When you think of domino, your mind might go to the games of skill and chance where players set up large chains of dominoes on the floor and then flick the first domino in the line, setting off a chain reaction that ultimately topples all the other pieces. These simple little dominoes have a powerful metaphor, one that teaches us to focus energy on the right things in life. We see this idea at work every day in the way that a small task, like cleaning the kitchen or calling an old friend, can propel other activities forward—like knocking over much larger dominoes.
Dominoes are small square tiles with a number written on each end (typically 0, 1, 3, 5, 6, and 8). They can be stacked on top of each other to form long lines. When a domino is tipped, it causes the next domino in the line to tip over, and so on and so on until all the dominoes have fallen over. This is the basis of many different domino games.
The most popular dominoes are made of polymer, a hard, durable plastic that is molded into the shape of each piece. They are usually colored white or ivory, with black pips inlaid or painted on them. Other materials have also been used for domino sets, including silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl or MOP), ivory; dark woods such as ebony; and other natural stones. These sets tend to be sturdier and more expensive than their polymer counterparts.
Each player begins the game by drawing dominoes out of a bag or box and placing them on the table. The first player then places a tile on the table so that its adjacent ends have either a matching number or some other specified total. As the game progresses, players continue to place tiles in this manner, building longer and more complex chains of dominoes.
While there are many different ways to play domino, the rules of most games generally involve awarding points based on the number of pips on an opposing player’s tiles. A domino that has a number on only one side counts as two in some games, while others count doubles as one and double-blanks as zero. The first player to earn a certain number of points in a given round wins the game.
In the case of Domino’s, the company’s CEO, David Brandon, reacted quickly to complaints from employees and customers by implementing changes. For example, he relaxed the company’s dress code and implemented new leadership training programs. He also encouraged employees to talk openly with each other and with him directly. These actions were in line with the company’s core values, which include “Championing Our Customers.” As a result of these changes, employee morale improved and the company’s financial situation stabilized. By focusing energy on the right things, Domino’s was able to turn around its business in short order. The lessons here can be applied to other companies and industries as well.