and how to implement organizational culture change.

Catch Kelsey online: Twitter: @kelseykwong email: linkedin: kelseywong

About the Author

Kelsey Wong


Subscribe to our blog