Fuqua CCMBA: What an Amazing Four Years!

Last Friday, in St. Petersburg Russia,  I taught the Culture, Civilization and Leadership course for Fuqua’s CCMBA program for the very last time.

This was a very moving day for me as it caused me to reflect on how far we have come over the last four years in creating what I believe to be a truly differentiated global leadership program at Fuqua.

Four years ago I had the wonderful opportunity to join Blair Sheppard and Bill Boulding as they set out on an ambitious journey to reinvent business education. We wanted to re-write all the rules and create a program that created leaders of consequence who deeply understood the cultural, economic and political transitions and tensions going on around the world.

The reason we believed that we needed a fundamentally different global leadership program was captured very effectively in this wonderful one-minute video:

With this vision in place Bill Boulding and I embarked on a year-long design process to create a situational learning experience aimed specifically at building the skill of recognizing and valuing cultural diversity in each region.

Our design was bold, it required that reach well beyond our comfort zones to redefine the very notion of the traditional course and to create a collaborative learning process that leveraged the residency experience itself as the primary learning vehicle.

After three years of fine-tuning thanks to the very helpful feedback of our students, I truly believe we have created a global leadership offering that is without peer. For proof, I offer up Fuqua’s “Embedded and Connected” video where the students themselves describe the experience they go through and what they have learned as a result.

As I move on to Duke Corporate Education for the next chapter in my career, I leave Fuqua incredibly humbled to have had the opportunity to be a part of this amazing program. During the three years I had the honor of engaging over 450 incredibly talented students from over 35 countries. During that time I travelled over 230,000 miles and I got to see the world through many different eyes. This is an experience that has profoundly changed my perspective on the world.

They say that the greatest way to learn is to teach. CCMBA has taught me that the greatest way to learn is from your colleagues as you jointly try to make sense of what you perceive around you.

Thank you Fuqua, Thank You Blair and Bill and thanks to all of my students for making me see the world in a completely different way…it truly has been an amazing four years!

Leave a comment


  1. Tony, thanks so much for all that you have shared with us over the years! And congratulations on your move to Duke Corporate Education for the next chapter in your career, and best wishes for your continued success, learning and sharing!!!

  2. Jarred Myers

     /  July 12, 2012

    Onwards and upwards , despite its flaws CCL was a great laboratory of creative destruction for theories and understandings of the imperfect science of cultural acclimation. I have no doubt that DukeCE will benefit from your boots on the ground and wings in the air experience in the emerging world of tomorrow, best of luck Tony.

  3. Tony,

    While I haven’t left the country since my CCMBA days, as the years go by I do find myself thinking more and more about interpersonal/cultural issues (surprisingly helpful now that I’m working as a consultant!)

    Best of luck with your new role at Duke Corporate Education!

    Randy Zwitch
    CCMBA 2010 December

    • Thanks Randy! Hope all is good with you!

      Tony O’Driscoll Executive Director Duke Corporate Education

  4. In a program such as ccmba, it’s so important to continue to review and evaluate the program to ensure the material is not just relevant but cutting edge education. In short, the program is not viable unless Fuqua continues to evolve the program. I applaud you for making it better still.

    Josh Nowack
    CCMBA ’02

  5. Kevin Hernandez

     /  July 12, 2012

    Thanks, Tony for all of your hard work in making CCL a defining hallmark of the CCMBA program. I appreciate all you did to make the course, and the program in general, such a one-of-a-kind opportunity and once-in-a-lifetime experience. Like others, I often find myself reflecting on what we learned in CCL whether abroad or not.

    All the best!

  6. Ian Comandao

     /  July 13, 2012

    prof tony, hope things are well. good re hear about this new role. best wishes and good luck!

  7. Zeb Portanova

     /  July 13, 2012

    I would challenge anyone to find a remotely similar program to CCL (and CCMBA) in another MBA program. The concept of being embedded and connected was not just something you taught….it was something you helped us experience. My deepest appreciation for all the CCMBA program provided. I loved it. I use it. And I brag about it every day. Best wishes on all your future adventures.

  8. Thank you Tony!
    I appreciate all of the hard work and innovation you put into the CCL program and good luck in your next phase of your career!

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