With a bachelors degree in Hammond Organ from the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, business experiences from various companies, and inside know-how of the horse trading business, Johannes Björkman yearned to transform all his experiences into tangible skills and expertise – and thus made a decision to change his life by applying for the Kaospilot education.



KP: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? – What have you been doing before you were accepted into Kaospilot?


JB: I have a background in music. I’ve played all my life and have a bachelors degree in Hammond organ from the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. A few years into the conservatory I started having this urge for something – more. At the time I couldn’t define it – I just didn’t feel satisfied with only playing music. My father had many small companies, and he let me do some work in one of them, just to try something else – long story short – he died shortly after and I ended up as manager of that company. It was all a bit random – the company was sort of like ebay for high quality dressage and jumping horses. I knew nothing about horses but had a lot of fun running the company. That was where I realised that creativity exists outside of art.

KP: Why Kaospilot?

JB: After a few years I sold the horse company. After all I didn’t care about horses at all. I had gotten a lot of good experience trough the years – both from music and from business – and started looking for ways to transform and combine all these experiences, all this tacit knowledge, into skills. Conscious expertise. I looked at several schools and when I found the Kaospilots, I knew that was it.
There was several reasons. Mostly I didn’t want to sit passively three years in a school, gain more knowledge, but not move my situation forward. With Kaospilot I would get to work on interesting projects and get great contacts. I could see myself graduate from another school and still not know what to do with my life and all the stuff in my head. I liked the Kaospilot focus of helping me become the best possible version of me, not just a confused and faded copy of a curriculum.

KP: Could you elaborate a little on this difference in schools?

JB: Yes. My experience is that most schools have a curriculum for each topic, a list of things the student should more or less know and be tested on. It’s a rational approach – you want to be able to prove what and how well a student learned from a course – and of course the Kaospilots have a detailed curriculum as well. My ‘problem’ with the more traditional approach, though, is that the future vehicle for this knowledge, the student, is not necessarily developed or taken into account during this ‘learning’. She/he have taken a bunch of knowledge in, received a grade to show how well they succeeded, and then what? How do you put that knowledge into action? Really, how do YOU put knowledge into action? And that is such an important aspect of this school – an aspect I really love. Your personality, your fears and strengths, are such a big part of how well you perform in the end. How well you know yourself. I have many friends who have finished longer educations, only to ask themselves ‘who am I?’. It doesn’t really matter how much of the curriculum you remember – a question like that will obstruct everything. To me education, if anything, should do that – prepare you thoroughly for the rest of your life. And I don’t mean this as a fluffy thing. It’s tangible and a lot of hard work. It’s what makes you capable of working effectively with, and helping, others later, no matter the subject and circumstances.

Well, there’s also some more down to earth stuff to this. A great learning environment, all the external lectures, the real work we do. All that. But that’s better experienced by visiting the school for a day. Write anyone on first year and set up a date.

KP: You have just completed the process -semester, traditionally its a semester in which big changes happens with the mindset of the students – how was your experience?

JB: I had a great experience. I won’t say I changed though – evolved maybe. This semester in many ways ties together everything we’ve been taught so far. On the first semester we covered Project Management, Business and Leadership. The process semester adds a dimension and awareness of human relationships that are present in all the others.

KP: How is to be working with real world clients and professionals while you yourself are a student? – to be teaching them?

JB: It’s very rewarding. On so many levels actually. What I learned in the month I worked as a consultant simply cannot be gained in a class room. This is exactly what I talked about – why I chose the school. I don’t leave this school only with theory about consultancy – I’ve already been out there and have a great reference. Generally I experience a great deal of openness and curiosity towards us as students – and I actually felt very professional myself – I didn’t feel like a student.

KP: Could you share the basics with regards to the meaning of the process semester- what is it about? What are you taught?

JB: When we talk about process here, we talk about processes inside and between human beings. That can be in many contexts – for example in a project group that needs to achieve some goal or in an entire organisation. Or in meetings – we’ve all been in meetings that gets completely lost in random discussion and where nothing ever gets done. All those roadblocks and challenges that occur when humans work together – that is what we look at and get to work with in the process semester. It’s a sort of helper role – helping a client realise and handle a challenge in order to move forward. This is also why it connects into projects and business. Very few projects ever fail because there were not milestones and waterfall plans enough. They fail because of human beings – miscommunication and unaligned expectations. The awareness of these things that we gain in the process semester is a great help when leading projects and businesses going forward.



KP: You have now returned to the conservatory in a sense – as you are actually teaching them some of the tools you have learned here?



JB: Yes, that is true. I’ve been teaching creativity and entrepreneurship at the conservatory here in Aarhus. Full circle, I guess, except I didn’t return as a rockstar… But it’s been a great experience, though. Again – the school have made all my experience tangible and I really feel I have something to offer now.



KP: Why should people apply to become a Kaospilot?



JB: If you want to be cutting edge within whatever field you’ll end up in. If you have knowledge and experience that needs to be developed into skills. And if you want to save the world to some degree or other, definitely, join. The world cannot afford you f*cking it up.