Penny Hunt's blog coffee conversationsAs I gently and tentatively remove the symbolic earplugs with which I imagine myself protected (a futile effort to resist the overwhelming noise that is the incoming news on every front, screen and page, an effort that truly is as useful as a chocolate teapot at this point in the 21st century) I can discern one particular message amongst the many. It is appearing in as many forms as it can in a pretty clear attempt to be noticed. It’s an internet meme wearing a very very short skirt.

I’ve escaped to the corner table in the café. Here’s the thing.  I keep hearing and reading the same phrase this week, in various recognizable versions.

‘To respect laws and sausages, it is better not to see them being made’.

Apparently (QI tells me) the originator wasn’t Bismarck, and the earliest appearance is probably a South Carolina newspaper,1867.  Why has this thought hung around unchallenged for so long, and why is it so popular at the moment?

I think it’s a thought with which I profoundly disagree.Scan 141960000(How lucky that I removed those earplugs. There really is nothing like a truly ineffective and changing-of-nothing rant, especially if encouraged by an espresso, to get the energy levels up).

This week some legislation is being rushed through the House of Cards. I mean Commons. It is called the DRIP bill. Data Retention and Investigatory Powers. The speed will mean no one will see it being made. There will be some glimpses of serious-frown faces, some echoing important-walking footsteps. A few statements beginning ‘It is right that..” (have you noticed this current lazy way of not having to think of an answer to a question?). The cover-up experts are to vote themselves the right to un-cover everything and everyone else. Some law. Some sausage. I can’t see the process. And no, I’m feeling no respect at ALL.

I would like to know exactly how this law is being made. I would like to know exactly what it involves and what the arguments are on both sides.

Respect is earned when the working out in the margin is available and shareable. Respect is earned when there is a clear line of sight to the details.

From where I’m sitting I can see ‘where I come from’ notes for several coffee blends. One poster invites me to ask the owner about sourcing, pricing and supply.

I’ve just been in a brand meeting where the team has decided to remove a profitable part of the range: they can no longer vouch for a stage in the supply chain. A lady ordering a piece of cake with her coffee is asking the barista about what’s in it.

She laughs and apologises for asking, for being ‘fussy’.

The reply?
‘No worries, you gotta know. Gotta know enough to decide – obvs.’

To which I can only murmur to myself ‘respect’.



Penny works with senior people who want change.

Her approach is unconventional, and fun.

By challenging perceptions, creatively re-framing situations, and reclaiming their energy and bravery, her clients create new options and successes for themselves and their businesses.

If you’re feeling stuck and want to get moving again, contact Penny: pennyhunt@changechemistry.co.uk


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