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Capitalizing on Disruption

By James X Stobinski

A few months back I had the privilege of attending a professional development meeting hosted by Prometric – the testing partner for the Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI). The meeting featured some fine speakers but the highlight for me was Peter Sheahan, the founder and Group CEO of the Karrikins Group. The Karrikins Group helps organizations, “… to identify the current trends and marketplace changes impacting business today to help organizations across all industries find opportunity in disruption.”

Sheahan has been rated as one of the 25 most effective speakers in the world. The theme of his presentation resonated with me and I believe has direct application to CCI as we relate to our stakeholders to include certified perioperative nurses. The theme of his talk was the opportunity that is present during disruptive events. He related that many companies fail to react to events which unsettle and disrupt their business and very few companies realize the opportunity that is present when disruption happens.

The example he shared in his talk began with a story of how one retailer fell into a crisis and suffered considerable financial losses when their business model was shaken off its foundation by the actions of a large tech company. When the Karrikins Group took a retrospective look it was clear that the warning signs of the move by that tech company had been planted, and were readily apparent, for over a decade. This retailer had been caught flat footed not due to a lack of a clear warning but rather because they could not see the threat or react in a meaningful way. This company suffered a significant loss due to their inattention and clearly did not benefit or capitalize on the disruption to the industry.

A disruptive event, which Sheahan so clearly described, captures your attention and demands your focus. There is also an opportunity in disruption for those who are attentive and prepared to act. He cited several issues facing organizations such as CCI which provide certification services. These problems include the pressure to increase/validate the value of certification and the increasing speed of obsolescence of skills and knowledge. These issues present large challenges for CCI and other certification organizations, but they also represent opportunities. I took away some thoughts on these challenges as they apply to CCI in general and more specifically to our largest credential, the CNOR certification held by more than 40,000 nurses.

Many perioperative nurses do not yet realize the potential impact of the rapid obsolescence of skills and knowledge in our field. CCI views this issue as an opportunity and we have responded by investing in our information technology solutions to include a learning management system which pairs with our registration system. Working with industry partners including the OR Today Live Conference we will soon offer a wide range of services to our certificants to facilitate their acquisition of knowledge and skills. This is the new version of certification which is born of the necessity of rapid change in both perioperative nursing practice and surgical care in American health care.

CCI has chosen to take ownership of this disruptive change in certification practices and health care and use that as a springboard to better serve our certificants and ultimately to provide better care to our patients. We have chosen what Peter Sheahan has described as a burning aspiration in improving how we serve our certificants. Our hope is that these enhancements prove attractive to our stakeholders as we look to the future. It will be quite a ride to address such large challenges, but we look forward to the journey.

– James X Stobinski, Ph.D., RN, CNOR, CSSM (E), is the CEO of the Competency and Credentialing Institute. He may be contacted at 720-257-4372 or

Peter Sheahan [LinkedIn profile]. Accessed December 31, 2018 at:



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