Supporting People's real-life stories about intercultural issues.
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Dane, American or Danish-American?

The other day Supporting People attended a fascinating lecture by Ph.D., MBA and strategic management consultant, Mette Nørgaard, who has just published a new book ”TouchPoints – Tænk ledelse i selv det mindste øjeblik” (U.S. title: Touchpoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments).

The book is written with Douglas R. Conant, who from 2001 to 2011 led one of America's strongest brands, Campbell's Soup Co., from being in the bottom 10 percent in its category to being a well-run, profitable and attractive workplace.

Mette Nørgaard talked about her roots in the small town of Saltum in North Jutland, where she lived with her family until she was 18, when she felt the strong desire to see the world. First stop was London for two years, and since then she has lived 30 years in America, with 20 years in New York.

On being called a Danish-American by her friends, Mette reacts and feels that even though the terminology may be correct, this is not how she wants to be categorised. On the other hand, being called a Dane or being called an American doesn’t feel completely right either. Funnily enough, the term that she finds best described is "Nordjysk New Yorker"! (Nordjysk = coming from Northern Jutland). So she combines her rural roots with the undeniable influence that the Big Apple has had on her identity to create her own unique category.

We are all unique individuals. People may categorise you, but only you know what feels right or wrong.

“Companies who employ highly educated foreign employees experience an extraordinary 7% increase in effectivity over a 5-year period (1995-2005) compared to companies without foreign experts”

The Rockwool Foundation’s Research unit, April 2009