Business in Focus: Constellation Brands

A closer look at companies executing leadership excellence

2020 has challenged leaders in ways they never expected. Outside of the healthcare industries, corporate leaders may feel unequipped to navigate the medical complexities that come with leading through a pandemic. Even the most seasoned leaders who’ve won accolades for setting vision, values, strategy, and culture, have little understanding of the many unknowns that this pandemic and future ones might present. Yet, organizations now have a life or death role to play in protecting the health of employees, customers, and the public. One organization, Constellation Brands, has decided to add a new executive to the C-Suite – a Chief Medical Officer.

You may not recognize the name Constellation Brands, but their products in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space – Robert Mondavi Winery, Casa Noble Tequila, and Corona beer – are likely more familiar. Constellation has long embraced an agile approach, listening to trends and responding accordingly. When it recognized that the Covid-19 crisis would be fluid for some, they brought in an expert with medical and scientific training to fill the gap.

That role of Chief Medical Officer has been filled with Dr. Tim Malins. In a recent interview with Harvard Business Review, Dr. Malins shared three key reasons why this role is essential not only for today’s extenuating circumstances, but also for long-term growth.

  1. Employee health. Constellation gave its workforce direct access to Dr. Malins with an event called “Conversations with our Chief Medical Officer” on the company intranet. The idea was to give everyone peace of mind that the organization is seeking a medical perspective to best understand how to keep our employees and communities safe.
  2. Customer safety. Organizations have to decide when and how to start seeing customers, attending conferences, and much more. With so much conflicting information that’s changing by the day, it’s important to have an expert who is capable of wading through and interpreting all the data and opinions to determine the course of action that best serves your customer base.
  3. Compliance everywhere. Navigating through a pandemic means wading through health regulations and protocol at every level: global (World Health Organization), national (Centers for Disease Control in the United States), regional, state, and local. Without a Chief Medical Officer in place, a single misstep can lead to PR nightmares and expensive lawsuits.

Kudos to Constellation for leading the way in putting health and safety first. To read more about the company’s many awards and accolades, click here.












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