The Domino Effect in Business


Dominoes are a type of tile that can be stacked on end in long lines. If one domino is tipped, it causes the next domino in the line to tip over, and so on until all of them have fallen. Many children enjoy stacking dominoes and creating complex designs with them. Dominoes also have a number of gaming uses, including blocking games and scoring games. The term domino is often used as a metaphor for any situation that starts with one small trigger and leads to much larger—and sometimes catastrophic—consequences.

In business, domino refers to a task that will have a large impact if completed successfully. These tasks are usually challenging, and they require a significant chunk of time to complete. However, when these tasks are completed, they will have a positive ripple effect that can make an organization successful. For example, if an employee is tasked with developing a new product or service, completing this task will have a positive effect on the company’s bottom line. In contrast, a task that is more minor may not have as great of an impact.

The first step in building a strong business is understanding what types of tasks will have the biggest effect. Then, employees can prioritize their day-to-day tasks according to the most important ones. Those tasks will receive the most attention and should be fully completed before moving on to other projects. This process will help businesses achieve success and ensure that they are not wasting their valuable resources.

Like playing cards, of which they are a variant, dominoes are divided, visually at least, into squares that contain arrangements of dots or pips (or blanks). The most common commercially available sets are double-six and double-nine. These sets have 28 and 55 tiles, respectively. Larger sets, called extended sets, exist for use in longer domino games. The extended sets increase the maximum number of pips on an end by three, and allow for more combinations of ends and pieces.

Besides games, dominoes can be used as an educational tool to practice addition. Teachers can demonstrate this by selecting a domino at random, holding it up to the class, and having students call out its total number of dots or pips. For example, a teacher might hold up a domino with the number 2 on it and the number 4 on another domino, and ask the students to name the equation that equals those two numbers (2 + 4 = 6).

In his book, “Domino Theory,” author Victor Cha explains that the idiom domino effect can be applied to any event in which a small action results in much greater—and often catastrophic—consequences. For instance, a political crisis in one country could prompt other nations to become involved, eventually leading to the collapse of a world power. The principle of the domino effect is also often applied to chemical processes, where a small leak or accident can cause a chain reaction that destroys an entire manufacturing plant and its products.