Total Immersion

So the Mayor is now three weeks into his new job as the managing director for MilDef AB. The changes have been profound. But his methodology of choice for learning remains the same as always. Total immersion*.


As it turns out, diving deep into the ocean without knowing if you can breathe under water is very similar to spreading your wings when you don’t know if you can fly. Overconfidence is a lifesaver in such situations.

In a sense, the technique is a form of mental (re)programming. By systematically overloading the system with information from all aspects of the business – in my case organizational structure, financials, corporate history, people, products, customers, hardware, partners, software, politics, defense terminology, legislation, culture, deal structures, technology, ethics, electronics, mechanics, supply chains, and whatever else that relates to what we do – the brain is brutally forced to quickly adapt (there’s a potential “or” here, but let’s not worry about that).

The brain adapts by rerouting its association paths based on an implicitly created mental domain model, because that’s the only way it can effectively organize the data and start to cope with the information flow.

Even old dogs like me can learn new tricks this way.

(For those interested in such things, I believe that the brain behaves much like a self-organizing map, and given that it’s already been trained, this is a way to alter its properties and clusters.)


Truth be told, I don’t know precisely what gets overwritten when using this technique. But since I’m not really one to look back at things – the unwritten future tends to excite me more – that’s probably a fair deal.

On that note, the Mayor would like to announce that he likes his new job very much. Plenty of good ideas to apply in Cortex City when momentarily surfacing, and great new adventures for our Corporate Citizen heroine.

But he has not forgotten his many loyal friends and colleagues from a time not-so-long ago. Rest assured that he will help out whenever someone needs a reference, or advice, or a shoulder to cry on, or just someone to have a cold beer with. And who knows, opportunities for new journeys might be just around the corner! (We’re hiring. And there’s more to come.)

Take care, and stay fearless when it comes to total immersion. Passion is born when you dive deep and fly high.

Thank you for reading,
Bjorn “The Mayor” Karlsson



  • No, not the swimming technique. Much deeper.
Posted in Cortex City

4 comments on “Total Immersion
  1. Dan Lundmark says:

    Great that the new job turn out to be a success Bjorn. All the best going forward.

  2. Christian says:

    Love the reference to the swimming technique and I think that T.I. swimming and T.I. learning are related in that they’re both, in part, about removing resistance. In the former case, how do you remove the resistance from the water efficiently and effectively? In the latter case, how do you remove resistance in the form of mental barriers and cognitive biases?

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