Donatella Cinelli Colombini: “A Volcano of Ideas”

20 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2019

See all articles by Lynn Isabella

Lynn Isabella

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

This field-based case offers the experiences of a historic winery in Tuscany, Italy, to set the stage for how the leader's philosophy affects all aspects of the company, as well as how those practices create the culture of an all-female-staffed organization. The situation provides an opportunity to explore and connect the relationship among the leader's values, the actions she takes, and the impact of those values and actions on how the organization works. The case opens with the owner of Casato Prime Donne and Fattoria del Colle wineries, Donatella Cinelli Colombini, reflecting on strategic plans to increase production, build a warehouse, and grow the estates. In the long term, she would have to decide when a good time might be to step down from the business and pass it to her daughter. Had she built a self-managed team that could continue to grow the business and build future relationships between the wineries and tourism? Was her business sturdy enough to stand on its own when she left?

Excerpt

UVA-OB-1290

Aug. 27, 2019

Donatella Cinelli Colombini: “A Volcano of Ideas”

The story of each one of us is so different.

—Donatella Cinelli Colombini

How could anyone know that by denying her access to male wine masters, Donatella Cinelli Colombini would rewrite the rules and launch Italy's first all-female-staffed winery? Her vision for wineries Casato Prime Donne (Casato) and Fattoria del Colle affected wineries throughout the country. From organizing the first cantine aperte (open cellar) movement in Italy to creating an all-female taster team selecting red wine primarily for female consumers to granting a prestigious award recognizing others who enhanced the role of women in society—all on top of owning an all-female-staffed winery—Cinelli Colombini had set a distinctive tone for women in the industry.

. . .

Keywords: wine making, female protagonist, assumptions and beliefs, power and leadership, sexism, high-performing teams, leading, future, leadership journey, diversity, international, succession planning, Italy

Suggested Citation

Isabella, Lynn and Yemen, Gerry, Donatella Cinelli Colombini: “A Volcano of Ideas”. Darden Case No. UVA-OB-1290. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3445955

Lynn Isabella (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924-4818 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/isabella.htm

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

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