288 - On the temporality of the mix strategic

N. Lygeros

In management, the expression mix strategic is known to gather all the actions enabling to reach the aim determined by the firm. Generally speaking, these actions are the result of decisions made by the management in the area of strategies for competitiveness, resources assignment, development but also for modes of development, structural changes, technologies, training and recruitment. These competences gathering the whole activities of the firm show, not only the omnipresence of the strategic mix concept but also its inevitable confusing nature. Too much precision as regards its definition would lead to its invalidation in some conditions. Thus, this expression is rather a catch-all one holding all a firm is allowed to in order to reach its purposes.
However, it would be a mistake to reduce the mix strategic concept to this group of methods. Because as its cousin, the mix marketing, the basic element of this concept is its inner coherence. In theory, it doesn’t hold incompatible methods. And its constituent methods have to converge to a same aim. In other words, the mix strategic is a coherent group of convergent methods. In order to highlight this concept while showing the difficulty of its setting up, we are going to illustrate it with a generic example from chess game or rather with one of its non-canonic variants. We have our friend John Martinez to thank for it.
On a chessboard, we have a bishop with the classical move of the chess bishop, except for the catch and four opposite pawns whose move rules would have been changed as follows, that is to say: move in diagonal only as for a catch. For the bishop, the game consists in reaching the opposite camp (last line) and for the pawns in immobilizing the bishop. To transpose our example within our article, just consider the camp of the pawns. Each of them represents an action, a method. Individually, each has no difficulty and some moves are even provoked by the moves of the bishop. At last, it is possible to prove that there is a winning strategy based on the coherence of actions. However, that one is difficult to set up and any mistake leads to loss.
The previous example represents a play called positional. Yet, there are other strategies required to reach the set target. Those are the ones based on the notion of combination. One of its first definition is due to Romanovski. According to him, combination is a variant (or a group of variants) during which the two opponents play forced moves. It ends with a real advantage for the originator of the combination. Later on, Botvinik noticed that this definition was more adequate for a positional play and he suggested the following one. Combination is a forced variant with a sacrifice. However, in the fields of force, Steiner highlighted the subjective and historic nature of notions such as advantage and sacrifice. Thus, strategy is inevitably established in time and its value would only be temporal.
Via these inevitably extreme chess examples, we highlighted the temporality of the mix strategic; a feature which is not explicit in its classical definition. Because of the latter, the firm has to make its strategic choices according to time. The success of the strategic mix doesn’t only depend on the coherence of methods and their convergence but on their adequation in temporal terms. Because strategic variables have a temporal parameter. Thus, for any choice, something is certain: everything is just a question of time.