# Dominoes Are More Powerful Than We Think

A domino is a rectangular wood or plastic block that has a blank or tiled surface marked with dots resembling those on dice. It is the smallest member of the family of polyominoes (also called nonagonal polyominoes). A set of dominoes includes all the pieces needed to play the various games that are based on their falling patterns. Depending on the game, a domino can be arranged in straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures, stacked walls, or 3D structures such as towers or pyramids. A domino can also be used as a model of the way that the forces of gravitation affect objects.

The word domino is often used to refer to a game played with these rectangular blocks of varying colors and markings, although it can be applied to any activity that involves the falling of dominoes. The rules for different games vary considerably, but most involve some sort of sequence in which the dominoes are arranged so that one will fall after another. A person can win a game by laying down all of his or her tiles in a particular pattern. Typically, each player takes turns until all the players have played their last domino. Then the winner is the person with the least number of pips on his or her remaining tiles.

Dominoes are more powerful than we might think. A 1983 study by University of British Columbia physicist Lorne Whitehead demonstrated that a domino is capable of knocking down objects about one-and-a-half times its own size. He made 13 dominoes, starting with the smallest, which was only 5 millimeters tall and thin enough to fit in the gap of a Tic Tac.

As the dominoes fell, they created an intense pulse of energy that traveled from one domino to the next, much like the pulsing energy of a nerve impulse in the body. The power of the pulse was independent of the size of the triggering domino, and it could travel only in one direction.

Dominos are not just fun to play—they’re an excellent tool for building character and fostering cooperation. They can even help develop math skills and teach children the principles of geometry. When playing domino, it is important to play on a hard surface, as it makes it easier to stand the dominoes on edge in front of you. Also, it is helpful to have the pieces grouped in a line so you can see them all at once.

When Domino’s CEO David Brandon replaced long-time boss John Doyle, he made listening to employee complaints a key value of the company. He listened to employees and implemented new changes in the workplace, including a relaxed dress code and new leadership training programs. Those changes helped to lower employee turnover and increase employee satisfaction. It’s a strategy that’s working well for Dominos, which won the Detroit Free Press Top Workplaces award in 2017. This is a great example of putting your values into action!