If you’ve ever watched a domino show, you’re familiar with the amazing visual effect of hundreds or thousands of dominoes lined up in careful sequence, all toppling at once with the slightest nudge. The domino effect is a good metaphor for the power of cause and effect. It’s a simple idea, really: one action leads to another, and eventually everything comes down. Whether you compose your manuscript off the cuff or with a careful outline, incorporating the domino effect into your story can help make your narrative more compelling.
A domino is a small rectangular block with a central line that divides the face into two parts, each bearing from one to six pips or dots (sometimes called points): 28 such pieces make up a complete set of dominoes. The blocks are usually twice as long as they are wide, making them easy to re-stack after use. Dominoes can be used to play a number of games, the most popular being positional, where one player puts dominoes edge-to-edge on a row, with matching ends touching: for example, one’s touch two’s, and three’s touch four’s. When a domino is tipped, it causes the next domino in the line to tip, and so on, until all of the dominoes have fallen.
Dominos can be arranged in many different ways to create complex patterns, including straight lines and curved lines, grids that form pictures when the pieces fall, and 3D structures like towers and pyramids. They can be built from bricks, wood, or clay and are often designed to create impressive, mind-boggling designs that can take hours to complete.
In business, the term domino can refer to a company structure in which a few individuals are responsible for running several locations or businesses under their control. This is a contrast to the traditional corporate structure in which one individual takes on the responsibility for all decisions and activities in a given area. In most cases, a domino structure is a result of organizational changes aimed at improving efficiency and profitability.
Domino’s Pizza is known for its solid leadership structure and well-organized management system, as evidenced by the Undercover Boss episode in which CEO Don Meij works behind the scenes at various restaurants and delivery service centers. The company also emphasizes leadership over management and supports the development of leaders rather than promoting people solely on the basis of seniority.
When Hevesh builds one of her remarkable domino constructions, she follows a version of the engineering-design process: First she considers the theme or purpose of the installation, then brainstorms images and words that relate to it. She then sketches out a general design, and finally creates the specific shapes and dimensions needed to build it.
When she starts to assemble her creation, Hevesh uses a small piece of paper to mark the locations of each domino on the layout. This helps her keep track of the entire project while assembling it and makes it easier to see where she should place each piece. When she adds a new domino, she uses the same technique to ensure that it fits correctly. As she goes along, she can monitor the progress of her work with a magnifying glass and easily correct any mistakes she’s made.