Case Studies

NewsWest //OrganizationalTransformation

Engagement Overview

Title: Organizational Transformation
Date: 1996-2001
Participants: Multiple projects across the organization
Key Topics: Organizational Transformation, Blended Leadership Development, Change Management, Culture Management

Organizational Transformation

Prior to founding Advanture Consulting, Joel Shapiro helped transform his third generation family business from a small, local, non-competitive (franchise / monopoly) commodity supplier, to a medium sized, regional, value added, highly competitive service provider. Almost every aspect of the business had to be changed, including its mission, vision, strategy and core values, and these changes were made during a period of intense competition against a multi-national firm and in the course of massive industry consolidation and change.

In this period, NewsWest tripled its annual revenues, opened branches in several new cities, completed three mergers and two acquisitions, and maintained very high levels of employee engagement and retention and customer satisfaction. During this period, Joel was responsible for HR strategy, aligning culture with vision and strategy, merger integration management, change management, employee engagement, and leadership development. NewsWest is now recognized as North America’s leader in the value added distribution of magazines and books to the retail trade, and in 2011 acquired Metro News (

Blended Leadership Development Program

In his capacity of Director of Learning & Change, Joel designed, facilitated, and managed a two-year blended leadership development program for the top 24 managers of NewsWest. The program included workshops, action learning projects, competency profiling, 360° feedback, individual and team coaching, independent study, and online surveys and assignments with cohort benchmarking.

In addition to improving leadership competencies and bench strength, the program was designed to drive concrete business results, improve performance/productivity, enhance employee engagement and retention, improve communication & teamwork across the organization, and align our culture with corporate vision, strategy, and core values.


“Joel’s skills, knowledge, and leadership development workshops and tools would benefit any organization in the development of their employees and managers. Joel is committed to helping others learn and grow in the workplace—he has certainly helped me and many of my colleagues.”

- Chris Brann // Director of Logistics, NewsWest

“Joel Shapiro and his team have enabled me to build important skills that were immediately transferable to the real world. I liked the use of stories and real life examples to drive relevant points home. I strongly recommend Advanture’s leadership development programs. They have provided my teams with many useful ideas, skills and tools to help us grow as managers and leaders, and to help us build our business.”

- Glenn Black // National Account Manager, NewsWest

“I have been fortunate to participate in several learning programs designed and facilitated by Joel Shapiro in his capacity as Director of Learning & Change at NewsWest… Throughout these programs we created good ideas with impact, and more importantly we learned to share these ideas throughout our organization, which delivered mission critical results! Joel provides a very positive and safe learning environment… On a personal note I believe Joel’s development programs have helped me grow both personally and professionally throughout my career path at NewsWest.”

- John Carmichael // Vice President Sales, NewsWest


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