From WOMBAT Selling (2006) Ch 2, p42 …

Long before I was old enough to really think the matter through, I had been memed, as a small child, with the theory of Moses. The Moses meme went something like this:

Moses was a leader in ancient times and, like all leaders, he needed his people to adhere to his laws. He said that his ten laws or commandments should be obeyed. The reason that they should be obeyed, he claimed, was because they were given to him, privately, on a mountain, by his god, Yahweh. By making this claim, Moses positioned his ten laws with the highest possible authority. They were not his laws, said Moses, but God’s.

This is a very old story that many people, like me, just accepted but have never really updated or thought through properly.

I had never really thought much about the Moses story until I was given an antique gift. It was a heavy Victorian cast-iron desk ornament about half a metre long which was grotesquely dominated by a 50-centimetre high copy of Michelangelo’s Moses supported by two large topped blown-glass inkwells and a generous ladle for pens. It was absurdly out of place on my desk in my small Park Avenue South apartment but I liked it.

Moses lorded over my desk in New York City for ten years until eventually I returned to Australia. Sadly, it was one of the many things that I left behind. But for most of the ’80s I sat and stared at Moses nearly every day. Eventually, I began to think more and more about the theory of Moses.

The Theory of Moses

What is the theory of Moses? This is just one of the five most obvious questions. We cannot explore that question without the other four: Who was Moses? What did Moses do? How did he do it? And, when and where did he do it?

If you do stop to think about this story in the light of evidence available today you might ask yourself for a more plausible version. Since there were no witnesses or evidence of any kind we don’t know whether Moses’ version actually happened. Yet there is much evidence to show that it is very unlikely.

Possible Moses Explanations

In fact, if you think about it, there are many possible explanations that could explain the Moses meme and how he came up with his commandments. Some that have been suggested by other thinkers are:

• Moses sought authority over his people and was clever enough to make up the story to give his laws more authority

• Moses just dreamt it

• Moses might have been euphoric or hallucinating from inhaling smoke from a nearby burning bush

• Moses may have been overtired

• Exhaustion or malnutrition may have impaired Moses’ judgment

• Old Moses may have been suffering from Alzheimer’s or one of a range of infirmities or mental illnesses

• The whole story was invented not by Moses at all but by people who came after Moses.

In other words, we simply just don’t know for certain. However, millions of people who adhere to the Judeo-Christian tradition have chosen to take a leap of faith and to believe the traditional Moses claim.

I suppose a Christian or Jewish scientist could not accept this story as a scientist, but could accept it, on a leap of faith, as part of a religious belief system.

There are many customer satisfaction surveys conducted by thousands of companies each year. Some are more reliable than others.

The main difference is before and after.

For example, in an election voters in an exit poll (Who did you vote for?) give more reliable answers than voters give before an election (Who will you vote for?).

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a before question that is widely used to predict corporate growth by asking this question: How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?

THE WOMBAT QUESTION is an after question: 

Have you told anyone yet through word of mouth
about your satisfied customer experience with us?

Those who respond with a YES are called WOMBATS and have already demonstrated value-creating behaviours, such as buying more, remaining customers for longer, and (most importantly) replicating other WOMBATS who also replicate.

WOMBAT SCORE does provide the causal link of proof of value. For example, one group of 100 wombat thinkers experimenting in a national call centre in Melbourne have already produced several x10 conversion outcomes in less than six months.


WOMBAT SELLING: How to sell by Word of Mouth


NewSell is the first new strategy for selling in 50 years!

– Dr George Gallup of The Gallup Poll




Click here to request your own copy of the ebook:

“WOMBAT Selling: How to sell by Word of Mouth”

Newsell is based on the selling switch: uncheck2check.

uncheck2check was researched and developed by Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson as part of his PhD in customer science, under the mentorship of Dr George Gallup, founder of The Gallup Poll. Dr Gallup said, “Newsell is the first new strategy for selling in 50 years!”

Do you ever wonder why cars aren’t called “horseless carriages” anymore? Today’s cars are just as horseless as they were a century ago. Horselessness is standard equipment on most new and late models, both foreign and domestic.

Framing the question this way may seem a bit absurd; yet, it’s a playful reminder that innovation does not emerge out of nothing. New innovations evolve from historical, iterative processes. The automobile developed out of, and in opposition to, concepts associated with the horse and carriage. This was the familiar frame of reference when the automobile first emerged. Early automobiles extended and adapted the accustomed 19th century understanding of locomotion.

A creative, innovative mind also seeks to move beyond the given categories of thought established by binary either/or frameworks (such as the Hegelian model just described). This is still a move towards synthesis, but it includes opposing concepts that are internal to that binary framework and to ideas outside of it. If you’re a visual thinker, you can think of the internal concepts as a “vertical” axis and the external concepts as a “horizontal” axis.

Lateral thinking, the ability to move horizontally across different categories of thought.

6a00e008d957708834019affc61a30970b-300x187The creative process is just that: a process. Recognizing value that others have missed doesn’t require preternatural clairvoyance. A well-honed creative process enables us to intuitively recognize patterns and use those insights to make inductive predictions about divergent ideas, both vertically within categories, and horizontally across categories. By understanding the genealogy of innovation within a given category, we can imagine what might come next.

We need to break out of thinking that is solely based on what we know, what we assume, and what we’ve experienced. Many of us are so entrenched in our industries that we don’t know how to think laterally or horizontally. We usually go a mile deep but only an inch wide. We haven’t given our people and ourselves the time and opportunities to explore other industries, cultures designs, ways of being and doing, and other “adjacent possibilities.”

If you want to take your “car” far beyond horses, even to the moon perhaps, you and your team need to understand the genealogy of innovation, of how you got to where you are, and look outside of that familiar world to see where you can go.