The Domino Effect


Many children love to play games with dominoes, the small rectangular blocks that can be stacked side by side in long lines and then knocked over. Stacking them this way lets you create very complex designs. This has led to the use of the term “domino effect” to refer to a situation where one event triggers many other events, each of which causes more and more until all the pieces topple over.

Dominos are also a common tool for teaching math and science. They can be used to show how a simple action can lead to a much larger result, a concept often illustrated in school lessons about simple machines and the chain reaction.

A domino is a small block of wood or plastic that has a raised surface on one face and a blank or matching patterned surface on the other. Each domino has a number of spots, or pips, that resemble those on dice. There are many types of domino sets, with a standard set containing 28 tiles. In addition to being called dominoes, these blocks are sometimes known as bones, cards, chips, tiles, stones, spinners or tickets.

In addition to using dominoes for games, people also make them into artwork and architecture. Hevesh, who lives in a city in southern California, is known for her impressive domino sculptures, which she builds for special occasions. Her process is similar to that of an engineer: She considers the theme and purpose of the installation and brainstorms images or words that might fit.

The word domino comes from the Latin dominica, which means “flip-flop.” In fact, there’s another use of the word in English that reflects this original sense: Domino originally denoted a hooded cloak worn together with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade.

Interestingly, the word domino also has a less-well-known meaning in the world of business: it can describe the effect of a decision that ripples through an organization. In this context, the decision is often a policy or procedure that affects many individuals at once. The idea behind the domino effect is that once someone makes a commitment, even if it’s only a small one, they are likely to follow through on it.

A successful leader often uses the domino effect to rally his or her employees around a shared vision for the company. For example, when CEO Dan Doyle took over at Detroit-based Domino’s, he made employee feedback a top priority. He created a series of initiatives, like a more relaxed dress code and leadership training programs, that allowed him to quickly respond to employees’ concerns. These initiatives were built upon a core value of the company: Champion Our Customers. This line of communication was reinforced when Doyle became CEO again, this time at Domino’s parent company, the Pizza Hut chain. He continued to encourage Domino’s staff to share their ideas, and the company has seen significant results. In 2018, Domino’s was named a Detroit Free Press Top Workplace, thanks in part to the dedication of their teams.

Comments are closed.