WOMBAT Selling and Replication. WOMBAT Innovation and Revenues.

WOMBAT selling is all about replication, replication, replication. 
A WOMBAT (Word Of Mouth Buy And Tell) is a satisfied customer who replicates another satisfied customer. And so on.
WOMBAT innovation is all about revenues, revenues, revenues. 
WOMBAT innovation is all about designing brand new products or services that create brand new satisfied customers who replicate other brand new satisfied customers. And so on.
x10 Thinking is the kind of thinking required for both WOMBAT selling and WOMBAT innovation.


Always remember that WOMBAT innovation is a customer-driven process.
You can design your innovative or new idea and project how customers will pay you for it and your sales team can provide you with real customer feedback on a daily basis. 
WOMBAT innovation questions keep the focus on the new idea's revenue-generating potential:
  •  How will customers obtain the new product or service?
  •  When will customers pay for the new product or service?
  •  How will the new product or service get to the customer?
  •  How will customers replicate new customers?
  •  How will new customers replicate new customers?
WOMBAT Innovation and Compensation
When it comes to selling new products sales teams sometimes err on the side of pushing established products, rather than new ones, especially if the established ones yield easier conversations, faster conversions, and greater commissions.  
To ensure your sales staff is putting its best effort behind the new products try to continually adapt the compensation structure to incentivize the sale of new products. This can get sales people talking about the innovation and if customers are not buying it then sales people feed that back to you.
Metrics and KPIs for new revenues are: 
% revenues from new products/services that simply did not exist 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 business quarters ago

2016 SOT Problem: What is a better unit of innovation?

Science and Innovation Thought-leaders …

The Science Symposium of the School of Thinking is a world class panel of science and R&D thought-leaders and they review the SOT strategic initiatives for 2016/2017.

The School of Thinking 2016 Problem is: What is a better unit of innovation? The next symposium is in March.

The seven members who meet quarterly in symposium are Sir Gus Nossal, Professor David Penington, Dr Graham Mitchell, Dr John Stocker, Mr Michael Taylor, Mr Peter Turvey and Ms Maria Deveson Crabbe.

Sir Gustav Nossal AC CBE, FAA, FRS

Gustav Nossal took his Ph.D. at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Sir Gus has been President of the Australian Academy of Science (1994-1998); a member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (1989-1998); and Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Council of the Bill and Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine Program (1998-2003). Nossal was knighted in 1977, made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1989 and appointed Australian of the Year in 2000. Since 2010, Nossal has been Chairman of the Gates Foundation’s Discovery Expert Group, charged with developing longer-term research strategies.

Professor David Penington AC, DM, MA(Oxon), FRCP, FRACP, FRCPA

After graduating in medicine at Oxford David Penington returned to Melbourne as Professor of Medicine at the University of Melbourne then Dean of the Faculty of Medicine then Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne for eight years from 1988. He was Chairman of the National AIDS Task Force (1983-87). He was Chairman of the Board of Cochlear Ltd from 1995 to 2002. His autobiography “Making Waves: Medicine, Public Health, Universities and Beyond” published by Melbourne University Press July 2010.

Dr John Stocker AO MB BS BMedSc PhD FRACP FTSE

John Stocker has a distinguished career in pharmaceutical research and extensive experience in management of research and development and in its commercialisation. Stocker is a Director of Telstra and a Board member of Wine Victoria. He was Chief Executive of CSIRO and later the Australian Government’s Chief Scientist and a member of the Board of The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research. He was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in June 1999 and was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003.

Dr Graham Mitchell AO RDA BVSc FACVSc PhD FTSE FAA

At The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) Graham Mitchell made discoveries in immunology obtaining his PhD in 1969. In 1990 he was appointed Director of the prestigious Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens. Recognised as one of Australia’s leading biological scientists Mitchell was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia. He has been an advisor on innovation to the Victorian, Commonwealth, Tasmanian and Northern Territory Governments.

Michael John Taylor AO BAgSC DipAgEcon FTSE

Mike Taylor is currently a Director of the Public Transport Development Authority and the Country Fire Authority. Formerly the Secretary to Australia’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Services and Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry. As a result he has been extensively involved in negotiating International, Commonwealth, State and industry agreements on a wide range of transport, security, regional development, water, energy, minerals, agricultural, food, forestry, fisheries, environmental and sustainable natural resource management issues. Mike has chaired international negotiations, meetings, delegations, projects, policy and trade development work in Asia, North America and Europe.

