The Domino Effect

Dominoes are little squares that can be stacked on end in long lines. They’re used to play games and create interesting designs, and they’re also a favorite childhood toy. When the first domino is tipped over, it triggers a chain reaction that causes every other domino in the line to tip over as well. This is what’s referred to as the domino effect, and it’s an excellent example of how small actions can lead to much larger consequences.

In business, a domino effect is a series of events that build on each other to have a significant impact. For example, a manager’s decision may have a chain reaction that affects several other employees.

Another way the term is used is in reference to a company’s culture. A CEO can set a tone for the company that has a domino effect on the rest of the organization. For instance, a CEO who values listening to employee feedback will likely be seen as someone who cares about the company’s culture. Then, when the CEO promotes this value to other managers, it will have a domino effect on how those managers communicate with their employees.

A domino has two square ends that are usually labeled with numbers and/or dots (referred to as pips). A domino is valued by the number of pips it has on each end. A domino with more pips is “heavier” than one with fewer pips. A domino may also be considered more valuable if the number of pips on both ends is the same.

Most domino sets are made from either a type of wood or a polymer material, but there have been many other types of materials from which dominoes have been made. Some sets were traditionally made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips. These sets have a unique look and feel that’s more substantial than modern polymer sets.

The word domino is believed to come from the Latin, dominus (master). It was derived into English as dominie and then to domino.

While there are many games that can be played with domino, the most common is a game of skill in which each player in turn places a domino edge to edge against another such that the exposed ends match; for example, a domino with three pips touching a domino with two pips. Then the players count up the total of the dots on both sides of each matching domino. The player who scores the most points wins the game.