On finding inspiration in unexpected places

This morning I was reminded of the unpredictability that is part and parcel of creativity.

I tend to alternate listening to podcasts and music on my morning commutes. If it’s a podcast morning, I’m focused on listening to the stories I’m hearing. But if it’s a music morning, I read.

Today I came across the Guitar Throwback playlist so it was a music morning. Instead of getting out my book (current work-related read: A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger), I opened the Pocket app & picked a One Team Gov blog originally posted in spring 2017.

Confession: I only made it to the second paragraph.

When I hit the words “positive disruption”, a term already familiar to me, my creativity was sparked.

This summer, I joined a new team in the Government of Canada responsible for creating a Policy Community for the public service. Back in the summer, a colleague and I came up with an idea for a yes/no flowchart titled “Should you join the Policy Community?”. That idea has sat on our whiteboard since then.

Why? Besides the fact that we’re a busy team and there have been other priorities that have captured our attention, it really comes down to this: the text for the flowchart just didn’t come readily at the time.

Enter the unpredictability of finding inspiration. Reading the words “positive disruption” in that blog this morning → “Do you get a twinkle in your eye when you hear the term ‘positive disruption’” → the rest of the text for the flowchart → capturing that creative inspiration on flowstate (and subsequently losing it; lesson learned: don’t write in flowstate and bus) → arriving at work with the content for a new product to engage potential community members.

Creativity comes in unexpected places at unexpected times. For that, I’m ever grateful.