Peter R Turvey BA/LLB, MAICD

Former Executive Vice President Licensing and Company Secretary of CSL Limited Peter Turvey had responsibility for the protection and licensing of CSL’s intellectual property. Among the many licensing deals he was involved with, the most significant included the Gardasil license to Merck & Co., the licensing of the Iscomatrix® adjuvant platform technology to the world’s leading vaccine manufacturers, and establishment of the P.gingivalis vaccine technology collaboration between the CRC for Oral Health and Sanofi-Pasteur.

Maimage1-2ria Deveson Crabbe

Maria is an experienced CEO with over 20 years of expertise spanning across the corporate, private industry and social enterprise sectors. Maria has achievements in business start-ups, new business development and in driving innovation and organisational growth in well-established organisations; with strengths in marketing and brand strategy, operations, service delivery, FMCG and supply chain improvement.

 Maria was the Founding CEO of Aussie Bodies. Under her leadership, Aussie Bodies achieved its number one status within the sports nutrition FMCG category. As CEO of Marie Stopes International Australia, she launched the not for profit pharmaceutical company, MS Health and was the driving force behind the successful registration of RU486 by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. 

As CEO of MSI’s Australian operations, Maria led a change management process to integrate Australian clinic and pharmaceutical operations. She designed a corporate social responsibility model that ensures a percentage of operational profits are donated to program activities, with donations scaling up substantially over the past few years. As Regional Director Maria is accountable for operations in the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, PNG, Timor Leste, Cambodia, China and Mongolia.

 Maria won the 2014 Telstra Business Women Award for Community and Government (Victoria) and the 2014 Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence.


Giving a Presentation? Three Ways to Leave Your Fingerprint

Giving a Presentation? Three Ways to Leave Your Fingerprint

By Jack Welch

I’ll never forget my first speech. It was 1964 in Cooperstown, NY, and I was a 29-year-old project manager at GE who’d been asked to present a new plastics venture to a group of 300 high-level corporate types. Weeks beforehand, I meticulously wrote out every word and practiced reading it out loud what felt like a thousand times. Regardless, my inexperience in front of a crowd, combined with my self-consciousness about my lifelong stammer, made me a complete wreck. I stunk.

Today, giving a speech or a presentation is one of the most fun things I do in life. I love it, and having been out in front of more than one million people in audiences around the world in the past fifteen years, I’d like to think I’ve come a long way toward getting it right.

At the same time, I’ve come to believe a person’s skill in public speaking is more essential than ever. Making your case in writing is increasingly a thing of the past. You are what you say; your communication approach is your fingerprint, both professional and personal.

Now, hundreds of books and articles, if not more, have been written about the “art of public speaking,” so I know I’m not inventing gravity here. But from a very personal perspective, allow me to share my three rules of success.

Rule #1: Keep your message simple.

Not simplistic, mind you. Not dumbed down, either. But simple, as in not over-complicated and completely graspable. This imperative is only possible, incidentally, when you know what you want to say and have a strong conviction about it. Listen, people get up on stage all the time and wander all around their message, trying not to offend anyone, or trying to soften its impact to make it palpable to all viewpoints in the room. Sometimes they try to bring the audience through the circuitous thinking they themselves had to go through to get to their final point. And still other times, they bury their audience in data, hoping the data will somehow translate itself, or at least make them look more sophisticated. In all cases, the result is almost invariably befuddlement.

The best speeches and presentations do not make the audience chase the message. They have a strong central point, expressed in bold, clear, unambiguous language, with strong supporting arguments that analyze and make sense of the data. Sure, at the end, given your clarity, a few people may disagree with your conclusion. But that’s a lot better than leaving most people confused.

Rule #2: Tell your audience something they don’t know.

I’m always amazed when a manager comes into an executive or board presentation and basically recites materials that all of us have already received by email. Likewise, I’ve seen too many speeches to count where the person on the stage repeats a well-worn message and the stories to go with it, or simply reads from his or her slides.

