Episode 16. Kay Mellish joined the Trap recently for a well-timed reflection on how other cultures view their relationship to work. Kay’s expertise in Danish social and business cultures is smartly reflected in this episode. As the pandemic has led many people to reflect on what the notion of work truly means in their lives, Kay offers a glimpse into the Danes’ take on the very American question to a new acquaintance, “So…what do you do?”. And, listeners will especially want to hear about Dane employees’ take on business leadership, the choice to work for a company, and more.
Kay Xander Mellish is a keynote speaker on Scandinavian culture based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is the author of five books on Denmark, including "How to Live in Denmark" (2014 and 2017) "How to Work in Denmark" (2018), "Working with Americans: Tips for Danes" (2019), and "Working with Danes: Tips for Americans" (2020).
Kay grew up in Wisconsin and graduated magna cum laude from New York University, where she studied journalism and art history. In addition to her non-fiction work, which has appeared in publications including the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, Sports Illustrated, Mother Jones, and the Danish tabloid BT, Kay spent many years writing fiction. Unable to find a publisher, she began flyposting (a guerilla marketing tactic—look it up!) the first page of her short stories on lampposts and construction sidings in New York City, with a voicemail number to call if readers wanted to hear the rest of the story. After a law-and-order mayor cracked down on flyposters, Kay took to the internet, creating in 1995 one of the first fiction sites on the web.
Kay moved to Denmark in 2000, and now runs the KXMGroup, a Copenhagen-based consultancy that helps Danish companies communicate in English. She is the voice behind the "How to Live in Denmark" podcast and a frequent public speaker at intercultural events in Copenhagen.
Hosts: Dr. Kris Potrafka and David Hughen