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Explaining the DELTA

Looking for the difference

Delta is used in maths to represent the change in a variable. When we come to the Peak Paradox map, everyone will bring unique opinions and views.  The change in our perceptions when plotted creates a shape that represents the difference in our views. The purpose of the Peak Paradox framework is to enable the participants to explore these difference without conflict.  There is no right or wrong.  The model allows each individual a voice and can place on the map where they see themselves and others* as we are actively seeking the delta.  

*Others can be others in the room, customers, politicians, regulators, clients, the company …. anyone!

No scale, numbers, metrics or quantification are provided with the model.  This lack of scale is deliberate as the purpose of the model is to identify and call out the differences and explore what they mean.

Finding the Delta: Text
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An Example

Plotting my attitude to pensions (orange) on the map would have to cover several different points.  I am persuaded that I will need some form of pension to provide income when I stop earning. This has a significant Individual purpose of keeping a level of agency.  I have to work to earn to put money aside for the pension; there is a Work Purpose.  My dependents are part of the equation who would benefit from a pension.

Finding the Delta: Image

If you asked your partner about pensions, I would expect a different response in green.  It is less about agency and more about having enough and investing in the next generation.

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Finding the Delta: Welcome
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If I added, say, an IFA or pension provider to the mapping, they would create another set of positions. They have a motivation to sell me a pension policy as this links to their pay and bonus - and their ability to have a pension.  They have a sales pitch to appeal to both my wife and me, and if they get the compromise right, they land a sale.  I can add how I think they see me.  The more positions, the better.  I have used three, but there is no reason not to use one to as many as you need. I just wanted to showcase difference.

Finding the Delta: Image
Finding the Delta: Welcome

As a user, you should not get obsessive about positions; nudging one point a little left or right but focus on the fact there is a delta.  There is a difference between opinions, as this allows us to unpack the paradox in the choices.  Having a hypothesis will help the discussion.  H0 could be “To whom are the marketing messages aligned?” 


Size of the delta, magnitude of difference. In general, there are three magnitudes of difference.  

The first is little or no difference of opinion, everything is close together.  This can imply or arise from a wide range of reasons; some are listed here. 

  • The messaging is super aligned; probably ask why you used Peak Paradox to confirm what you already know.

  • There is one powerful voice which means smaller signals cannot come through.

  • There is a dominance of opinion.

  • There is no room for change. 

  • There is no difference or differentiation in the market, commodity.

  • There is no innovation.


The Second is a massive or vast difference of opinion, everything is spread out.  This can imply or arise from a wide range of reasons; some are listed here. 

  • The messaging is unclear and easily misunderstood.

  • There are many powerful voices, and politics are pulling in different directions.

  • There are different motivations and drivers.

  • There is no dominance of opinion.

  • Who is prepared to compromise, and what would it mean 

  • The market is immature. 

  • Significant innovation which says there is everything to play for


The third is some differences of opinion, which are not 1 or 2.  This can imply or arise from a wide range of reasons; some are listed here. 

  • The messaging is clear but might appeal to no-one.

  • There are many voices, and everyone is being polite and not making a decision.

  • There are unclear motivations and drivers.

  • There is no leadership. 

  • There is no real market, and we are all deceiving ourselves.

  • Innovation might be challenging. 


How to interrupt what your map and delta is revealing and means is unique to every situation, indeed the time and day it was done. The purpose of your map, having created the points, is to talk as a team about why there is a difference and what it means.  

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