Dominoes are toys that children like to stack on end in long lines. If you tipped the first domino, it would cause the rest of the line to fall over—sometimes with great and dramatic consequences. The concept of this chain reaction, or the domino effect, is an important part of a lot of games and activities. It’s also a good example of a lesson that can be applied to your daily life.
In a game of domino, the players draw for the lead and then place pieces in their row of dominoes. The first player begins by placing a piece on the right side of the row, and then each subsequent player places their pieces down one at a time in order to add to the chain. The last person to place a piece is the winner of the round. There are many different variations of this game, but most of them use the same basic rules.
The physics behind the domino effect is simple: Each individual domino has potential energy based on its position. When you stand the domino upright, it lifts against gravity and stores that energy. When you then let it fall, that potential energy is converted to kinetic energy as the domino crashes into the next one and causes it to fall over.
Each domino is typically marked with a pattern of spots or pips on one face. The other faces are either blank or identically patterned. The pips on each domino represent values corresponding to the possible outcomes of throwing two six-sided dice. Each domino is also marked with a line, which divides it visually into two squares. The square on the left side contains the pips from the first die, and the square on the right represents the pips from the second die.
Dominoes are normally twice as long as they are wide, which makes them easier to re-stack after use. They are often used for a game of chance, in which the players try to make a row or column of all their pieces. The pieces remain stacked until one player has a winning combination of spots or pips. The winning piece is then flipped over to reveal its other side. The other side may then be flipped over, and the process continues until all the pieces have fallen.
A popular variant of domino involves matching colors. The first player to do this wins the round. The game can also be played in teams.
One of the best examples of the domino effect can be found in business and organizational leadership. When Tom Monaghan took over as CEO of Domino’s Pizza in 2004, he faced significant challenges. The company was struggling financially, and its stock price had been dropping rapidly.
Despite these difficulties, Monaghan focused on three goals for Domino’s:
He hired a new chief financial officer who implemented a strategic plan that focused on improving the company’s efficiency and productivity. He also encouraged employees to be innovative in their work and to think outside of the box. He believed that Domino’s needed to move away from its traditional focus on pizza delivery and into new market segments. In addition, he introduced an employee recognition program and emphasized customer service. This strategic plan worked—and it continues to work today.