Every time you speak before a crowd or a group, part of your job is to surprise and delight; you have to give people nuggets of information that are new and interesting, and make them smarter. Now, this doesn’t happen without preparation. It doesn’t happen without you really asking yourself beforehand, “What can I say that will give the audience some kind of context about how all this stuff matters to the company and the industry and their lives?”

Rule #3: Let your passion rip.

I don’t get it, but there’s a popular strand of thinking that speakers gain credibility in front of audiences by appearing pensive and logical, almost contained to the point of flatness, like a 3-star general giving testimony before Congress. Obviously, I’m not completely opposed to those affects. No one takes a whirling dervish seriously. But I’d make the case that you gain more than you lose when you unleash your inner fire in front of an audience, and show them how much you believe and care about the topic at hand.

Today when I speak, it is always my most passionate lines that get the most engagement. For instance, one of my most urgent messages to managers is that they have to get into the skin of their employees; they need to understand their minds and hearts so they can excite them about, and give purpose to, the work. I feel this point so strongly, that once I blurted out, “If you’re a bore to the people who work for you, go slap yourself!” It was a heat-of-the-moment kind of comment, coming straight from my heart and gut, and I know that’s why it was the message people walked away with.

Public speaking will be as fun for you as it is for the people listening, with one big added bonus — a boost to your career trajectory.

Jack Welch was CEO of General Electric and is now Executive Chairman of the Jack Welch Management Institute.

Value Drains and Value Fountains

In Australia, and elsewhere, there are two kinds of players: subtractors and contributors. Subtractors consume value. They are value drains. Contributors create value. They are value fountains. Both play a part in the game.


The Net Contributor Score (NCS) is the number of subtractors in the enterprise compared to the number of contributors expressed as a percentage score.

The NCS Question is:

Are you a net contributor?

(click on the crown)


The Wisdom of WOMBATS

The Wisdom of WOMBATS is the elite R&D group of 1000 SOT thinkers who are currently researching and developing the WOMBAT replication strategy for businesses.

For example, one wisdom of 100 wombat thinkers experimenting in a national call centre in Melbourne have already produced several x10 conversion outcomes in less than six months.


It comes from the collective noun for a discrete population of wombats ie ‘a wisdom of wombats’. These marvellous Yoda-like marsupials were named wombats by the Eora aboriginals who were the pre-eminent inhabitants of Sydney.


Interesting Information:

  • Wombats are marsupials and are native to south-eastern Australia and Tasmania. They grow to about one metre in length. The name ‘wombat’ originates from the Eora Aboriginies, who first inhabited the Sydney region.

Teaching thinking in USA schools: what are the results?

36 years ago, since School of Thinking began the nationwide Learn-To-Think Project in the USA in 1980–to put thinking on the school curriculum as a school subject–what have been the results? Now that kids have their daily thinking lessons are they any better off? Are they better thinkers? Do they make better decisions? Not just in school but in life?

The answer is: YES. The trend is positive. The kids are alright.


We know this because every two years, the federal government asks thousands of teenagers dozens of questions about whether they are all right. Since 1991, it has sent something called the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey to more than 10,000 high school students every other year, to inquire about all sorts of bad behaviors that range from drug use to unprotected sex to fighting at school.

The overarching question this survey asks is basically: How much trouble are you getting into?

The answer, lately, has been, “Not that much at all” – especially when you compare today’s teens with their parents, who came of age in the early 1990s.

Most of the survey questions show that today’s teenagers are among the best-behaved on record. They smoke less, drink less, and have sex less than the previous generation. It seems they are, comparatively, a milder-mannered bunch.

Explore the data

Teen behavior in… 1991 2013
Regularly wear a seat belt 74.1 92.4
Ever tried alcohol 81.6 66.2
Ever tried a cigarette 70.1 44.1
Used a condom during last sexual intercourse 46.2 59.1
Ever had sex 54.1 46.8
Tried marijuana 31.3 40.7
Had sex within the last 3 months 37.5 34
Ever been in a physical fight 42.5 24.7
Drank 5 or more drinks in a row in past month 31.3 20.8
Smoke cigarettes 27.5 15.7
Seriously considered a suicide attempt in past year 29 17
Tried cocaine 5.9 5.5