The 5 best people at the party in the kitchen

our house

My favourite sister Carolyn and I

more or less have a life mantra that you meet

"The 5 best people at the party in the kitchen”

So why is that? 

Well firstly, in our family house.


cups of tea

You would never get out of the kitchen without being offered a cup of tea, at least 10 times.

Even if you did not drink tea, you would succumb and have one and a biscuit, as the numerous questions and conversations rolled on.



And secondly, from a different perspective, I fondly recall the party action

in the kitchens of single fronted Victorian Terrace houses in Inner City Melbourne.

It would roll like this....

Catch the Train to Richmond – Tick.

Pop into the Corner Hotel Take Away for a 6 pack of stubbies – Tick

Drop your drinks in the ice in the bath for the evening – Tick

Spend a bit of time near the fire out the back – Tick

Cruise for a bit of a dance to Devo, TISM or Hoodoo Gurus or (insert your favourite music) in the dimmed lounge room – Tick



Now, if you inserted ABBA’s Dancing Queen as your music here

You were not at this party.

Then gravitate to the kitchen and leaning on the sink – Tick

Who are these people?

What is going on here?

Well possibly something like this.


dogs in space

In the movie “Dogs in space” set in Richmond with INXS Star Michael Hutchence there is a scene where we see the

“follies and hedonism of youth, in particular 20-somethings flopping about in shared accommodation, as this bag of misfits conversation” meanders in and out of the kitchen.



In another riotous Australian cult movie "He died with a falafel in his hand” we see Noah Taylor as the ever-frustrated housemate narrate

“vignettes from a young man's experience of sharing accommodation with a 89 housemates across 13 share houses in 4 states.”

Often hilariously playing out in the kitchen.  


house meeting

For instance, let’s take the house meeting.

 “Sophie Lee playing Nina steals the scene as the neurotic and insensitive wannabe actress whose control-freak proclivities erupt over which shelf the pineapple chunks go on.”

This clash with Dirk about where the biscuits and pineapple pieces belong will remind us of similar conversations experienced in group houses” 

What a kitchen conversation this is!

Check out here the colourful discussion as Noah Taylor plays guitar overlooking Sydney.



So, why do we want to meet in the kitchen?

Well, that’s where action is 

Where the best stories are being told

Where you may hear the best ideas 

Where you laugh

Where interesting people often hang out, and have the most interesting conversations


chit chat

Where does that happen in your space?

Where are the good people congregated, stories being told and ideas being generated?

Are you seeking out those new conversations?

Or are you listening to the same songs, telling the same stories, speaking to the same people and doing the same things?

Or are these parties, a distant memory, lost in a sea of slightly less interesting commitments?

I wonder if these patterns are helpful in a rapidly changing world.

Particularly when we are building businesses for brand new problems and training kids for jobs that don’t yet exist.



I am intrigued by Ideo U Story Telling For Influence Tagline

Every Innovation starts with a story.

To which I’ve sprinkled

Every story is built on ideas,


Great stories are full of great ideas.

The way, this is helpful is boiled up in this blog

How Adding Idea Plus Idea can create your next innovative product?



So maybe the ingredients of great ideas are made in kitchens.

Isn’t that why big businesses now create these spaces to collaborate?

How might we make your space more like a kitchen conversation? 

So it is a great space to exchange ideas.

Was there some Village People music playing in the background?

 Check out blog How Listening to the Village People greases Innovation



In my recent Ideou Insights for Innovation course, exploring the question

“How might we support Community Champion Ignite Local Projects?”

I spent a lot of time in kitchens and board rooms, once again, drinking tea, eating biscuits (a couple of Tim-tams) and asking lots and lots and lots of questions to unpack insights from 5 interviewees.

We moved widely around how to empower inspired community champions who say,

“I’ve got a great idea”


“I want to turn it into reality.”



So when you are in my kitchen.

Who would we like to be talking to?

Maybe we can have a wee chat with my hero.

One of Australia’s most effective community champions who used to say

'When I've seen an opportunity, I haven't sat down and called a committee meeting...we've gone and done it.'

Fred Hollows.

How might ideas from ranging and disparate conversations start connecting up?


fox force five

In the meantime,

Have a think about the 5 best people at your party. 

Let’s call them Fox Force Five

But that’s another story.


Idea Accelerator

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