Established processes can seem worthwhile but they may just be rusted-on habits holding you back.

Do you sometimes see something and think to yourself “I just don’t get it?”

The reporting of Aussie rules football scores is at the top of my “I just don’t get it” list. Only in AFL is it deemed necessary to give a score that details goals and behinds – when really only the total score matters.

For example, if the Swans beat the Western Bulldogs 15.16 (106) to 16.5 (101) we really don’t care that the Bulldogs kicked more goals and were more accurate than the Swans.

We just care about the final score and who won. What about if other sports adopted the same score reporting process?

In rugby league we would read the Sea Eagles beat the Roosters 5.4.0 (28) to 2.2.0 (12).

What about rugby union – it gets even more complicated. You could read the Bulls overcame the Chiefs in the Super 14 final by (35) to (33) with tries, conversions, penalty goals and drop goals listed in the score.

I don’t even want to go the next step to giving a cricket score in the same manner. Sports broadcasters would have to talk as fast as Fran Capo!

After more than 20 years of watching and playing AFL, I have never seen a logical reason to report the scores this way. The process is passed down from person to person with no questions asked .

And this is where many businesses can improve dramatically. In tough economic times, I often hear people mistakenly planning how to cut costs from their business because “that is what you do when times are tough”.

They think that decreasing costs is the best way to improve overall profitability.

Many years ago a McKinsey report showed the folly of this concept. If you decrease your expenses by 1 percent, you should improve your profit by about 1 percent. If you increase your volume by 1 percent, you should increase your profit by about 4 percent.

But the biggie is if you can increase your margins by about 1 percent, you should increase your profit by about 11 percent.

So the best thing to do when times are tough is work on ways to increase your margins and review processes.

Is there a better process that will make your business more efficient and hence more profitable?

Explore those facets rather than take a razor through your expense line. And don’t make the mistake that the AFL makes. Look at all of your processes and question them.

AFL historians tell me the reason scores are reported in this way is simple because “we have always done it that way”.

Make sure you don’t answer your own questions with the same response. Re-justify all the things you do.

Ask the newest person in your organisation if there is something that they just don’t get in your processes and then see if it is done for logical reasons – or just historical reasons.

On my recent world tour, I visited Dubai where money does grow on trees (the highlight of my trip was snow skiing in a shopping mall in Dubai) but for a country with seemingly unlimited wealth the internet speed was horrific.

Being part of the UAE, their internet is heavily filtered. In a modern state where a large percentage of the population is foreign, I think this is outdated and only done because it has always been done.

And it doesn’t work. Apart from the obvious pornographic sites that are blocked, gambling, dating and many other sites are also blocked.

While in Dubai, one of my friends there was desperate to put in his footy tips. This site was blocked.

Risking life and limb and jail time, I created a secure VPN to another country to allow him to browse to the tipping site.

Now, with the melting pot that is Dubai and the technology available to circumnavigate the filtering, this is one of those items that really needs to move with the times.

A classic case of a process in place for historical reasons.

If a new economy like Dubai can get it wrong, we can get it wrong in our businesses, so you need to make a decision to improve pricing strategies and processes to make a real impact on your bottom line.

Send me an email with your explanation of the AFL scores at

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