The Domino Effect
In business, the domino effect describes a series of events that starts with one small action and ultimately leads to larger, and sometimes catastrophic, consequences. Whether it’s an email sent to a customer, an order placed at a restaurant, or an accident that occurs at a chemical plant, the resulting chain reaction can have wide-reaching effects. To avoid such an incident, organizations must take steps to identify potential risk factors and mitigate these risks before they become a domino effect.
A domino is a small, flat, rectangular block used as gaming object that can be stacked on end in long lines and tipped over so that they fall one after another. They can also be arranged in a variety of shapes to create more complex structures.
In addition to playing domino games, many people enjoy using them for decoration and even building models. Some artists are known for creating impressive domino installations, and these designs have even made their way into film and television. The process of putting together an artistic domino arrangement involves meticulous planning to ensure that every piece fits properly and the overall installation works smoothly. In order to achieve such precise results, the artist must make test versions of each domino section and then carefully film them in slow motion to catch any mistakes.
The term domino first appeared in English around 1750, while the game itself was invented in Italy and France. It spread to England by the late 1700s, where it was likely introduced by French prisoners of war. The name of the game may have been inspired by an earlier sense of the word, which referred to a long, hooded cloak worn over a priest’s surplice during carnival season or at a masquerade.
There are numerous ways to play domino, but the most common is a scoring version called “5s and 3s”. In this game, players score points by attaching their dominoes to one another so that the exposed ends match (one’s touch one’s, two’s touch two’s, etc.). The number of points scored depends on the total of the pips on each of the exposed ends; for example, four at one end and five at the other makes nine, which is divisible by both five and three.
As the dominoes are set up, they store potential energy. When the first domino is tipped over, most of this energy is converted into kinetic energy, causing the next domino to tip and so on. This process continues until the entire line of dominoes has fallen. Similarly, organizational leaders must plan and execute in a way that maximizes the effectiveness of their efforts. This requires identifying the good dominoes, which are those tasks that contribute most to a goal, and then prioritizing these tasks so that the most important ones receive the most attention. In this way, a company can move forward quickly with the momentum that can be generated by completing these good dominoes.