Alexandru BURDEINII: Being ethical becomes vital in business nowadays
The Chief Editor of InfoMarket Agency, the Chairman of the Club of Economic Press of Moldova, Alexandru Burdeinii, shares his thoughts on the business environment after COVID -19, "when the doors are open" and companies will have to work in new economic realities.
It’s "CRF time" has come in the business environment, meaning, cooperation, respect and forgiveness. This formula was derived back in 1974 by the philosopher and psychologist Anatol Rapoport from the University of Toronto. It became widely known when it was mentioned in modern writer Bernard Verber’s "Empire of Angels" bestselling book.
CRF is also called the winning law of behavior. Its meaning is that in the relationship (between people or business partners), one helps the other and receives help in return; but if one shows aggression, then he receives aggression in response, then you need to forgive and re-offer cooperation: partners should forgive each other and continue the relationships based on the principles of mutual respect and mutual interests.
No one doubts that the world will no longer be the same. The world of everything - people, business, countries, our planet... Everyone understands this, therefore the idea that only partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit will save us, including business environment. The times are gone when the one who is stronger (in finances or influence) puts pressure on his partner and the partner suffers patiently for some reason.
How does a businessman, for example, from the retail sector or HoReCa, react to his leaseholder if he insists on full and timely payment of the rent during the period when the business was administratively closed?
How will a businessman react to a bank that only in its PR statements speaks of "support and partnership" but actually pumps out already drying up cash flows under the pretext "you should have an income, right?"...
A businessman will relate to the state ‘cause he created jobs, paid taxes (no state exists without taxes), and he has the right to count on "reciprocity" during difficult times. But in fact, I saw only unfounded and highly publicized promises of "support" but de facto, the requirements to pay salaries and taxes, and even take loans for this? ... Who will grant them?
How does a businessman react to his business partner, who is hiding behind explanations about the reduction of profits? He informs about the termination of the contract in favor of this businessman; but on the other hand, he firmly insists on continuing "cooperation" and fulfilling the obligations of the partner, but in favor?
The list goes on. Which of the four relationships mentioned above fits the formula of "cooperation, respect and forgiveness"? And this is a dead end for those who do not accept CRF concept. Not right away, of course, but the crisis accelerates all processes.
What can a retail or HoReCa representative do to deal with a tough leaseholder? Change the place of rent, reduce the area or refuse to have any rents. The population quickly learned to order online in the conditions of forced isolation, the number of potential online buyers increased significantly! This means that there will be much less physical retail outlets. This, in turn, will affect the reduction in rents throughout the market. Not now, but very soon. The far-sighted leaseholder knows this; his only chance of survival is to apply the CRF concept.
What can an entrepreneur do with a bank loan that he was unable to pay on the previous terms? He can take another loan, the benefit is that competition in the market is very fierce and banks have very high liquidity. He can sell some assets to repay the old loan, declare himself bankrupted, thereby force the bank to take long multi-year loan repayment procedures by selling collateral, etc. At the same time, the entrepreneur starts a new business, because entrepreneurship is in one's blood! In any of the above options, banks will lose not only the client’s time. In most cases, the bank will most likely return all its money, but what will be the benefit? Perhaps, the situation can be saved by applying the CRF concept, what do you think?
What can an entrepreneur do in relation to the state? He provided both employment of people and income to the treasury but the state is reluctant to offer any assistance to business in a real crisis? In this case, an entrepreneur will find ways to pay less, bypassing all the legal (and sometimes illegal) methods of the administrative system, it’s a difficult task, considering the influence of information technologies into real life and control over people and business, but the entrepreneur will always find a way to survive. Taxes are paid when businessmen have confidence in the state. Cooperation, respect and forgiveness can become the basis for the revival of business environment and its trust in the state machine which mean business development and growth of revenues. Not right away, of course.
What will an entrepreneur do with his "business partner", who terminates his obligations from a position of strength, but requires reverse fulfillment of obligations and continued "cooperation"? Everything is simple here: such a "partnership" has no future. There is quite a lot of competition in all sectors, and no one else can afford the luxury of "standing on the knees", if someone is still forced to be in disadvantaged position for some reason, he will get up and leave at the first opportunity. Even when it comes to a monopolist, you can always find options. The CRF concept is wonderful in that the seemingly weak partner becomes the most important for the stronger one. Circumstances may change fast in the modern world!
The transition of the relationships according to the CRF concept cannot be called painless for either side. But this is perhaps the only way of survival for the business environment. The consolidation shown by the Moldovan businesses (small, medium, large; local and foreign companies...) during the quarantine period is amazing! It can be safely stated that the time for the behavior "businessman to businessman is an enemy" has passed, the sooner we understand this situation, the faster we will be able to help each other get on new, even healthier level.
The crisis has led to a reassessment of life values and an increase of ethics in relationships. Who will act meanly will receive meanness in return; whoever is aggressive towards anyone will stumble upon retaliatory aggression; who will seek cooperation, interaction, offering a respectful approach, without trying to deceive in anything, will enjoy mutual respect, which means development and growth. //15.04.2020 - InfoMarket.