It's no secret that the French are not the most innovative, and that some of their 'ways' date back to the 80s.
I still write checks, if you can believe it.
I thought that Covid and the pandemic would have forced people's hands a bit, but a recent exchange gave me doubts.
In order to become a French national, I have to take a French test to prove that my level of French is sufficient to be an adequate and participating member of French society.
I was supposed to start this process 2 1/2 years ago, but it was pushed back again and again (I imagine you know why.)
Yesterday, I reached out to an organization that facilitates the French exams for citizenship.
In order to sign up to take the test, I have to call to make a registration appointment (no emailing or electronic calendar), then I have to go there in person to register, with 140€ cash in hand, and my photo ID.
Being lazy, or stubborn, or a strict guardian of my time, I asked them if I could send them a wire and email my photo ID.
They said no.
I asked if I could have a video call so that they could see me, and I could send my photo ID at the same time. (and also the wire.)
They said no.
I asked them why.
They didn't respond.
I get that they are trying to prevent fraud, and at the same time I think that technology has advanced enough that they can prevent fraud without my having to drive 45 minutes to see them, and 45 minutes back. (And who knows what their really doing with my CASH....??)
It reminded me of a conversation we had in our leadership book circle not too long ago about how many questions are too many questions without being labelled as "trouble maker."
When does curiosity about the process, turn into being a "trouble maker?" How do we even define "trouble maker" in the first place? Weren't some of our most famous innovators and entrepreneurs "trouble makers" in their own right?
In Adam Grant's book Think Again he writes :
"Thinking again can help you generate new solutions to old problems and revisit old solutions to new problems."
I love to ask questions.
Perhaps because it's an invitation into a new way of thinking.
Perhaps because I like to make trouble.
I wonder how likely this organization is to re-think their process, or simply categorize me as a "toublesome foreigner."
Originally posted on LinkedIn
Read Deeper Not Faster
I am Theresa Destrebecq (I dare you to try to pronounce it...)