Early this morning I went to a downtown hotel to address a meeting of the EESC’s middle managers (or, in our speak, ‘Heads of Unit’). The Heads of Unit are, collectively, the lynchpin of the Committee’s administration, sitting between the coal face and the more strategic level of the directors. The seminar had been organised by our HR colleagues in order to give the Heads of Unit the possibility to discuss themes and topics that they thought were important for their work. These were in the main horizontal themes related to such perennial issues as drafting staff reports and dealing with colleagues considered difficult for one reason or another. Our HR Director, Gianluca Brunetti, came up with a memorable ornithological metaphor. Our Heads of Unit are, he proposed, like penguins – they all inhabit the same continent, but different parts of it, and so can be very different in appearance and habits but are nevertheless basically the same and have to perform similar functions.