The Ecosystem of Electric Vehicles: Infrastructure and Human Behaviour
Imagine a long queue of electric vehicles at a motorway service station waiting for the only working charging point. Not because the others are broken but because no one thought about how to supply the charging points with power. That's the grim prospect painted by the CEO of Moto, a company that runs motorway service stations when interviewed recently on the BBC Today radio programme.
That interview was immediately followed by one with the government minister responsible. The minister assured us that it was all under control, that plans were in place, and that everything would be fine. It was a refrain we'd heard during the pandemic when it became increasingly clear that the government had made little or no attempt to understand the ecosystem into which change was introduced.
But there's another variable in this intricate equation: the unpredictable behaviour of road users. How quickly they adopt electric vehicless, their charging habits, and the relative costs of charging at different locations are all pivotal in shaping this ecosystem. It's like tending to a vast and intricate garden, where each element influences the others in a delicate balance.
This situation resonates with the concepts in my book, "Gardeners Not Mechanics: How to cultivate change at work." I propose a new way of thinking for complex, interdependent situations, urging us to see the world of work as an ecosystem, not a machine.
This ecosystem perspective embodies three key characteristics: interdependence, as seen in the interconnectedness of cars, power, infrastructure, and human behaviour; unpredictability, reflecting the ever-changing landscape of technology, consumer behaviour, government regulations, and market dynamics; and the limits of control, a reminder that we can't dictate every outcome in a system with multiple moving parts.
We must adopt an ecosystem perspective to navigate our work environment's complexities and foster lasting change. It's time to think like gardeners, cultivating interdependence, adapting to unpredictability, and acknowledging our control's limits.