Applying the Domino Effect to Your Workplace


A domino is a rectangular piece of wood or plastic marked with a line that separates its ends into two squares. Each side of the domino is either blank or patterned with an arrangement of spots, called pips. Like dice or playing cards, dominoes are used for a variety of games. Some traditional domino sets have a different number of pips on each end, and some larger sets have more.

How to Build a Better Domino

A great domino setup depends on one surprisingly simple physical phenomenon: gravity. When one domino falls, its potential energy is transferred to the next, providing a push that knocks it over.

That same process can be applied to your own business ideas and strategies, especially when you’re trying to implement them into your organization. The key is to create a plan for systematically executing your new initiatives. The more small steps you take, the faster you can move forward.

Applying the Domino Effect to Your Work

In the workplace, the domino effect can be especially useful when you’re trying to change your company’s culture or a particular behavior. For example, you might want to focus on increasing productivity by reducing employee stress levels. Or you might try to build a more collaborative culture by encouraging everyone to contribute in a variety of ways.

Similarly, you might want to increase team accountability by creating a framework for introducing new projects, ideas, and processes into your company. For example, you might create a one-page brief for a new product you’re working on, or a team meeting to share feedback and answer questions.

This mental model helps you avoid the “flash in the pan” syndrome that so often kills a new initiative early on. It’s also a good idea to use a series of highly-specific and bite-sized action items to ensure regular follow-up and progress tracking.

For example, you might decide to make a new project part of your weekly or monthly meetings. Set a deadline for when it needs to be finished, and assign specific and bite-sized tasks to your team members so they can stay accountable for their progress.

Your project might start off as just another project in your ongoing list, but it could be a key to the success of your entire organization. Identify the most important parts of your company’s operations and prioritize them, then identify the key activities that make up those parts.

You can also identify the most critical areas that need improvement and prioritize them accordingly. For example, you might want to work on the back-end systems that are critical to delivering the highest quality customer experience.

Ultimately, you’ll want to consider whether your project is worth investing in and if it will have a positive impact on your bottom line. Then you can move on to the next steps, including finding a suitable vendor and getting feedback from your team about the project’s value.

Using the domino effect as a framework for your business is a powerful way to create sustainable growth. And it’s one that you can easily apply to your own career and personal life as well.