Introduction to Lenses–Story, Time, Value & Persona Lenses

A storyteller is a ‘lens maker’ and provides tools to help people understand where they are and where they can go.

The atomic elements of any lens are Stories and Numbers as highlighted in the Story Lens below and found here:



1. Story Lens

A lens provides a unique way of using stories and numbers to provide perspective to its wearer and may be used in may ways.  From a commercial perspective a lens provides assessments of current state of an enterprise and its market environment and supports the alignment of content (sell side) to Customer or Persona needs (buy side).

2.  TIME Lens: C,C,E,S,S

Clock Time–Past, Present, Future (most common way of viewing Time)
Cycle Time–Relative Time based on intereaction of Processes (some flowers only bloom when Salmon are running)
Event Time–Event and Time only starts when participants arrive (party, cultural event…)
Story Time–Stories may be used to change Value of past, present and future data
Scenario Time–Time unfolds according to interaction of stories

3.  PROMISE Lens –> see bottom of this post for a Promise Lens diagram
Sell Side–Value Promise and Deliver
Buy Side–Persona Need and Ability to use or Accept the product

Buy Side–Persona Needs and Content Navigation requirements
Sell Side– Company Product or Content creation and deliver

5. MODEL Lens
This lens provides a description of the relationships, mathematical or stories, that exist in a business environment. It can provide details or a high level view depending on the wearer’s need or the speed by which the wearer must apply the lens.  In our experience higher level views of models are generally sufficient and detail can be provided by using the other lenses available much more quickly than building detail models and structures.

My speciality is connecting the big picture to small details.  Sometimes this means Strategy to Action, which is difficult for most Strategy or Scenario Analysis people.  I do it with stories, lenses and with an understanding that stories are at the core of all numbers.


PROMISE Lens Example

PROMISE Lens Example


Promise Lens

It was created when I was mappng Buy vs Sell side objectives about 15 years ago in San Francisco.


In the simplest case a buyer will deliver a Promise story to a Buyer.

The Buyer interacts with the Seller because there is a Desire.

Once there is enough alignment for the Buyer to buy the Seller then must Deliver.

After delivery the Buyer consumes or will ACCEPT the product according to their capacity.


Using the two hands helps me quickly describe the combinations possible between buyers and sellers.

KPIs or measures can be created or enhanced according to how the lens is applied for each client.


Analysis can highlight examples of:

 positive states — under promise+over deliver OR under deliver+over accept …

negative states — over promise+under deliver OR under promise+under accept …


Overlaying other lenses provides superb clarity, for example:

Story Lens — aligns Promise to process, Scenario or other buyer values

Persona Lens — aligns Promise to appropriate Desire

Time Lens — provides differentiator to competitors by shifting time and value derived



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: