Тaras Bohachov,
Commercial Director KNESS Group

The price of trust

Some people say that in the times of crisis, trust is the most valuable currency. Do you also think so?

Trust is the certainty in the other part's integrity and friendliness. When parties trust each other, they create an effective collaboration system. In this system, trust is not just a currency; it is rather a substance that unites different elements in their movement towards the common goal. In fact, it becomes a resource for achieving this goal. This refers to both individuals and large systems – companies, markets, and countries.

Why do I think that it is the trust that improves the performance of a system? First, trust emerges and develops when there is a similarity in self-identification, in philosophy. I trust more to a person who shares my philosophy, my system of values. The same applies to the relations between an individual and a company. The similarity in philosophies opens the way for forming a common goal. And now we see how a group of individuals turns into a team that every day, every quarter or year pushes forward to a common goal that has been born from similar philosophies and is united by trust.

Second, trust enables the creation of flexible systems that are load- resisting. Trust gives, so to say, resilience to this system. It allows the system to be strong and very flexible, dynamic at the same time. This is like little children who are just learning to walk. They are already strong enough to stand, but that is not enough to start walking. A child should pass from a static condition into a dynamic one, to make a step. This step is new experience, it is the beginning of the fall, but the very next moment, the child finds a new point of stability and gets on feet. And then one more step. And one more… In this metaphor, trust is what turns child's muscles, cords, nerves into an integral system able to pass from the state of stability into a state of dynamics and move forward, even more, to collect, analyze and use the experience gained in this motion.

Third, trust allows us to utilize our personal resources more efficiently. When you trust your partner, you do not waste your time controlling and checking his\her work. When a company trusts its employees, it does not waste resources to control and monitor their processes. Flexible and dynamic synchronization substitutes static and resource-intensive control. You agree and synchronize results rather than spend a vast quantity of resources for the flow control.

These are just three of many factors of how trust improves the performance of any system. And the efficiency of the system is a critical resource in times of crisis when resources are getting scarce, but, at the same time, more and more new opportunities emerge.

And how does this concept work in case of interaction between different systems? For instance, between different companies?

I believe that the internal trust in the company is a vital resource for forming trust to that company. External observers see how strong the inner trust is in the company and how the company believes in itself, to what extent it is able to make the next step forward. Or vice versa – the company is stuck in one place and stands still, like a monolith. Dynamic companies are moving themselves, and their movement generates trust in their intentions. And static, monolithic businesses may seem powerful but will not raise trust in their viability.

The enumerated factors work equally in the interaction among the companies and in the interaction among the people within these companies. It is just about the elements of a bigger system: a market, a country, the global world.

This is a very dynamic and interactive system. Indeed, trust is a two-way communication. When you trust me, my intentions – you invest some of your resources in me, you support me. In the same way other companies, partners that trust KNESS: they give us some credit – a credit of energy, their attention – so that we could make the next step and return them that 'credit' with interest. We do the same thing – we trust our partners and invest our resources of power, time, and attention. Together, we create a bigger and more efficient system of partner interaction. It is based not on the process control, but rather on the philosophies synchronization and on creating a common value of our personal results.

That is, to create trust of others in you – you should develop trust within your company?

Trust in the company forms its self-confidence and a vector of its actions that benefits not only the company but both its partners and society at large. In the modern world, focusing only on increasing your own financial income is a way to bankruptcy, both social and financial.

The company's products, its utility, and the services it offers on the market are the essence and a result of its activity. And if the company is created so that its services are beneficial not only for its clients, but also benefit the country and the world, then it increases trust in itself, increases its ability to attract resources for its activity. The word 'trust' means both confidence and financial and economic activity, when you place your resources under management and gain profit from that. That is, trust has already become not only a philosophic and ethic notion, but also a financial and economic one. It is just that today this notion encompasses broader categories because it is not enough today to be 'a trust' for your employees and your clients. Today, and even more so tomorrow, companies should become 'a trust' for their country, part of the global world. This will provide higher-quality products to your country and the world, and businesses will get more resources to create those. Mutual trust is a powerful capital based on the utility of your work, not only for yourself but for other people, too.

And how can others find out about your goal?

I am absolutely sure that sincerity and openness are the best strategies. You openly stand under your banner with your motto written on it: your principle and your goal. The company starts with such a banner: its mission, vision, and values. And those who share all that would gather under your banner. Other people look at that banner and those standing under it. This affects both who will join you and who will oppose you. If your motto is right and you sincerely follow it, your allies will prevail over your enemies.

But how does this work, for instance, in the interaction of Ukrainian companies with the global world?

Today, global companies look and the Ukrainian ones with a certain interest, but with insufficient trust. First of all, because they do not really understand us, not always know what to expect from us. It is not because we are so mysterious or unpredictable, but because we are still quite poorly represented on the global markets. International players simply do not know us; they have only a little experience working with Ukrainian companies.

The second factor is trust in Ukraine as a whole. This is also important. Indeed, a Ukrainian company is seen through the lens of the attitude to Ukraine, through those positive and negative stereotypes that we created ourselves, and those attributed to us by others.

That is why it is a joint job of the country, Ukrainian business, in particular, KNESS Group, and of the citizens of the country – to build trust in us, our intentions, our products in the global world.

In your view, what is an attitude to your company on the international markets?

KNESS has the credit of trust, we raise interest in international companies, and we should become stronger and enter the global markets. We have a lot to offer: both our products and our values and social utility and responsibility.

First of all, the experience of performance and development in the difficult and dynamic environment. Today, the world loses stability and enters a state of turbulence. But we have been born in such a state and are growing dynamically.

Second, equally important, it is KNESS's ability to build not only power plants but trust as well. In our team, among our partners, in the industry in general. I will repeat myself: trust is a key resource in the modern world. An ability to generate it is a very important competency in our time. And we have it.

I can confidently say from my experience: we are interesting for the world. Our activities on the international markets are among the factors contributing to the improving attitude to Ukraine as a whole. It is time to realize that we cannot be separate. This is not possible because we are already an inseparable part of the global human organism. Today, the main point is not our personal performance, but the efficiency of our interaction. The entry to the international markets is our interaction. The development of the sector in Ukraine is our interaction, too. And the development of trust within the company is our interaction as well. It may be surprising, but the interaction of the employees in the company affects an attitude to Ukraine in the global world. And the attitude of the global world to Ukraine affects the wellbeing and future of every employee in the company.
We must perform. To believe in ourselves and build trust with others – this is our job.