The Domino Effect

The domino effect describes the way that a small cause can lead to large consequences. The term is often used in the context of business and politics, but it can be applied to any situation where one action leads to many others. It is the principle behind long chains of dominoes, for example, which can lead to a spectacular fireworks show or even the collapse of an entire city block. The domino effect can also be seen in the way that a person’s behavior can influence the behavior of people around him.

A domino is a wooden or plastic rectangular block with a number of dots resembling those on dice, usually twice as wide as it is tall. Each side of the domino has a value, normally from six pips down to blank or no pips. The two ends of a domino are called “open”; additional tiles can be placed aginst the open ends, or against the sides of the domino that touch the adjacent open end. The value of a domino is determined by counting the number of spots on it and adding the values of all the other dominoes that it touches or straddles. If a player cannot play the next domino in his hand, he must either “chip out” or pass; the winner is the partner whose total of all the pips on their remaining tiles is lowest at the end of the game.

Domino sets are typically made from bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (MOP), ivory or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips. Historically, MOP and ivory were preferred, as they are harder, more dense and less prone to damage from rough handling. MOP and ivory dominoes are often carved with a design, name or word. Other materials, such as frosted glass, ceramic clay or marble, have been used for sets as well, but these have a tendency to scratch and chip more easily than wooden or MOP ones.

Some of the most impressive domino effects are shown in domino shows, where builders set up a huge line of hundreds or thousands of dominoes in careful sequence and then watch them all fall with the slightest nudge. These elaborate displays are performed before an audience to showcase the builder’s skill and creativity.

For a business, the domino effect can be applied to organizational culture and structure. For example, an individual may want to increase employee retention and morale, but he or she must ensure that the right policies are in place. These policies will include a positive workplace environment, adequate training, and a reward system that encourages employees to stay with the company.

One of the best ways to promote these policies is to emphasize the value of the customer. When a company loses its focus on its customers, it is difficult to remain competitive. A successful strategy is to make it clear to each employee what the company’s customers are looking for, so that employees can deliver on those expectations. This will also help the company to attract new customers and grow its market share.