The Domino Effect in Business


Domino is a tile-based game of skill and strategy. Normally twice as long as they are wide, dominoes feature a line or ridge that divides them visually into two squares marked with an arrangement of spots or pips similar to those on a die. Each of the domino’s identifying marks also bears a number, from one to nine. When a player “dominos out” by playing all of his or her pieces, the game ends. The players who score the most points win.

In many games, a player scores by touching each of his or her exposed dominoes with the pointers of another piece (one’s touch one’s and two’s touch two’s, for example) and thereby triggering a chain reaction in which each of those exposed dominoes is knocked over. The total value of the resulting lines is then counted. In partnership play, the scoring is done by adding up the sum of the spots on each partner’s remaining dominoes.

The first domino in a sequence has the most potential energy, so it must be hit by the next domino in the line to convert some of that potential energy into kinetic energy and knock over that domino. This process continues with each new domino in the line until a final domino is hit that cannot fall due to gravity alone.

This process is called the Domino Effect, and it is often seen in business. When a single event, such as a missed credit card payment or an unexpected lawsuit, occurs, it can have far-reaching effects on other aspects of a company’s operations. For instance, an initial setback in a credit union’s loan portfolio can trigger a series of events that ultimately result in a government takeover or the merger of a credit union with a larger financial institution.

To prevent such a scenario, companies can develop strategies that help them avoid the Domino Effect by creating an environment that encourages employees to act on their best judgment. This includes implementing a culture of transparency and trust and encouraging employee input on important issues. It can also include providing employees with the resources they need to make decisions.

For example, Domino’s began to implement a more flexible dress code and leadership training programs after they started hearing directly from their customers via surveys. In addition, they started making more of their pizzas near college campuses to better serve students and other young people. This was just the start of a long list of changes that helped Domino’s stay true to its core values. These changes were a direct result of the Domino Effect.