Domino is a term that means a block with a patterned surface on one side and a blank or identically-patterned side. The pattern on the face of a domino may be an arrangement of spots, or pips, similar to those on dice. The pips are often painted, and the tiles are often made from natural materials such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl or MOP), ivory, or ebony. Depending on the game being played, a domino may have either one or both of its ends bearing a number, or it may be blank. The players, or “dominoes,” place the tiles on a flat surface in front of them. Each time a player plays a domino, it must be positioned so that the two matching sides touch and are adjacent. The resulting chain of dominoes develops snake-line patterns on the table according to the players’ wishes and the limitations of the playing surface.
Dominoes can be used for a variety of games, but their most common use is to build a series of connected structures, called a “domino chain.” In the game of domino, each person starts with an equal number of tiles. The player to the left of each person then takes a turn placing a domino on the table, so that it touches only one other domino of the same color or with the same number of pips as the previous tile. Play continues in this fashion until each person has placed all of their tiles and the resulting chain is complete.
Most people have seen videos of massive, elaborately constructed domino chains toppling in slow motion. These are known as “domino shows.” In these, professional domino builders set up hundreds or even thousands of dominoes in carefully sequenced arrangements, and the entire chain is eventually brought down with just the nudge of a single domino. These shows are popular with online audiences.
While there is a certain satisfaction in seeing a long line of dominoes topple all the way to the end, most players enjoy the challenge of creating their own chains and trying to outdo their friends. This challenge can be a motivating force for some, but others find it stressful and tedious. To help keep people interested in the game, a good strategy is to start small and work up to the more complex arrangements.
Dominoes can be used in many ways, including as a tool for teamwork and leadership development. The name Domino is a reminder of cause and effect, and the sense of responsibility that comes with it. A good leader is aware of the consequences of his or her actions and always considers the best move forward. The same principles apply to work teams and organizational structure. When a company is experiencing high turnover, the CEO needs to take charge and make changes to increase employee morale and satisfaction. Previous Domino’s CEO David Brandon and current CEO Steve Doyle have taken this approach, and it is paying off.